Saturday, July 5, 2014

Dancing in the Street

'Cause summer's here and the time is right for dancing in the street...

Not really though. I live on a main street "in town." So that wouldn't be very safe... or sane.
We have, however, been ticking lots of fun off the Summer To-Do List.

We visited the local library for the Summer Reading Program Kick-Off. There is a punch card for the kids to use each week when they attend the program and check out ten(!!!) books. Those who get all the punches will be entered in drawings for prizes, including an I-Pad Mini. We will not be able to check off every week due to some other plans this summer but plan on joining the weekly program often.

The theme for the summer program is "Paws to Read" so for the Kick-Off they made "dog tags." Unfortunately these summer programs fall at 10 a.m. or 2 p.m., and with the Summer School Schedule, it is only feasible to go at 2 p.m., which falls dead-center of nap time. So, having selected to skip naps for this day... and Benjamin being far more interested in the turned-off computers than books, this started out as a frustrated adventure. We persevered though (although there may have been some ineffective threats to "just leave" thrown in there), and once he had acclimated to the chaos of all that was happening we picked some (10!) books, crafted, and had a good time.
Cameron is volunteering with the library... for his third summer, I think? So, I was even able to park Benjamin in the Snowcones & Popcorn room for a while and check out some books for myself. After the library visit, the boys got much-needed (at least for Benjamin: see Pointdexter-parted hairstyle above) Summer haircuts. I have always been about cutting the boys' hair short-short in the summer and not dealing with "styles" until it was time for school again. Lots of times this even meant me pulling out the clippers. Benjamin may have inherited my unfortunately large head though, and I just couldn't bring myself to do that to his cuteness.
In addition to a Library Day, the boys and I have also made a trip to Busch Gardens. I really took a gamble heading on the 90-minute trek when there was 70% chance of thunderstorms. I just told myself that if I go and it's miserable, I will get over it... but if I don't go, I will spend days wishing I had... so we did!

It literally started raining just as we entered the park. It was near 3 p.m. and most visitors had already left for the day due to the pending weather. We were waved on to the preferred parking (for free versus the $15 normal cost) and parked right by the entry gate. After waiting a while in the car, I made the proclamation that were just going to take the umbrella and go for it! As fates would have it, the rain stopped before we even made it from the car to the gate.

Now the "Good" of going to the amusement park on a stormy day is that there were absolutely no lines to any rides. The boys rode ride after ride, with Benjamin often just staying on for three or more turns. The place was so uncrowded at dinner that we could look around and see so many "familiar" faces because we had seen them already in the park. The "Bad" of the day was although it did not rain, following the storm, in 95-plus degree weather, it was muggy shirt-clinging yuck weather (which was still highly worth it in trade).

We even got in a Beach Day. (I keep emphasizing the "even did" this & thats because I still teaching summer school every morning, but not letting that dominate my whole day, as in the past.) Kelby joined us and it was her first time being in Virginia Beach.

I was determined to get in a beach trip this week, even though I knew the holiday weekend would make it busier than it's busy summer-time normal. I even deluded myself into thinking that the impending Tropical Storm/Hurricane Arthur may stir some folks away from the beach... apparently not. It was definitely crowded. I keep going back and forth on whether I still prefer the crowded touristy spots. I like the anonymity of it... but am a little more irritated by the crowds as I grow closer to my crotchety old-woman stage.

At first, Benjamin was determined to spend our entire visit clinging to the umbrella pole avoiding the sand and the water. I think it may have been with sea shells that I lured him out? I spent the greater part of the afternoon hunched over, waiting for the waves to recede, and checking out any sea shells (or more often fragments of them). This entertained Benjamin for quite while too. So long in fact that the next day, I felt the way the Spring athletes complain after doing squats and squat-walks the first week of practice. I could even feel it in my upper back from having my arms perched ready to grab any gems I saw. Seriously, you would think I was culling rubies or diamonds. There was this old lady near me, who only after watching me, started to collect shells too (in a Ziplock bag shoved between the breasts of her bathing suit). Then, she got family involved. I started using a sand sifter... so did they. Then, she sent the young girl over to directly where I was to get shells. I was like "Bring it on Grandma!" Sea Shell Wars 2014. I can get ridiculously a bit competitive.

I also spent a morning yard saling last weekend. It was not a particularly fruitful quest. (I will avoid the details of a certain toddler clothes battle to not make my competitiveness border pathological.) Other than a few odds & ends, the big haul was 16 cookbooks... although I said I would stop buying cookbooks since you get sooo many recipes (any recipe) on The Internets for free... and since I don't cook.

So, Summer is rolling. We are getting out, staying busy, making the most of our 100 days.
(I would have never known Summer had 100 days if it weren't for the currently abused trending hashtag.)

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