I love Rhode Island & all of the fun traditions we get to enjoy here. One of my fall favorites is the Jack O Lantern Spectacular at our local zoo. We've gone every year since you were born to see the 5,000 jack-o-lanterns on display. Each year there is a different theme, different music, & tons of bright jack-o-lanterns to enjoy. While we had fun creating our own jack-o-lanterns this year, ours pale in comparison to the ones on display at Roger Williams Zoo. Daddy wasn't able to join us this year, but with my best friend visiting with your little friend T, we were excited to share the Halloween magic with them.
We always make sure to arrive early, having heard stories that people have waited in line for more than three hours to enjoy the Jack O Lantern Spectacular. Since waiting in a line with a three year old and one year old for an extended period of time is probably on my list of top ten things I would like to avoid, I was relieved that we didn't have much of a wait. During the short wait we had, you were thrilled to find there different characters walking along the line & talking to all the kids. Snow White was your favorite.
Once the sun set & darkness filled the zoo, we were soon immersed in jack-o-lantern magic. This year's theme was Pumpkinville USA, with music & jack-o-lanterns representing people & places throughout our country's history. As we walked through the bright pumpkins, you noticed people taking pictures. With your growing love of photography, you asked if you could carry my phone & take pictures. I gave it to you & smiled as I watched you capturing images you thought were important. Apparently, there was a lot you found important. When we got home, there were at least a hundred photos of pumpkins for me to look through. Ha! Here were some of my favorites.
You couldn't wait to tell your teachers that there was an owl jack-o-lantern, since that's what you're studying in school this month.
I was excited to see that Rhode Island was represented.
You were excited to see that Hawaii was represented. "That's where Lilo & Stitch live," you told little T.
There was also a kids area with fun images of ponies & minions & Yosemite Sam.
As usual, the finale didn't disappoint, filled with fun music & thousand of pumpkins to take in.
After the fun finale, there is always a quiet "in memory of" spot where those who had passed away were honored. There were pumpkins for celebrities, but the jack-o-lanterns that touched my heart the most were honoring those who were lost at Sandy Hook & the Boston Marathon.
You left the zoo exhausted from all the walking but with a sparkle in your eyes. I was a little exhausted too (although I think that had more to do with spending the day with two littles than the walking we did), but my heart was full. The night was truly spectacular. The fall evening air was crisp, & there was a sea of stars in the sky. I couldn't help but smile. I loved that we were able to share this little piece of magic with our dear friends & that we can keep coming back to it year after year. It really is true what they say, there's no place like home- especially if your home is Rhode Island.
I love you so,