Saturday, November 12, 2011

Veterans Day

Taking little man to Vicksburg National Military Park had been on my list for a while. Mom took us there when we were little, and I have fond memories of patrolling the battlements, hopping around the monuments, manning cannons and just running around out there.

Yesterday was Veterans Day, and I thought, "What better time to visit?" The weather was gorgeous, the leaves were turning brilliant fall colors, and we had a free Saturday. So off we went.

We arrived at around 10:30 a.m. After a quick trip to the visitors center (where we learned more about the seige of Vicksburg and bought a cool Union infantry cap), we headed out for the driving tour. Clay LOVED running around (and on) the monuments, blasting the enemy with heavy cannon fire, and exploring the Cairo (the Union gunboat on site).

And it is a gorgeous time of year to visit. Cool enough to keep you from sweating as you run up and down all of those earth embankments, absolutely amazing fall foliage, a nice breeze - it couldn't have been prettier. Before we even left, Clay was asking when we'd go back!

Next time, we'll arrive a little bit earlier and bring a picnic. We stayed from about 10:30 a.m. until about 1 p.m., and we only left then so we could go grab a late lunch.

Halloween!

We had a great Halloween here at the Bradshaw house! First of all, the week before Halloween, we went out to Boo at the Zoo. What fun!

Years ago, Boo at the Zoo was a scary event that was desigend for older kids. The zoo would pay college and high school students to dress up in horrifying costumes and lie in wait for unsuspecting visitors in all of the park's nooks and crannies. SO, you'd be strolling nonchalantly along, and a hideous werewolf would jump out from behind a corner and scare the pee out of you.

Over the past couple of years, the Jackson Zoo has wisely reconsidered thier approach, turning Boo at the Zoo into more of a harvest carnival event, with games, candy, and a costume contest. We suited up and headed out. Clay loved the carnival games (and the hot dogs we purchased on site for dinner), but I think his favorite part was just getting to run through the zoo in his Batman costume as night was falling. The whole place was decorated, and he jumped and hopped and caught bad guys, all without having to constantly hold my hand. He was in heaven!

Then, on Halloween night, all of us suited up and went trick or treating. There was a great crowd in our neighborhood, and I loved getting to see all the kids (and some of the parents! Huzzah!) dressed up. We came home with a significant haul, and Clay enjoyed opening the door and handing out candy to the rest of the trick or treaters. (He kept exclaiming, "Look! Mom! We have some more customers!!")

Needless to say, we had a GREAT TIME! Other Halloween doings included carving three pumpkins (That's one of them at left. The other two looked like Jack Skellington and Boba Fett!), making our traditional spiced pumpkin seeds, and trying out a new recipe that I found on Pinterest for pumpkin cookies with caramel frosting. (OMG.)