Monday, July 7, 2008

July 4th weekend

We had a nice extended weekend thanks to the July 4th holiday. On Thurday we went to the state capitol to listen to the Des Moines Symphony's Yankee Doodle Pops concert. I was particularly surprised and pleased to see that Craig Schulman and Simon Estes were both performing with the symphony. It was fantastic to hear two world class voices in such a beautiful setting with the family. The girls, as expected, enjoyed the music but came away most impressed by the fireworks. I took all three kids down to within a quarter block of the canons that go off during the 1812 Overture. I sort of expected Holden to at least jump the first time they went off however he found the loud noise to be hilarious. Seriously - the kid did nothing but point and laugh.

Friday was a nice relaxing day at home complete with the traditional Fourth of July grilling and making of homemade ice cream. That evening we headed to the Herman Park Pavilion where I played in the Boone Municipal Band's annual patriotic concert. I've been in the group for 18 years now but still find the playing of taps and the armed forces salute moving every time we have this concert.

After the concert at the Pavilion, my mother joined us for the city's fireworks display. The kids all had fun with sparklers and other fireworks that their father just happened to have. The kids are old enough for me to explain that some laws were just made to be broken, right? :)

On Saturday, after much thought and discussion, we had Holden spend the day with my parents while we took the girls to Adventureland. Both of the girls (particularly Gillian, although I'd never call her out as a wuss publicly. Oops.) had their moments of "I don't want to ride that, it's scary!" however, each and every time they'd utter those words, we'd try to convince them - not push them - but convince them to give the ride in question a shot. Each and every time they got off the ride wanting to do it again immediately.

One of the new features at Adventureland this year is called "Kokomo Kove". The description and a video follow:
  • Approximately 65 feet tall at its highest point
  • The “Kokomo Kove” area will be approximately 30,000 square feet
  • Over 200 lounge chairs for sunning and relaxing
  • 7 waterslides of varying lengths and heights
  • 123 different water jet features including water guns, tipping cones, hose jets, and umbrella jets
  • 91 different play features, including net bridges and climbs, crawl tunnels and pull ropes

  • This is "The Outlaw" (video from YouTube - not something I took). It's also know as "one of the bumpiest damn things I've ever been on in my life". Leah and I rode this together. One of the turns did a sweet job of popping something in the bad spot I have in my neck and I spent the next 20 minutes with a tingling arm and hand. Good times.

    We ended up spending about 10 hours at the park and, other than the 60 minutes we spent in line to ride the Raging River, didn't have any horrible waits for rides. The weather was beautiful all day long. Leah commented several times how impressed she was with the park. I hadn't be there since I was in high school and was pleased with it as well. It's nice to have something like this so close to us to take the kids to. It certainly won't be an "every other weekend" type thing thanks to the admission costs but it was very enjoyable and everyone is looking forward to going back. It was a good decision to take just the girls because either Leah or I would have had to sat out of probably 70% of the things we did if Holden had accompanied us however I can't wait to take my son there. He's not big enough to do most of the things there but I know he'd have a blast on the things geared towards little kids. And so will his Daddy.

    One final Adventureland note - we usually don't fall for the "buy a really expensive picture that we just took of you" scam at places like this however I had to purchase this one. The look of terror on Gillian's face is something that needs to be remembered.
    Vacation Bible School at our church starts tonight so it looks to be a busy week ahead of us. No time to relax and catch up from the fun of the past weekend. But, all in all, I wouldn't have it any other way.

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