Otherwise known as our annual 4th of July trip. What could be better for this American?
(Get ready for an overload of family photos)
|1st Minute of 10hr Drive|
We hightailed it to New Berlin, WI, my hometown. The kids have done the drive so many times, they are completely conditioned. The DVD player in the car doesn't hurt, either.
By the time we got there, it was late afternoon. But it was still blazing hot. George didn't care...he just needed to stretch his legs. Up and down the driveway. Countless times.
Jake, on the other hand, felt the heat. A lot. He's a true Gardner.
So we spent a lot of time in the house or in the shade. Until 4th of July celebrations ramped up!
|Pie Eating Judge|
Bubba's turn at judging the pie contest started the festivities on the 3rd. We headed down to the park with him, but ditched the pies for the midway.
|Tooth Fairy Going Broke|
Where Jake continued his tooth losing streak. This time, on the Sizzler. He said he knocked it on the metal bar (it was already very loose) and it fell out in his hand. He dropped it in the grass after getting off the ride, but somehow daddy saved the day and found it. This shot is his first smile after finding me in the beer tent.
|George in Sweatville|
Did I mention it was hot? Did I mention George didn't care?
After I had my first and last ride on the Sizzler, the pie eating was over and the late-night crowd was settling in on the shady beer tent, we headed for home. To cool off. And gear up for the 4th.
I like to call this year's event the 104th of July, because I hear it hit 104 in New Berlin for the first time ever on a 4th of July. Well, if it wasn't ever, or it wasn't 104, it had to be close. As represented by this picture.
That is grass. It is brown. Everywhere. It crunches when you walk on it and pokes through the holes in the kids crocs
Thank goodness it was a short walk to our shady blanket on the parade route.
Thank you to Aunty Peggy for taking this picture. She, too, is included as a brave soul for going to the parade and risk melting. Also brave, were Steve and Uncle Joe (my brother), for staying home with the toddlers who SURELY would have melted in the heat.
Aside from the heat, the best part of the New Berlin 4th of July Parade?
It opens with hundreds of Harleys. Honking horns, revving engines, waving enormous flags. See any helmets? Me neither. Not mandatory here.
|My Fave Shot|
I know Jake is dying in that heat. But he can't help himself with the Harleys.
Another best part? Candy.
It's never too hot for candy.
|Veterans of Foreign Wars|
I mentioned we were the bravest souls for attending in the heat. These guys were just plain crazy.
Especially this one. He swore he wouldn't march. But wouldn't you know, he made it all 1.25 miles.
|Best. Truck. Ever.|
This was Jake and Henry's favorite "float" in the parade. If you were a little boy, you would agree.
After enough sweltering, we headed home in a burning hot car that only started cooling off when we pulled in the driveway. Did I mention it was hot?
Instead of staying indoors for the rest of time, we decided to pack our bags for the fireworks show back at city park.
What is the 4th without a little fireworks?
As we pulled up, the NBFD was spraying the launch area like crazy with water (picture would go here if I had one). We got lucky, because neighboring towns decided to skip the fireworks due to fire hazard. But not New Berlin - the show must go on!
|The Crew (minus George & Daddy)|
We showed up around 8pm for a 10pm show. Lots of time to kill.
Being silly with Auntie Laura.
Being silly with mommy.
Cotton Candy beards and hands.
|Jake's Glow Show|
And, best of all, glow sticks.
Then the real show began.
|4th of July 2012|
This year Jake stayed awake for it.
The rest of the family enjoyed it, too.
|Nothing Like It!|
After the half hour show, we hoofed it back to the car and made it home by 11pm. I think that's record time. Consider our parking spot and driving skills (mine) to credit.
With the 4th over, the next leg of our week was in full force.
UNCLE JOE'S POOL!
|Me & My Swimmers|
With 3-day record temps in Naperville, IL, our mantra was "if you're outside, you're in the pool."
Not a problem for this crew.
This being the 3rd summer in the pool, the boys are so well versed in life jackets: when they need to wear them, and where the shallow end is when they're not. Of course, they're not allowed near the pool without an adult. But this year has been better than ever with the swimming skills.
He wanted me to note he can do this without his life jacket on. He can. For real.
Even George got in on the action.
He loved climbing out, jumping in, climbing out, jumping in. I see a future fish.
All the cousins in the pool - Charlie, George, Jake & Henry. What could be better?
Another 4 weeks of fun in New Berlin & Naperville? Sounds good to me.