Swimming With the Fish at the Downtown Aquarium

Swimming with the fishes aint just for mobsters any more…and you’ll probably live to tell about it, assuming you steer clear of the sharks, stingrays and creepy eels – not sure the eels can actually hurt humans, but they totally freak me out!

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The Downtown Aquarium, in partnership with A-1 Scuba & Travel Center, offers both snorkeling and scuba diving with sea life in a safe and enjoyable environment. My son Silas and I had the opportunity to experience snorkeling, which is led by a professional dive guide. Because we were snorkeling rather than diving, we remained at the water’s surface at all times but were able to peer down at the amazing creatures below…and dodge them as they swam toward us, yikes. We were free to explore the entire tank and wave to the human spectators below – the children visiting the Aquarium enjoyed seeing my son floating at the top of the tank!

Si was intrigued, and a little intimidated, by the number of sea life in the water with us. He was concerned about being in the water with SHARKS (and I was too, but I played it cool, hee hee.) The guides assured us that it was safe but asked us not to touch any of the sea life, so when one of the giant sea turtles came right up to Si, the guide gently pulled him close to her so that he felt safe…I just closed my eyes and hoped for the best. Turns out, the turtles are the friendliest of all the creatures in the tank and just wanted to say hello. They’re herbivores (thankfully) but since they’re about 3-4 feet long and weigh about 250-450 pounds, they cause a bit of an adrenaline rush as they swim right up as if they’re the family pet.

Swimming with the fish was a fabulous experience for our whole family – my hubby and daughter took photos for us as we geared up and got into the water. They were able to then walk down, into the tunnel, and see us from the outside of the tank. Noelle is still too young to swim with the fish but fully plans on giving it a try on her sixth birthday! Silas would like to try scuba diving – now that he’s comfortable hanging with sharks. He’ll have to wait till he turns ten though…and has his scuba diving certification. Looks like the snorkling experience comes with a complimentary scuba experience at A-1, so we might just have to give it a try!

Bloomapalooza at the Butterfly Pavilion

by Guest Bloggn’ Mama Janell Swan @ “Cygnet Adventures

If you have never been to the Butterfly Pavillion in Broomfield, Colorado, you are missing out.  It’s a fun, educational, and interactive outing for kids and adults alike.  From petting tarantulas (something my daughters would never do, but an option, none the less) to having butterflies land on your shoulder, you’re sure to walk away with a little more knowledge of our natural world than you arrived with.

However, Bloomapalooza takes the fun to another level.  Crafts, live demonstrations, bouncy slides, dirty hands. . . need I say more? When we arrived, we were immediately invited to to participate in the Get Dirty project, planting flowers in the flower bed just outside the main entrance to the pavilion.  My kids didn’t need any prompting to begin digging in the dirt, and based on the enthusiasm and pride they showed with each little transplanted flower, I know we’ll be heading back frequently this summer to check on the growth of “their flower”.

After we visited all of our favorite indoor exhibits (the hairy spiders, spiny lobsters, and elegant butterflies that we always hope will land on our finger) we headed outdoors to the Discovery Gardens.  A crowd had gathered for the live demonstration on honeybees, but my daughters were, of course, more attracted to the giant blow-up bouncy slide.  After several (many) turns on the slide, I was able to interest them in the crafts.  They enjoyed crushing a bean with pliers (to demonstrate how a bird crushes food with its beak), decorating and coloring a mini flower pot, planting a little pot of herbs, and sampling some yummy trail mix (yes, if they’re hungry enough they’ll eat more than the M&Ms).

After our outdoor fun, we moved into the Tropical Odyssey,  where my daughters enjoyed crawling on the giant caterpillar and butterfly play structure, following a maze, and riding a zip line. . . weeeee!  We had to end our fun-filled day with a trip to the gift shop, which had many unique items to choose from.  My daughters each selected a bag of “jewels” (i.e., polished rocks) that they’ve been having fun playing “treasure hunt” with ever since.

Crocs Chameleons are the Bee’s Knees

“Crocs Chameleons, A Day in the Life” photo journal: https://wineglasslipper.wordpress.com/2011/05/19/crocs-chameleons-a-day-in-the-life/

Where did my children go? They’re gone, no, just blending into their environment…with their new Crocs Chameleons.

Ok, so it doesn’t work quite like that. Sigh of relief. Not going to loose the kids, well, not because of their new Crocs anyhow, ha. Crocs Chameleons vibrant colors might actually help me find my kiddos!

These shoes are the bee’s knees – and I don’t even like to use that expression – but they are. I’m an avid fan of Crocs to begin with…add in the fact that I have a heart for the mysterious science behind color-changing features = it’s love.

Remember back to the days when it was hip to sport Hypercolor gear? The shirts were all the rage, the shorts however, well, shorts that change colors based on body heat is just wasn’t their most brilliant idea. These Chameleons are way beyond any of that…and they don’t rely on body heat. Green energy only #au naturel sunlight.

These magical shoes do their work all day long – and what my kids really get a kick out of is the fade. With partial sun, the shoes hold the in-between color. Full sun: it’s like zero to 60. If a pant leg drapes over part of the Croc, only the portion exposed to the sun will change. A “walking” science experiment!

You can see that I get a little too excited over all this color changing stuff. I admit to having a color-changing nerdy side (if that’s what you want to call it), and I might be a touch more excited than my kids over their new shoes…hmmm, wonder if they’re going to make these in heels?

Play with the color changing magic with the Crocs Chameleons interactive tool: http://www.crocs.com/crocs-chameleons/crocs-chameleons,default,pg.html

Happy color changing!

Our picks:

Noelle – Shirley Girls, Celery/Fuchsia

Silas – Translucent Clog, Celery/Sea Blue

Blossom Festival, Canon City

We made a little venture to Canon City, CO this last weekend for the annual Blossom Festival…and to BBQ with good friends 🙂  I don’t consider Canon my home town, but I did live there for several years (jr high/hs), so I have many fun memories and several life-long friends!  The festival is held during a beautiful time of year – when the trees are in full bloom and the weather is just starting to warm up – opportune time to get a decent sun burn, yikes #spf 75.

Great way to discover Colorado: *HOMETOWN FESTIVALS*

It’s fun, kids love it and you’ll definitely have to visit again b/c it’s never a full picture of what the town is normally like.

We thought about arriving early Sat morning to check out the 5K but decided parade, BBQ and prom (not part of festival – different town & whole other story) were plenty to fill a day for this #recovering overplanner.

So, here’s the scoop…

Canon City Music & Blossom Festival

First weekend in May
SPF strongly suggested (by me)
Great parade for band/music lovers
*No Candy* Deal breaker at our house… brought the bag incase…bummer…we love our friends…
Thx to candy dish in one friend’s office, which happened to be along the parade route YEAH:<> kids are happy, lol!
Sunless tan beforehand = easy on the eyes
80 degrees feels seriously HOT when it was 50’s last week
Avid parade watchers, note: Seriously Long Parade
DQ is at the east end of parade route – just FYI & say hi to Maggie for me
Did I mention no candy and really LONG parade?
Way fun to see old friends – or make new ones
Bikers Welcome (we don’t have that kind of bike tho)
Biker Bars – we’re asleep and sunburned before all that – they seem to enjoy
Full list of details: http://www.ccblossomfestival.com/cms2/

And we experienced our first porta-potty suction experience – good times, ha!

Don’t take my word for it – this is stuff you have to see first hand.  Discover Colorado!