Sunday, November 29, 2015

Out of Left Field Trips

Part of the transition to homeschooling has been the promise of more field trips and real world educational opportunities. As with everything in life, this has been easier said than done. All of that free time and boredom I was worrying about has yet to surface. 

Our first field trip was to the Crystal River Archeological Park. It was near an area we had visited over summer vacation so I decided to make it a mini-vacation with an overnight at a hotel and some fun before the organized field trip the next day. Big Kid loves freshwater springs and the area has several of them so we decided to enjoy a quick tubing trip. 

Then we found out that tubing isn't allowed off season and October isn't their season, 90 degrees or not. 

We settled on the waterpark at Weeki Wachee Springs. 

Then we found out that the waterpark is closed in October. 

The boys had been excited about a haunted corn maze advertised on the hotel's event calendar. 

Then we found out that the maze was the previous night and the date was wrong. 

Understandably, Big Kid was frustrated about this series of frustrating events. 

I was too. We were supposed to be celebrating and all stress-free together. I was in a very small area far away from home and nothing was going right.

(little kid was rolling with the punches, as always. He was just glad to be missing school the next day.) 

As I tried to think of what to offer as an alternative, Big Kid walked up to me in the hotel room and gave me a big hug -- the good kind, where he leans in and obviously needs the hug. 

"Mom? I'm sorry for being such an asshole." I heard him say. 

I was struck by his surprising amount of self-awareness before I realized he's not allowed to say asshole, even if it's about himself and he is being one. 

"Big Kid!! You're not allowed to say that!" I said. "And you haven't been that bad."

"Not allowed to say what? What do you think I said?" He asked. 

His obvious confusion made me hesitate to answer. "What did you say?" 

"I'm sorry for being such a hassle?" As I started laughing, he realized what I thought he said and joined me. 

We ended up wandering around Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park where the boys fell in love with a hippo who was an honorary Florida citizen, we ate at a delicious dive bar/steak place, and after getting our fill at the archeological park the next day, we left the field trip early and went to Weeki Wachee Springs where we were allowed to play in their freezing cold spring (sans waterpark) and watch their roadside attraction mermaid show before driving home. It was weird and wonderful. 

Hanging out with sea cows and these two in Homosassa.

A photo posted by Ashley McCann (@ashleyquitefrankly) on

And a stop at Weeki Wachee. No mermaid sightings yet. This place is super weird though.

A photo posted by Ashley McCann (@ashleyquitefrankly) on

Our second field trip involved a visit to a working dairy farm and I GOT TO BOTTLE FEED BABY COWS. I mean, they got to bottle feed baby cows. This is all about the children and their education. Baby cows mean business when they eat, though, I bet the mama cows prefer the milking machines. I was incredibly impressed by the cleanliness and efficiency of the whole operation. 

So much fun at @dakindairyfarms today! We love their cows and how they treat them.

A photo posted by Ashley McCann (@ashleyquitefrankly) on

And then Big Kid had to catch up on homeschool (yes, catching up is a thing with virtual school) and I had to catch up on work (yes, catching up is a thing with freelancing) and little kid had to catch up on regular school, so big field trips are on temporary hiatus until next semester. 

Hopefully everyone will be less of a...hassle after the holidays.

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