20130803 + Animal Lover

20130803 + Up in the am and J up early ready to go. I had to take care of just a couple things first, so I had him put together a supply pack while L drove me to get the black car. The guys at the shop showed me the frame and sure enough it was rust completely through in the back... :-(

Home and packed up a couple things. Then J&I hit the road for our annual 'Dad & Me Day'.  J's first pick was McD's for bfast. Then we got gas and cash at the bank. One more stop for a bag full of candy and a map. Now we were ready...

J's second pick was Rolling Ridge Ranch Animal Park in Millersburg OH. I showed J where it was on the map and asked him how we should get there...  let the navigation begin!  J directed me over many hills and turns for the next 2 hours and then we arrived. Now this place is special for J. He was just there 4 days earlier with Gma&paB.  He liked it it so much, and thought that I would like it just as much, so he wanted to share that experience with me. We first walked around and J introduced me to some of his friends, the pair of young camels that seemed to remember him, some parrots that chatted with him Tuesday and some goats.

We were then summoned to the wagon and J knew just where to sit: the back of the wagon. We started our ride and we saw and got to feed many amazing animals; ostriches, zebras, deer, alpacas, llamas, antelope, buffalo, long horn cows, pigs...  It was quite amazing!  J was a bit upset that there were so many others on our wagon, earlier in the week they pretty much had the place to themselves. But I didn't mind. I had never been that close to many of these animals, and today I got to feed and pet them!  J was right, this was really cool!!!  What I liked the most was seeing J watching, studying, interacting with the animals, he just loves them; you can see it in his eyes...  The ride was over and we went back into the petting zoo. We saw the monkeys, lemurs, porcupine, huge tortoises and four horned goats.  AMAZING!!!

We got back in the car,  had a candy bar and then to a big store where we picked up some novelty items and a couple huge ice cream cones.  We ate our ice cream in a gazebo by the store and J climbed a tree.

Down the road a few more miles to Berlin OH where we found a magic shop.  This place was packed with cool stuff and the guy there was a good magician, and he showed us some tricks. J picked one and we got it and headed to the car.  J gave me the route to take and I got us on the road as J worked on perfecting his magic trick (It is really cool!  If you see him ask him to show you the matchbox trick).

Before long we were in Loundenville and took a nice drive along to river to see all the people in the canoes and tubes going down the river.  We ended up at the Mohican Adventures where we got some tickets and the were off to the races.  We did 3 sets of go-kart races and banged and bumped around the track, J beaming from ear to ear.  He beat me the first race, I beat him the second race, and I cheated (Spun him out) on the third race to win.  It was a BLAST!!!

We headed into old downtown Loudenville and found the Hanover House Diner to grab a bite.  J ate and ate, he even got a sub to go, it was super good :-)

The next stop was way over by Delaware, a camp site, where his best buddy Donovan and family were camping.  We stopped there and Jack did his magic trick on everyone and then he vanished to have a good time with his buddy.  There was one loud bang that we had to check on and could find no source for the noise, and both boys were ok...

We headed home and got J to bed about 12:30am. Here is the map that J kept track of our travels, and he noticed when he turns it a certain way it looks like a giraffe ;-)

What a wonderful day with a boy that loves to be around animals, family and just make sure everyone else is happy.  His calmness and caring remind me so much of my Grandma Winger.  J is at this point the kindest person I know that is living...

The boys think I do this for them...  What a special treat for me today was.