The first stop on our camping vacation was with family in Minnesota, and we were finally able to check the Como Park Zoo in St Paul off our Mold-A-Rama list. There are not many places left on that list at this point, so our Mold-A-Rama updates are becoming few and far between. The last big place is San Antonio Zoo, and then there is a car museum north of Chicago, a bar in Chicago, and a record studio in Nashville. In the meantime the collection on our mantle is up to 146.
Como Park Zoo has four machines. We got (yet another) waving gorilla, a (blue!) polar bear, a seal, and a tiny lion. The lion mold is new for us--we've never seen one that small, and we really like it!
Como Park Zoo is small, but pretty good. They had a lot of volunteers out to answer animal questions, and the whole zoo is in an easy loop. We saw a baby zebra! And the butterfly display was really marvelous.
The weather was crazy hot and sticky, but we got to go back to my cousin's house afterward and play in her pool the rest of the day so it was all fine.
The last time we were at my cousin's home in MN and playing in her pool was when Ian returned from his second deployment and we met him there at the airport before he went on to Ft McCoy. That was six years ago. Quinn was three, so he had no memories of the experience, Mona vaguely recognized the pool, and Aden seemed to recall the most things (having been a wise old girl of eight). I have fond memories of being able to relax there with family during such a stressful time. I felt cared for at a moment I really needed it. It was nice to revisit under better circumstances, and to include Ian this time since he never got to see my cousin's house back then.
So a good start to our vacation! The trick was keeping the Mold-A-Ramas protected for the rest of the trip, since getting them at the beginning was not the best part of the plan. We put them in a shoebox that we tried to shield from the sun, and that box kept migrating around the van, but everything arrived intact so it all worked out.
Next stop: Devil's Tower!