Lukas's ninth birthday this year fell on a Tuesday (June 21st), which happened to be the easiest day for Jörn to take off of work. Lukas kept asking about going to a water park (Water World, I think?), which to me seemed a bit silly when we've got the whole Mediterranean, but I did look it up on-line. It didn't take long for me to decide that no way were we going to drive an hour to hand over half of our food budget for a month to spend all day in the hot sun eating junk food. (They don't allow people to bring in their own picnics, or even water bottles!) Then Jacob suggested the Camel Park, which is only about 20 minutes away, considerably more affordable, and something that people had been recommending for awhile. We phoned to ask about picnics and were told that we could take our own picnic only if we paid for camel rides and went on a weekday. Perfect.
Then we finally packed our picnic and our swimsuits and two of Lukas's friends and ourselves into the cars and headed for Mazotos.
Angie, Jed, Katie, and Elisabeth waited in the shade while the rest of us had our camel rides, four camels in a row. Jacob and Marie were on the first one, Jörn on the next one by himself, Helen and I on the third, and Lukas and Ryan on the last one. No photos of me because I was the one with the camera, and we declined to pay some outrageous amount for a photo afterwards. (I did look at them, and if there'd been one good one that included all of us, I just might have splurged, but happily, there wasn't.)
This is the head of the last camel, which kept coming VERY close to my right leg and making Helen extremely nervous.
After the camel rides, we pretty much headed straight for the swimming pool, where we spent most of the rest of the day. It had SHADE, and it had GRASS, two very cool things. This was Elisabeth's first ever time on grass, and she found it very interesting.
The website does say how much the camel rides, swimming pool, and entrance cost, but doesn't mention that you have to pay for practically every other attraction, as well, such as the bouncy castle and air hockey table and so on. My children knew better than to even ask, but Lukas did use his own money to ride the "wild bull".
We didn't have to pay to walk past the crazy mirrors, either. This one cracked me up so much that I had to take a photo of it, although it's actually pretty eery:
Swings were free, too.
Lukas's "cake" was by far the easiest one ever: he wanted lemon muffins with gummy sharks. So that's what he got!
Lighting birthday candles outdoors is never easy--it's always a matter of trying to keep them lit long enough for the birthday-child to blow them out! The towel is a windbreak.
|Marie, Jed, Katie, Lukas, Jacob, Ryan|
The usual rule if a child chooses an outing instead of a birthday party at home is that one guest may be invited. Lukas's best friends being twins meant that Lukas, and they, lucked out. :-) (Ryan and Jed are less than a year older than Lukas, but they're big for their age and Lukas is small for his!)
Back at home Lukas asked me to take a photo of him with all of his presents, and specifically requested that I include it on the blog and mention the dinosaur nest, which Marie crocheted for him to go along with the dinosaur she crocheted for his birthday last year. He's hoping for eggs for Christmas and baby dinosaurs next year.
A couple of days later Lukas was able to open the card from Margaret and Phil, and was thrilled to pieces with the first birthday money he'd ever received in his life.