This past weekend was, of course, Independence Day weekend. And being that K is around, it was full of traditions and fun.
Friday night we did go see our new nephew at the hospital. He. Is. Adorable. No kidding. I know I'm biased and all, but he's seriously cute. I even held him for quite awhile, which is a feat considering I'm normally scared to touch kids before they turn two or so (that fear of breaking them, you know?). It was a nice experience. :-) And no, it didn't make me want kids of my own. Just made me even happier to be an aunt!
Saturday was the day for Rhythm & Booms, the best fireworks you'll find in the Midwest. For those not familiar, the fireworks are (loosely at times) set to music. You just tune in to the local radio station and enjoy the show. Rather than going to the actual park for the event (which, IMO, is a clusterf*ck and a half), we always go to my old elementary/middle school and sit on the hill. We can see almost everything (excluding a handful of ground display fireworks that don't make it above the trees), and though it's much busier than when we first started sitting there, it's not nearly as crowded as the park itself.
Of course, with R&B comes a party with K. She invites family and friends over to her dad's place for food and fun before the fireworks begin, and then it's just a short walk to the old school from there. One of K's friends has an adorable 4-year-old son who kept us all pretty well entertained, but it was the adults who played with the bubbles the longest (as the 4 y/o got fed up with a bubble sword contraption he just couldn't make work). It's just so easy to get caught up in the pure fun that comes with bubbles.
The fireworks were beautiful, if not a bit short this year. Budget problems would be my guess, as I know they were seeking donations (I gave them $15 - I love those fireworks) and really pushing people to come down to the park to support the vendors there. I'm hoping next year will be better, particularly because I hope the damn construction surrounding the park is done. Talk about a mess... Oi. Oh, and just to confirm, Maxi handled the fireworks just fine, though she didn't watch with the same intensity as last year. At least she didn't bark her furry little head off!
On Sunday, hubby dropped me back off at K's dad's place so K and I, along with another friend (P) could go on an Oddball Wisconsin adventure. See, one of K's friends got her the Oddball Wisconsin book, knowing that she loves all things odd or offbeat that you might find while driving, such as a giant wooden nickel (outside of Iowa City, Iowa) or a buffalo made of chrome bumpers (somewhere in Colorado). So away we went with the book and a map.
We ended up driving about 314 miles that day. Starting in Madison, we headed to DeForest to see the pink elephant and its nemesis (or so we're told) from across the street, a cow at a cheese shop. Then it was off to Spring Green to check out some (not so) acrobatic goats. There were other things there to keep us entertained while we waited for the goats to wow us, but it just never happened.
After that we headed to Platteville to see the world's largest 'M.' It's 241 feet tall and 214 feet across. Trust me; it's a big 'M.' After a quick stop at Culver's for some cheese curds (nom nom nom) it was on to Dickeyville to see The Grotto, an interesting experience for sure. Then it was a LONG drive over to Delavan to see the clown-stomping elephant (we skipped the nearby concrete frog since it was getting late), and then it was back to Madison so I could see my puppers.
On the 4th, K and I headed down to the neighborhood bike parade that we were part of for so many years. Kids made a good showing this year and actually decorated their bikes with more than a tiny flag. We gave this year's parade a solid 7.5/10. After that, it was off to Henry Vilas Zoo and, of course, Ella's Deli! We can't eat like we used to, I swear, but we still managed to scarf down all our cheese fries. It's a tradition, after all!
I spent the rest of my day bumming around at my parents' house. We eventually ordered Chinese (nothing screams patriotism like ordering sesame beef) and hubby showed up to take me and the puppers back home. On the drive home, we had to have encountered probably 10 different fireworks displays. It was nice, and I appreciated being able to see some fireworks on the 4th.
The 5th was no longer the weekend, but K came out so we could go to Drag Queen Bingo at BTW Lounge with her cousins and aunt! Drag Queen Bingo is pretty much bingo with the balls being read off by drag queens. But, we also got performances between rounds, so it was pretty awesome. Of the 5 of us, 3 won prizes! Sadly, K and I were the only two not to win. Boooooo-urns.
So, as you can see, the past few days have been pretty exciting for me! I hope everyone else had a wonderful 4th and hope you all have an excellent rest of the summer! :-)