last saturday - drove six hours out to southeast missouri for our annual float trip around the merrimack river. we left too late. The week before I'd been drowning in a particular airplane and working too many hours, didn't get home until almost 8pm friday night. saturday morning we couldn't get hold of the family who was supposed to take our ferret for the week, and marc hadn't dropped the dog off at the kennel, so that all held our departure until "business hours" so to speak and we didn't arrive at camp until dinnertime. the kids missed afternoon swimming. it was a bummer.
sunday - forecast called for mega lightning/hailstorms so for the first time in the 20 years I've been going on this trip, they basically called off the rafting! We were told if we really wanted to go we could but a bus wouldn't be coming for our specific campsite because so few people wanted to go. We swam a little, but it really did rain hard all day, so we spent most of the time playing cards in the cabin. Then we did some scheduling and realized we could go rafting on monday and just depart afterwards.
monday - rafting! a beautiful, perfect day. got off the river by 2 because it was moving really fast this year, and drove to springfield mo. stayed the night with friends in springfield.
tuesday - saw the new springfield aquarium. friends helped us get in so we didn't have to buy the adult tickets that are $50 each (!) just the kids tickets - two kids were $36 after the AAA discount. it was huge, we were there for 2-3 hours and could have slowed down and taken four. I love jellyfish in tanks. drove to branson and stayed the night at the best western conference center.
wednesday - I give the branson best western a thumbs up, it was only $100 a night or something but had a great pool, free breakfast, shuttle to silver dollar city.
took the kids to silver dollar city. I've never been. they both went on their first roller coasters. Josie's first was the Time Traveler, a crazy idea where your cart spins around AS you speed across the track. she loved it but had to unglue her death grip hand to give marc a high five at the end. at 52" tall she could go on anything she wanted but was a little freaked out and chose to opt out of some scary stuff. olive was big enough to go on thundernation because she is 45" tall and you only have to be 42" to ride with a parent on that one. she freaked out and cried and took five minutes to calm down, and said she'd never go on a roller coaster again. then for days following she told everybody we met that she went on an awesome big roller coaster, transforming her story into braver versions every time. but we decided to support her playing it cool and not add any of our WE WERE THERE details.
they closed the big rides around 4pm due to lightning in the area. that sucked. we watched a juggler show, and later got to go on some little rides, but overall lost a ton of time. park closed at 7pm which is a real cock. we didn't get to go on the powderkeg or wildfire, when these kind of issues happen my cheap engineer brain starts doing the math on the $250 we spent on tickets and how much was lost due to weather.
I went on outlaw run with josie. it was fun but I don't love getting my brain shaken around in my head anymore and my neck gets sore.
wednesday night - stayed a second night at the hotel.
thursday - got up and hit the road. stopped at Big Brutus in mineral water, kansas. it is THE tourist attraction if you're ever in southeast kansas, people. one of the world's largest electrically-powered shovels, brought to the area in the late 60s for strip mining and left there forever for families to walk around in. tickets for the whole family: $26. arrived home.
friday - went to kansas city to spend the night with my parents so marc and I could see Jackie Kashian at the comedy club. she is one of my favorite podcast hosts and doesn't come to the midwest much so I refused to miss it!
saturday - back home. went to a birthday party. josie is spending the night. with her girl scout camp earlier this month and our travels, she's spent two nights at our house since father's day. that's a way to make the summer blow past.
schedule for this week is a lot of NOTHING and we're pretty excited.