Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Summer Finally Starts

It's mid-August.  For some people that means summer is winding down, but for me it's just starting.  July is always a bit of a sh*t show.  Work is always so busy that I don't have much in the way of time to enjoy the weather.

But August is my time.  Things slow down and I usually take holidays the last two weeks of August, which means in 3 short days I will be on holidays.  Hallelujah.

We haven't really gone away much recently.  The simple answer is that we had to do things around the house and any vacation budget went to that.  For instance, last year we landscaped the back yard and put in a deck.

This year however, we are making a bigger effort.  The boys love waterparks.  A few years ago when my cousin Brent got married, we drove down to Saskatoon for the wedding.    On the way home we stayed at the Kenosee resort.   It's a beautiful little spot in the middle of no where.  It has a real Riding Mountain sort of feel.  There is an outdoor waterpark there.  The majority of the rides are the standard ones, but there was one in particular that was absolutely insane.  It was an 8 story free fall.  You had to use an inner tube to go down, but the inner tube was ever so slightly bigger than the chute, so you felt (or at least I did) ridiculously unstable.  Logan liked the idea of going down, but when push came to shove, he opted out.  Zach surprised me and went down the thing dozens of times.

We also visited the giant red paperclip.  It's an interesting story - Some guy went online with a red paperclip.  He traded it for one thing and then traded that thing for something else and worked his way up to buying a house in this small Saskatchewan town.  They have made a art installation in the town.  The boys weren't overly impressed, but I thought it was fun.

This year we are heading South.  We are going to Wisconsin Dells waterpark capital of the world.  I wasn't sure if the kids are too old for it, but what the h*ll, if I can go have fun, so can they.

ZJ... he's 14!
We are going to stop in at Albertville or Eden outlet malls.  Both boys need new clothes.  Logan has shot up like a weed and is now a fair bit taller than I am.  He has that skinny look of a kid that has grown a lot in a short amount of time.  Although I know that he'll fill out soon enough, Hargreaves boys (my nephews included tend to be built like brick walls).  Zach is no longer a string bean and has filled out already.  He has the look of an NFL linebacker at 6'2", 190lbs. Generally speaking they say that ADHD medication can stunt growth, so in some cases they recommend taking a "drug holiday" over the summer.  We do drug holidays, not because of growth issues, it's simply that Zach only needs the focus for school and when school isn't on he does fine.  Albeit he's a little emotional with mood swings, but it's hard to tell if that is because of ADHD or simply being an angsty teenager.

After the Dells, we are home for a couple days and will be there for the Twickenham Circle block party.  It's annual event on our street that has been happening since 2014.  It was started by my neighbor Dave and Brad.    Each year in August, we have a party.  We get a permit, shut down the street to traffic,  Last year was EPIC.  We had our usual, yet beyond amazing Folklorama potluck.  There are families from all over the world on our street so the array of delicacies is crazy.

We then set up games for the kids, face painting, bouncy castles, water balloon fights, ring toss etc.  When the sun goes down a sheet gets draped over a garage and we play movies for the kids.  Brad and I brought out our old school kettle corn popcorn maker and served up some popcorn, because what movie is complete without popcorn?

That night just happened to be the Mayweather/McGregor fight.  My other neighbour had the pay per view, so he brought out his projection TV, set up another sheet on the garage door, hooked up some speakers, got a firepit going in the middle of the street and we sat out on the street in lawn chairs and watched the fight.

I am not sure how we are going to top it this year.  We are working on getting a live band to come out which would be awesome.

After the block party we are heading out to the beach.  We've rented a airbnb cottage between Lester beach and Grand Beach for a couple days.  It's a dog friendly cottage, so we can bring Shilo which will be great.  We are thinking that we might even drive around and go to the dog friendly Winnipeg beach as well.

Hopefully the weather stays nice.  You never know about late August.    Once we come home from the beach, we have a few days and then just like that summer is over.

Logan will be gearing up for hockey tryouts, he's pumped, so much so that he's already started dry land training.  He takes his hockey very seriously.  Zach isn't going into hockey this year.  He likes the idea of hockey, but we found that each time there was a game or practice he would complain about it.  Hockey is really expensive and between registration, extra ice fees and brand new equipment he would need, we couldn't justify it.

Logan is such a social kid that even if he stopped hockey he would be all up in intramural sports and after school activities and I never worry about him getting enough exercise.  Zach... not so much.  I am concerned about him getting enough exercise and remaining part of a social group.  I am trying to encourage him to join a school club, but so far he hasn't been slightly interested.

I can't believe how fast they have grown.  Logan will be going into grade 8 and Zach into grade 10.  That is NUTS.

Alright with T minus 3 days until holidays, I will bid you adieu.


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