On March 3, Dorien celebrated his 6th birthday!
In keeping with our tradition, it was an all-day family birthday event.
He chose all his meals, his special birthday dessert and our activities.
The agenda led us north a few blocks into Evanston to Dave's Rock Shop.
Recommended to us by a friend, this place was fascinating! The upstairs held shelves and displays and bins of every imaginable rock, fossil, a wall of necklaces made from rocks, books, puzzles, equipment...You name it. And although it looked like a disaster waiting to happen with bins of tiny rocks + kids - it was a surprisingly very kid-friendly place. I had warned mine in advance to keep their hands in their pockets, and they were very obedient, but the employees didn't bat an eye when they saw us coming. Kudos to them!
Downstairs was a Fossil Museum! Although the whole place took a very evolutionary world view, it was possible to just admire the fossils and bones and skim over the attached narratives.
As my kids are currently very into Jurassic Park movies, they ate this section up!
There were skulls of all kinds of old creatures, even a Velociraptor claw! Ooohhh!
Wyeth was only a teensy bit nervous.
Upstairs, we made our way around the room admiring the truly amazing rocks God has placed on this earth. As if I needed further evidence of His endless creativity and design! It was truly a humble reminder that God left no detail out, spared no bit of beauty.
As one of Dorien's gifts, we let him choose some rocks to begin a rock collection.
After working up an appetite pouring over rocks, we tried out another first, a nearby ice cream (concrete)/candy/coffee emporium called Lickety Split! It was wonderful! We felt like Charlie in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
The place was so well designed, there was no space left un-styled.
Is there anything more charming than bins of candy lined up on the wall?
Even to the pressed tin ceiling with colorful light fixtures.
We ordered a banana split and some cones for the kids. It was pretty delicious!
We did not partake of the mind-blowing candy selection, but it was definitely mind-blowing.
Afterwards, we headed back home, ate lunch (yes, we switched things up a bit) and the kids played outside. For Dorien's dessert, he requested a Ding-Dong Cake, like the one we used to get at Two Sister's Cafe in Arkansas. I had no idea how they made theirs, but I perused the internet and found a recipe that sounded promising. It turned out to be totally amazing!
Two layers of rich, moist chocolate cake with a layer of a buttercream/whipped cream frosting in between.
Then coated with chocolate ganache.
It was amazing. Not too rich, not too anything. Just perfect.
A great day was had by all, and I am so proud of my six year old!