On Saturday, Ryan, Mally and I ventured up North to my hometown for a crazy action packed day that included celebrating Anna's 6th birthday, Clarksville's Eagle Days and Louisiana's Winter Festival. Aren't you SO jealous?! It was basically the most fun you could (legally) have in Pike County in the middle of the winter (which apparently isn't that much).
We began the day in Clarksville, checking out the eagles. Clarksville is one of the best winter Bald Eagle watching spots on the Mississippi River due to its proximity to the damn, which keeps the water free of ice enabling the eagles to find fish during the cold weather. Every year Clarksville holds its annual Eagle Days on the last weekend of January. Naturalists from the Missouri Department of Conservation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers set up spotting scopes, exhibits, children’s activities, and live eagle shows to entertain and educate the public. Clarksville is a cute little river town filled with antiques and boutiques and eats. Not a bad way to spend the morning.
Mally was definitely the hit of the morning. Despite the freezing temperatures and the long car ride, she had a blast. Everyone that walked by her had to stop and pet her and tell her how pretty she was. She ate it up! She kissed all the kids and strutted her stuff for the men and batted her eyes at the ladies. Such a ham.
We were shortly joined by mom and Anna. Anna's birthday was on Friday, so she was pretty excited to be 6 years old.
The eagles were cool, but there weren't very many of them this year. Not sure where they were all hiding.
Although we did find some other eagles that were way cuter than the flying kind...
Since it was about negative 15 degrees and the eagles were few and far between, we didn't last very long. We decided to go check out the conservation department's eagle presentation. But before that, we had to meet up with the governor and first lady of our great state, Mr. & Mrs. Jay Nixon.
We hung out. We chatted. We solved all the problems facing Missourians. Mission accomplished. And then we went to the eagle presentation together and learned everything there is to know about eagles. Jay's crazy like that.
The presentation was given by the World Bird Sanctuary in Valley Park. They brought out Duncan, a Wedge-Tail Eagle native to Australia.
And then we met Patriot, a Bald Eagle.
By this time, we were starving. So we headed up to Louisiana for some grub. During lunch, Anna brought out her Zu Zu pet hamsters. They might look cute, but these things are pure evil. Wild crazy little rat devil bastard hamsters. I've never seen such psychotic toys.
After lunch, we stopped by Winter Festival headquarters to check out Jason's band, Mississippi Mud. We ran into a few friends while we were there.
Next up was the Polar Plunge. Yep, you guessed it. These idiots dressed up in costumes to run down the dock and jump into the freezing cold Mississippi River.
Last stop on our tour was to visit the grandparents. I just adore my grandparents. It was so good to see them. I miss them so much when I'm not around.
It was a pretty good day.