One of Jonathan's highlights there was climbing through "the sewer" where he could pretend to be a real "explorer" - one of his favorite things to pretend. It was really dark in there, but he wasn't even scared (I think I was more scared than he was!)... so he must really be a "fit and fearless explorer" (like in one of his favorite books from the library).
Our next stop was the zoo, but we had to first get something to eat. On the way to the zoo, we saw some poor sap in a Little Caesar costume advertising the opening of a new Little Caesar's pizza store, so I turned around in what was either a (very) used car lot or a service station parking lot, where Jonathan said, "This would be a great place to eat!" (I guess it did pass the parking lot test).
We then headed to the zoo, where we could have a pizza picnic. I don't remember Little Caesars pizza being quite as good as this was - it really, really hit the spot. As you can see (certainly if you enlarge the above picture), everyone really enjoyed it. Oh, and in case you're wondering, the Mountain Dew was only for the adults - the boys had juice boxes. Notice Andrew's eating position - no high chair, on nobody's lap, feeding himself. He did perfectly (except when he dropped a piece of his pizza on the ground and wanted to get it).
I had to include the above picture, because Andrew went wandering off after he'd finished his pizza, and Jonathan went and fetched him, gently walking him back to us. It was really sweet, especially from the big brother who more frequently bites the little one.
We then went to the zoo, only to find it closed. They were advertising a Halloween something or other, but that didn't start until 6... so we went over to the playground, where the boys had a blast. Andrew was getting pretty cranky, so Tara walked him around and around and around the playground while Jonathan played. He met another 3 year old boy (whose name was either Tile or Kyle, depending if you heard it from him or from his grandma), who was wearing the same "Chick Magnet" shirt as Andrew was. He and Jonathan played and played and played; it was especially cute.
We met several other parents with kids who also had come thinking the zoo would be open, so it was good to not be the only ones (after all, it was a fantastic day and apparently Fort Wayne schools were out as well).
Then, when Kyle had to leave, we took our cue as well and got in the car. It took a matter of seconds until both boys were fast asleep, so we drove around for a while (visiting a farm market) and let the boys nap.
Then we went to the mall and had a good time there.
By this time, it was almost 6, so we decided that we would go back to the zoo. But, as Kip Dynamite once said, "Well, that was a rip-off!" First of all, there was a hu-normous crowd. Which could be expected from a Friday evening when the weather was gorgeous. Then we found that they wouldn't be honoring our passes because this was a "special program." Well, since we'd already driven back over to the zoo and skipped riding the merry-go-round at the mall, which I'd promised Jonathan he could do if he behaved (which he did), we decided to cough up the money and go in.The sad thing was that the main (only) reason we went to the zoo in the first place was the animals... which were all in their underground cages. The only animals that were even out and available to be seen were the wallabies and the peacocks. The place was filled with pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns, all in various stages of decay. My allergies went nuts with all that mold!
Still, the kids did great, and we had a wonderful day!