Saturday, April 30, 2011

Happy Birthday Hannah - Family Day

Today was all about Hannah.  Awhile back she mentioned wanting to go to a museum to see dinosaurs.  David isn't going to be here for her birthday party tomorrow, or her birthday on Sunday so we decided to take her up to Raleigh for the day today to celebrate her birthday.  We thought we'd take her to the Museum of Natural Science and then spend the day doing whatever up there.  We were on the road by 830 and at the Museum by 10.  We found a blue whale skeleton, which Hannah really liked.  We walked through the land of dinosaurs, a living conservatory and stopped to look at all the live animal exhibits.  She really got a kick out of the skeletons.  She called the tyrannosaurus rex Rexie, because that's the dinosaur's name in Night at the Museum.  We spent about two hours there, then decided to take her to the Kids Museum, which was just a short walk away.  Then we spent another two hours there, where Hannah and Daddy had fun running around playing hockey, surfing, being a veterinarian and much more!

One of the first exhibits we stopped at.  Hannah had an agenda, she knew what she wanted to see and we let her lead the way.  So there are exhibits we didn't see, and some we saw many times, like this blue whale skeleton.  

The dinosaurs, Hannah's main agenda.

This exhibit shows the different stages of a moth turning into a butterfly.

Staring at a butterfly.  One actually landed on her while we were in this room.

Butterfly's were everywhere in the living conservatory.  

We also watched the sloth come from down from his hiding place, grab something to munch on, then head back to his hiding place.  Seeing him is somewhat rare, as they do not like noise.  


We had a little snack right outside the conservatory.  After that we doubled back, going to look at the things that Hannah wanted to look at again.

Then we headed over the the Kids Museum, Marbles.  

It had two floors of play.  They had different themed areas of play.  This was in Around The Town.  
She was a fireman with daddy.

A veterinarian, taking care of a sheep.

She was a cowgirl.

This is in Splash Town, which was less Splash and more water life.  They had a small water area, where kids could play in the water.  The majority of this area went to a submarine and a pirate ship.  

I almost got her smashing it and the dart flying up!

I don't think she's afraid of heights.  

This is in the Power2Play area,  where she played in different sports and dance areas.  Some how I missed snapping a picture at her dancing around, waving pom poms.  

She played hockey with daddy.  She was the only girl in the rink, so I was relieved David wanted to go in there with her.  

David was goalie for a little while.  Then some kid told him he stunk as goalie, which cracked me up.  

In the soccer arena.


This is in IdeaWorks.  

This was in Moneypalooza, which is an area to show kids how to earn and save money.  
This was Rossi, he was stubborn and did not want to stand up.  This was in the Pet Sitter area of Moneypalooza.

So we got a more cooperative dog.  

After the museums we went to REI, because David loves that store.  It was located at North Hills Mall, so we walked around but not for long.  Then we went to Trader Joes, for me.  Then we headed to dinner before driving back to Fayetteville.  I made a command decision, as David was taking way too long to pick, and we went to The Melting Pot for two reasons: one, it was in the parking lot with TJ's and two, I thought the novelty of dunking her own food would be fun for Hannah.  David and I weren't really into the concept, but we thought Hannah would enjoy it, and the day was about her.  First thing we noticed is that is wasn't cheap!  But we stuck with it , David being less optimistic than I.  When we sat down, we explained to the waiter that we had never been there and were confused by the menu.  Our waiter, Terence, did an excellent job of explaining how things worked.  David and I got the diner for two menu, which was four courses with a Latin twist.  Hannah shared our meal, at no additional charge, which is always a big plus for me.  Our first course was the cheese fondue, which we switched for Hannah.  We started with Spinach Artichoke fondue.  The ingredients are brought to your table and prepared in front of you.  Hannah likes to watch people cook, so she just stared as the waiter put together our cheese fondue.  We had bread, chips, apples, and mixed veggies for dippers.  Hannah liked dipping apples best.  Our second course was a Shrimp Ceviche Salad, which was delicious.  Our third course was an array of meats, which were brought to the table raw.  You then pick a cooking style, we went with Mojo which is described as Caribbean with a citrus flair.  Anyways, this broth and herb based dish is prepared in front of you and everything is cooked in it. Meats take 2 minutes, seafood takes 1 min 30.  We had lobster, filet mignon, pork tenderloin and shrimp with mixed veggies.  It was very good.  Then we got dessert!  We had mentioned that it was Hannah's birthday, so our cheesecake sample came with a candle.  We ordered dark chocolate with dulce de leche and sea salt fondue.  Dippers included bananas, strawberries, rice krispie treats, brownie bites, pound cake, and marshmallows.  

Here's Hannah going after the last marshmallow.  My expression is a result of the melting chocolate nearly coating my hand!  

There we go.  

Notice the nice chocolate mustache.  She thanked David and I three times throughout the meal so I think it's safe to say that she had fun.  

Throughout our meal, which took almost 2 hours, the manager stopped by a few times.  Once to ask how we were enjoying the service since it was our first time.  Another time, he dropped by with a birthday card for Hannah.  Overall, the staff was accommodating and friendly.  We didn't feel rushed or out of place even though the restaurant was a bit fancier than we anticipated.  It turned out to be one of those really great dining experiences, and it was completely unexpected.  


Susan said...

Looks like such a fun day! Those museums look awesome. I have been to the Melting Pot once, you are right, it is expensive. But you are also right that it would be fun for a kid -- definitely an experience she'll remember.
Happy Birthday, Hannah!

Dana said...

The Museum of Natural Science is a stop I have to make every time I go home. That whale skeleton has been there since I was a child, and it's one of my favorite exhibits there. On the top floor of the museum is the Discovery Room, which is an activity room for kids...just FYI if you ever go back.