We had a pretty fantastic summer this year. It feels stupid to say that on August 13, as if summer is over already, because it's still very hot and will be for another four to six weeks. But since public schools have recommenced and lifeguards have been sent back to college (or junior high from the looks of some of them), it's basically over.
We always like to go to Holiday World in the summer. It's such a fun place (and after our horrendous visit to Six Flags - more on that later - we appreciate it all the more!), and only an hour away. This is a picture of Truman and David at the newest area of the water park - a group of water slides called Hyena Falls. He must have gone down those slides with the kids about a hundred times.
We also spent gobs of time at the Newburgh Pool. Some days, the kids and I would go over during the afternoon. It was nice because many families in our ward also bought passes, so almost every time we'd go, there would automatically be friends there! Other days, we'd put on our suits and be ready to go out the door at 5:00 when David clocked out, and we would swim with him for an hour (the pool is about a 2 minute drive from our house). Once in awhile, we'd buy ice cream or a soda while at the pool, but other times we'd pack a cooler and have a picnic.
Another thing we liked to do was go to one of the public schools for free lunch. For the last two summers, we'd go out to Chandler Elementary - about a twenty minute drive - for free lunch, which was nice because the library was right across the street so we could make a whole afternoon of it. However, this year they didn't do the lunches at the school, so we had to go to a school in Evansville. Pizza day was everyone's favorite. Since my kids are homeschooled, they enjoyed the novelty of walking into a room and grabbing food already prepared for them.
We also went to an Evansville Otters baseball game. It was less fun than it used to be, for some reason. Maybe because they are still doing the same tired old games between innings (kids running the bases delivering newspapers as a shameless plug for the local paper, for example). Maybe because many of the people just drink, and drink, and drink. One such person fell and hit their head on the concrete, so an ambulance had to come out. Which was sort of exciting, but mostly just sad.
In July, we took a weekend trip to St. Louis. Last school year, the kids took part in a Six Flags Read to Succeed program, where if they read 600 minutes (for pleasure, not including school books), they would receive a free Six Flags ticket, and I, as their teacher, would receive one too. So that meant we only needed to buy one ticket for David. Which still was over $50 so... ouch. But we were excited to check it out. I'd not been there since I was about twelve years old. We went over on a Friday and first we went to the zoo. Which is free so that is kind of great. The zoo had a lot to see. We paid a few dollars to see the sea lion show, which was really good. It was very hot, and we'd driven three hours to get there, so we only stayed for a bit, but it was nice to be there. We then went to our hotel, which turned out to be pretty nice, and had a pool. The next day, we went to Six Flags. They charged us $20 to park, and everything inside the park was insanely expensive. We went on four rides in four hours; the lines were incredibly long and poorly managed. I got into a little bit of an altercation with some teenage girls who were cutting the line. That felt good. We got hand stamps at lunch and went back to our van to eat from our cooler rather than pay gobs of money to eat in the park. When we went back in, we went to the water park. That was horrible! We needed to change into our suits. The changing buildings were very small and crowded, and had no bathrooms. Only small stalls with rubber curtains. We finally found an empty one and the girls and I had to take turns changing in it. Then we needed to use the bathroom, which meant we had to walk to a different building and stand in a different line. Once that was all taken care of, we met up with the boys, and we went over to the wave pool. There were signs up that the waves weren't working that day, so it was basically just a normal pool. Our kids put on their goggles and we waded in, and immediately lifeguards on both sides of us started yelling, whistling, and waving frantically. It took us a minute to realize they were talking to us, because, hello, we were just standing in about 18 inches of water, not doing anything. Oh - so apparently, wearing goggles in a Six Flags pool is against the rules. What the? Our kids can swim pretty well, but don't like the sting of chlorine in their eyes, so they wear goggles pretty much the whole time we are swimming. I honestly don't know what the problem was - it was just stagnant water like any other pool. Anyway, it ticked us off, so we headed over to a big water play structure that had some water slides coming out of it. The kids climbed up it a few times and came down the slides a few times, but over there the lifeguards were rude and snotty too, so it wasn't much fun. We stayed for perhaps half an hour, then decided to call it a day.
In all, Six Flags was the worst part of our summer. Thankfully it only cost us about $75 to go, and the kids did enjoy a couple of the rides we went on, but we'll definitely not be going back!
On the 4th of July, we had a few friends over for a cookout, then we all walked down to the riverfront for the fireworks show. Oh, and we did the slip n slide for a bit. But it was almost too chilly (what a wet, cool summer we've had!) and our slip n slide has a leak so it leans...
In other summer news -
My gladioluses/gladioli did great!
We went to see the summer musical Beauty & the Beast (Penny loved it!). David and I also saw the Warrick summer musical, Parade; we did not love it at all.
Our friend Todd opened a shave ice shack, which we visited a few times.
We made minion cupcakes after seeing Despicable Me 2 at the drive-in with the Bentleys (so much fun).
The ward social was rained out... sorta. Either due to a die-hard pioneer spirit or poor planning or both, it still went on, and so David and two other guys were grilling up a storm out in the rain! And the rain finally relented in time for us to still swim afterwards.
I made a monster fleece blanket for my friend Stacy's new baby. This is in the early stages.
One day, Mimi and Lindsay came to Newburgh to swim with us. We went to Ben & Penny's at the riverfront for ice cream afterwards.
Swimming, swimming, and more swimming!