We took a fairly quick tour around. Given the facts that Ida didn't quite get where she was or what she was looking at yet and that coming back is quite doable since it's a five minute trip, we didn't feel compelled to make a day of it. We did decide to get a membership as it is hard to argue the potential entertainment value for an increasingly active and aware toddler. And the Zoo is a big tourism draw for the city so it's also hard to argue against supporting it. We didn't make it into the Aquarium which is newly renovated as of this spring, decided to save it for a rainy day activity.
My favorite exhibit was the architecture. This is the amphitheater. They hold a summer concert series here and actually get some fairly big name acts.The penguins were the first animals we stopped to say hello to...
which factored in when it came to choosing baby's birthday present/zoo souvenir.
The evening before we made these chocolate zucchini cupcakes to mark the occasion food-wise. They were a hit. Even sans the buttercream icing for the birthday girl. I didn't realize I was making a double batch, so as a one year old and her mommy and daddy should probably only indulge in so many cupcakes while they're at their freshest, tastiest, twelve of Greg's co-workers also got a treat.
The following weekend was Labor Day weekend, and we decided to go back to Illinois so that Ida could have a little celebration with family and friends. Good friends graciously agreed to host.
There were more cupcakes, this time not mommy and daddy made, but from Cream and Flutter a lovely bakery in downtown Champaign.
We put out snacks and adult refreshments too, because let's be honest, a one year old's birthday party is generally more for the benefit of the grownups than the kiddo.
Decorations were simple, just farmers market flowers and garlands from Elisabeth Nicole. I did a lot of hunting around and I can safely say that she has the prettiest, most unique garlands on all of Etsy. And the best part is, they are reusable. They are of such a nice quality, I can't wait to put them back up, possibly in Ida's room or maybe at the holidays.We had a good crowd of twentyish all together, and it was really fun to get to see Ida interact with everyone, especially the other kiddos that came. She is such a people person.
All of that socializing led someone to need a mid-party nap.Then we rallied for cupcake time. I mean, cupcake, what cupcake? Like mother like daughter. :D
After baby was tucked safely in bed, mommy and daddy got to enjoy a nice evening out with friends at their favorite restaurant in Champaign, Big Grove Tavern, followed by a nightcap at Quality courtesy of Grandpa (my dad).
The last few weeks have been fairly hectic and have included a battle against grubs set on devouring our entire front lawn, another trip back to Illinois to retrieve furniture being gifted to us by my family, and a visit from my family. So as usual, I've been neglecting things here and the backlog of posts continues to stretch off towards infinity. Hopefully we're coming up on a more peaceful spell. I am so ready to ditch being stressed and enjoy this lovely fall weather we've been having!