Sunday, August 19, 2012

Ella's Aquarium Party

It was Ella's year for a friend birthday party and she had been thinking about what kind of party she wanted since her last one when she turned 6 :-). As we were getting ready to leave on our big RV trip we took a couple days to really decide what she wanted to do so we could get it booked before we left. The big debate came down to Inflatable Zone, where she could invite anyone she wanted, or the Aquarium, where she would only be able to invite 8 friends. The Aquarium is one of her favorite places though and I wasn't surprised when that was her final choice. Plus, having 8 friends come along for her 8th birthday was perfect!
We were able to celebrate on her real birthday and had everyone meet at our house at 3pm to head downtown. Ella was very lucky that everyone she invited was able to come, 4 of her best buddies from school (Alli, Gaby, Peyton and Shea) and 4 from church (Abi, Carly, Emily and Taylor). We loaded into 2 cars, with my mom and grandma along to help and we were off.
From the moment we arrived our party hosts did an excellent job of making Ella feel like the star of the day. They guided us on a tour through the exhibits and the girls were way more interested than I was expecting, asking questions along the way. I had paired the girls up and told them to make sure to stick with their buddies and they were so cute, often holding hands as we walked through all the different areas. Kayley and Oliver joined us and the girls thought he was adorable.
After finishing the exhibit we were guided upstairs for dinner and cake. I was happy that all the girls got along so well, even though they didn't all know each other. One of the reasons I was excited about having the party here is that they took care of EVERYTHING! Even the cake was provided and it was so cute...and delicious. Ella got to pick the flavor of the cake and the frosting and I think she did a good job!
The last part of the party was to go outside to the rides and games. We usually go to the Aquarium as a family a couple times a year and it was pretty cool this time to not have to wait in any lines! They just guided us right on to whatever we were going on! We went on the shark train, the ferris wheel and then the girls could pick whether to go on the carousel or the tower drop. They each played one carnival game (Ella and a couple girls actually made baskets!) and then it was time to head home.
I love looking at all the pictures because Ella is SO happy in them all. She had so much fun!!! I am glad Ella has this group of girlfriends, both at school and church, especially as she is getting older. They are all so sweet and polite and kind.
I had been a little worried when I was planning the party about picking what times for parents to drop off and pick up their girls at our house (since you never know about traffic) but it all worked out! We arrived back home with time for Ella to open her presents just before 8pm when the parents started to come.
I think it's safe to say that Ella had a great birthday day :-)!
(if you made it through all that writing, you are not done yet, prepare yourself for the millions of pictures to follow)
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the kids all received a stuffed dolphin to take home...they weren't great quality, but they didn't mind :-)
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Ella couldn't wait to stay up until midnight since it was her birthday. This tradition seemed so fun when we started it, but now that the kids actually want to stay up the whole time it's not quite as fun for me and Mike :-). We were super tired, but all 3 of us made until midnight when we promptly went to sleep! It did give Ella a chance to play with some of her new gifts. Thanks to everyone who came! (thank you notes are coming eventually, I promise!)
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1 comment:

Diane Freeman said...

Wow, the Aquarium is a great place for a party! Ella looked so pretty in her red dress. We are excited to come to her baptism on Saturday! ♥