Sunday, December 6, 2009

"Girls" Day...

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Dakota and I had a super fun girls-day-out this past Friday. I have to say, we definitely have to do these mother-daughter days more often. It was SO much fun spending the day with my little girl. I decided the night before that I wanted to spend the day with her, but had no idea what I wanted to do. A park? Nah, that's not an all day affair. Disneyland? Not feeling up to dealing with the crowds on a Friday. Train station? Hmmm, maybe. Then I got to thinkin'! Why not hit up the train station and actually catch a train somewhere! So, I spent about a good hour looking up the train schedules and stations, and finally decided on San Juan Capistrano. It's not too far, and the town is absolutely beautiful. So, it was set!

We woke up a little earlier than usual that morning. Eight o'clock to be exact. Yes, we tyically sleep in til 9:ooam in this household. Anyway, I made us some banana pancakes before we headed out, since Dakota has decided she likes them now. I can't tell you how happy this makes me. I packed some snacks, an extra pair of clothes (you never know), some apple juice, and we were off to the train station!!

Once there, I was so happy to discover that parking was free, and that there were actually spots available! We headed to the ticket counter inside the train station and bought our roundtrip tickets. Okay, technically I bought mine ($22), since Dakota is still free. Our train wasn't due for another 30 minutes, so we just walked around and watched a couple freight trains pass through. Too bad you can't take a ride on those...legally. LOL. Anyway, I took this opportunity to take a bunch of pictures, since Dakota was in a happy, smiley mood...

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After the photo shoot, we headed over to track 3 and sat down on the bench to wait for the train. Usually, Dakota loves to run around, but she was content just sitting there on the bench...

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Finally, the train arrived and she let out a squeal. I don't think she was prepared for me to tell her, "Ok, let's go on the train now Dakota," because she looked at me for a split second and then screamed, "UP, UP, Choo-Choo, Mommy UP!" It was so cute. So I picked Dakota up, boarded the train, and searched for a seat. I didn't realize how hard it would be to find a darn seat. Sure, single seats are a dime a dozen, but I wanted two seats to ourselves. So, three train cars later, I finally found two.

Once seated, Dakota was literally glued to the window for the first 20 minutes. She wouldn't even look at me. It was so sweet and I loved that she loved being on a train. It warmed my heart to know that this trip probably made her day.

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After 45 minutes of continous smiles, we finally arrived at our destination. YAY! I was starving, so we headed about a mile down the road to a little bagel bistro. I was willing to bet money on Dakota not wanting anything to do with a bagel, so I ordered her an apple fritter thingy. She loved it and practically ate the whole thing by herself. I had to get in a few bites for myself because it just looked so yummy. Although, I got a nice glare from Miss Stingy.

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After breakfast, we headed over to the Los Rios District, which is where the Zoomar's Petting Zoo is located. I had never heard of the place before, but happened to stumble across their website the night before as I looked for things to do. It looked really neat from what I read on their site, and they certainly didn't disappoint. It was the coolest petting zoo that I have ever been to, but then again, most petting zoo's in Orange County are pretty lame.

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I liked the fact that this place had a wide variety of animals and things to do. They actually had a few different animal pens, but Dakota's favorite was the one with all the rabbits and guinea pigs. They were the sweetest animals that I have ever come across. They were so loving, and not the least bit skittish. Most of them flocked to us, but not to the point where we were trying to peel them off of us. There were a few rabbits that were about the size of our cat. No joke! Dakota had a great time petting all of them, as well as feeding them broccoli, carrots, cabbage, and apples.

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Once Dakota was through feeding all of her new friends, we headed over to see the goats. I didn't buy any food for them, since I wasn't in the mood to defend my daughter from the obnoxious beggers. To my surprise, they didn't budge when we entered the gate. They were the tamest, most lazy goats. Haha! So, we stayed in there longer that I originally anticipated.

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After our visit with the goats, I treated Dakota to a pony ride. It was fun, and she seemed to enjoy herself like she always does when she rides the ponies...

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And, because a ride aboard Amtrak just isn't enough, we took a ride on the little choo-choo at the petting zoo. Dakota thought it was great and waved every single time we passed the ride operator. I'm pretty sure he catered to her display of pleasure because I think we were on that ride for 5 minutes.

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This smile (and several waves) got her a few extra minutes on the choo-choo...
Oh the power of manipulation!! lol
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After all the fun we had at the petting zoo, we decided to head over to a nearby park. Dakota wanted nothing to do with the stroller and insisted on running the entire way over there. Works for me. Just calls for a longer nap later! Hehe. She had a great time running all over the place, and going down all the slides. I love this age, because I don't have to be 2 feet behind her as she climbs all over the playground. Although, I still watch her like a hawk.

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It was eventually time to head back to the train station to catch the Amtrak back home. And even though we had a blast in San Juan Capistrano, we were exhausted, and of course missing daddy!! As we waited for the train, Dakota acted like a clown and put on her typical production of funny faces and parading around like a silly goose. She is so animated and fun to watch...

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Once our train arrived, we hopped on and actually found our seats before the train left the station this time. I could tell Dakota was tired because she just sat there in her seat, drinking her juice with this dazed look. It was a fun day, and we'll definitely be doing more of these "girls" days!

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~These are the days I cherish MOST with my daughter!!~

2 comments:

Nichole said...

Dakota- You are one lucky little lady!

Heather- I have so much respect and envy for the mom that you are. You not only give your child the gift of love and happiness, but you teach her so much through your fun outings and trips. I wish that I could be half the mother you are! (with the energy too!)

The Bradshaw's said...

OMG Niki I second that!! I also wish we had just 1/2 the stuff that she has at her disposal of fun things to do! You are the best mommy ever!!

Love the pictures.