Sunday, November 11, 2007

Little Rock-in

A few weeks ago a friend of mine sent me a link to a New York Times article heralding Walking with Dinosaurs as the greatest show on earth. It just so happens, she said, that the dinosaurs will be walking in Little Rock. I knew that the boys--all three of them--would probably be in to this, so I bought us tickets for the Sunday matinee.

I figured we'd get up early, drive to Little Rock, check out the Clinton library, grab a bite to eat, see the show, and come home. When I discovered the library was closed on Sunday I was relieved. I doubted cramming all that activity into one day would be relaxing, much less fun.

So at ravioli night when I saw the aforementioned friend, I asked if she knew of any good places to eat, or maybe a playground we could hit before asking the kids to sit still in their high dollar seats.

"There's a cool playground on Pinnacle Mountain," my friend's husband said.

I informed Warren, he got directions off the computer, and we were set.

We pulled up to the playground about two hours before the show started. The playground was indeed cool, but Satchel took one look at the mountain and said, "I want to play in that area over there."

We parked next to the summit trail head and asked two young jaunty people how long it took to get to the top and back. "About 30 minutes," they said.

I did the math in my head and figured we had time for a little mountain climbing.

The trail was incredibly steep and required very big steps. Satchel was bounding up no problem. Jiro actually did amazingly well for someone with very tiny legs and only had to be carried every so often to get a little rest. I hadn't exactly dressed for mountain climbing, but found the whole thing exhilarating. (It also made me feel less guilty about missing roller derby practice.)

We were moving at a fairly insane pace and had to break the news to Satchel that we didn't have all day to chase lizards and count grand daddy long legs. Thankfully, he did seem to want to see the dinosaurs so we were able to keep him on task. After about 40 minutes we reached the top. It was beautiful--of course. I just love Fall.

After a few moments of soaking in the scenery, we immediately had to start trekking back down. It was much more precarious going down, but we made good time. Once again at the trail head, Warren pointed out a sign that read "Please allow two hours for hike."


Warren drove us directly to the Alltel arena despite my complete lack of map reading skills and total failure as navigator. We had plenty of time to find our seats and load up on overpriced snacks before the dinosaurs came out.

The New York Times made a big deal about the dinosaur show being fun for the whole family, but really, I think it was mostly fun for the little boys and dads. And maybe a few of the moms and little girls (who were greatly outnumbered in the audience)!

It was actually educational, and fairly enjoyable. Had I not just climbed a mountain, I might have been more transfixed. But the boys had a blast, we didn't buy any $25 toys or t-shirts, and it got us out of Memphis for a day.

When the show was over, I asked Satchel what he liked best, the mountain or the dinosaurs and guess what he said? Yep, the mountain.

We couldn't go home without driving around for a bit. After a few blocks I saw a sign that read "Riverside Skateboard Park." Of course, we had to check that out.

"Why didn't we bring our wheels??" everyone moaned.

The park was really nice and definitely accessible to all levels of skaters. There were a handful of kids the monkeys' ages and it was really fun watching them.

Along the river was an awesome trail that would have been perfect for skating/biking. Wheel-less we had to settle for a walk/frog hunt.

By 4:30pm Warren was starting to freak out about the fact that we had to drive home, then he had to drive back to Linden, TN, and then work an 8 hour day. So much to the boys's chagrin, we got back in the car, promised to come back very soon with more time and our bikes/skateboards, and headed home.

Warren was so tired, he actually let me drive. By 6:00pm it was pitch black and everyone was asleep--except me, of course. I was gripping the wheel, chugging a bottle of gas station Starbucks, and happily singing along to Giant Bear.


Heather said...

ok, i was wrong. it's not big ass bridge but big DAM bridge. heh heh

Candice said...

The Big Dam Bridge is a must see/ do!!!

Melissa said...

Can I be an Oster-Greenberg? You guys take the coolest family trips!

Shannon said...

cool. glad our suggestions were good ones.

Aaron said...

That looks like a really fun skate park. We'll definitely be making the trip over there and perhaps replicate your trip with our two boys.

Thanks for sharing your trip!

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