Thursday, July 05, 2007

Fourth of July Recap

The fourth was celebrated as it has been for many years in my family - the Watermelon Ride in the morning and some sort of fireworks and/or cookout in the evening. I've been entering registrations for the Watermelon Ride for TCBC since around 2000, so every year I show up with a pile of A-L and M-Z printouts, and then sit in a comfy chair and read a book until my family shows up several hours later. This year it was me and my inlaws on bikes, and Eryn in the Burley, on the 15 mile stint, while Pooteewheet hung out at the beach with a book until we showed up for dogs and watermelon, hence "the watermelon ride". More than anything, it's a chance to replenish my supply of water bottles as attrition from old, crumbly plastic, little girl chew marks and dead mice who just wanted a sip of water, takes its toll. Generally two new bottles gets me through the year (and Eryn gets her own extra, so she can leave chew marks on that one). Here she is showing off her new bottle and exclaiming about how "shiny" it is.

Every year I see the Scoutmaster from Buffalo, the city next to my home town, at this rest stop. This year he wasn't there. I hope he's just gotten slower. This is a picture of my in-laws - apparently you're never too old or too sweaty to get all romantic behind a tree.

Then again, maybe you're just eating trail mix. This was where their bikes tipped over, spilling my father in law's expensive SLR onto the ground, resulting in intermittent frame action. I've always said, "Don't trust kickstands." They're evil, and they're intent on damaging your bike and whatever you put on it.

Eryn being cute next to a tree at the rest stop. My father in law has some pictures as well, and some funny retro pictures of Eryn posing against the same tree. So his camera wasn't a loss.

My mother-in-law was not a fan of the hills. I welcomed them - I need a few more if I'm going to be ready for RAGBRAI. Biking the flats around the Hennepin County trails won't prepare me for any elevation changes.

A nice Fourth of July Watermelon Ride family photo. I didn't realize when I got dressed that I was supposed to be all red, white and blue. My bad.

Later, we had Cookie Queen, Dan'l and Conner over for swimming, movies, dinner on the grill, a fire, smores, and various fireworks, courtesy of the neighbors and one of those cheaper packs of fountains. The kids were more impressed with the smoke bombs than they were with anything else and ran back and forth through the colored sulfur, effectively killing off any body parasites they may have picked up.

Here's Conner cooking a marshmallow. Mmmm....that's going to be a tasty one!

And of course there were sparklers. Sparklers and smoke bombs are the glue that get your kids from just after bedtime to darkness, when you can set off shinier, explosive things. At a dollar or two for 36 of them, kids can play with them in the daylight inexpensively until the sun goes down, and it keeps them from crashing or getting all irritable that the grown ups are sitting around talking about things they don't care about, like work, relatives, blogging, Scooter Libby and who's attending the 20th high school reunion.

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