Monday, June 06, 2005

Of Lakes & Water Parks

Friday, being the first day of summer vacation, was an all-fun day. I had planned to take the boys & their buddies, Jason & Mark, to the beach at Caesar's Creek. Since J had some holiday time off coming to her for having worked Memorial Day, she came home from work early to accompany us. Yippee! We packed a big picnic lunch (sandwiches, chips, fruit, Oreos) & gathered the little boys.

Once there, they enthusiastically began sand castle building. They dug wide & deep & created a lake inside one of the castles. Fabulous! Jason kept bringing feathers to adorn the ramparts, while Pie carried water, Mark supplied engineering advice, & Boot directed everyone else at their tasks. Over the course of the day, Jason gathered 35 goose & seagull feathers. There was a flock of Canada geese hanging out right along with the gulls & bathers. It was fun to see them up so close. The beach was practically deserted as rain hovered nearby all day. It was kind of like having our own private beach & made me dream of having a lake house.

J & I spent much of the time lazing on the blanket, her dozing & me reading Saveur Magazine. We also played cards, laughed uproariously over the boys' very first attempt to play Chicken, and walked with our paws in the water. It was much warmer than it had been the previous Sunday. Jason joined us for several rounds of Rummy. The other boys had kind of ostracized him, so we let him shelter with us until they began to beg him to come back into the water.

The boys stayed to dinner. I made J's beloved hamburger gravy, with mashed potatoes & corn. She loves to mix it all together. Shudder! After dinner, we took the 2 boys home, stopping in to chat with Beth & Matt, their folks. Beth, who works for the government, invited us to go to King's Island with them on Sunday when it was closed to the general public. It would mean a savings of $60 + getting the obligatory annual trip out of the way early. I was torn between wanting to hang onto our money now & wanting to save $60. I ended up leaving it in J's hands & she decided to go.

Saturday morning, we had to go over & inspect our rental while our tenants were moving out. It is trashed...missing carpet, big holes in the walls, dog scratches, a broken window. They haven't paid rent since March & we have been letting it go because we felt sorry for them. Now, to find out that the house is that bad feels like a huge betrayal. The tenant said her son was going to do some drywall work & they were going to re-carpet the upstairs before leaving. But, where is their incentive? I sure hope they actually did it, though, because without those repairs, we will definitely have to get a loan to make repairs. I hope my cousin will buy it. I don't know when we'll ever recoup our money. It would be nice not to have to take them to court.

Saturday afternoon, after a lunch of soup & grilled cheese, we went to visit J's mom. Her dad was also there & we hung out with them while they ate dinner, then played cards with J's mom. Boot got really excited & wound-up, giggling & saying ridiculous nonsequiturs relentlessly. Pie was not amused, but the rest of us thought him fairly hilarious. Of course, the Baby Ruth bar his grandpa gave him didn't help matters much. The boys got to have pizza for dinner, while I made little parmesan puff pastry shells with herbed goat cheese & heirloom tomatoes for us. They were fabulous!

Sunday, we met Matt & Beth, Jennifer, Mark & Jason, & MacKenzie bright & early in our driveway. J had made a bacon & egg breakfast for us. On our way out of town, we were spotted by Buck from church. Busted! LOL! The drive down to King's Island went smoothly. We listened to Rita Mae Brown most of the way down & back. On the way into the park, I noticed that Jen has a bunch of safety pins in her ear hole. She is gauging it. I, personally, don't see the attraction, but I'm glad her folks haven't flipped a lid because she is a good kid. With her purple hair & all black outfit, she reminded me a bit of myself at her age. She's very good with her sibs.

We went to the water park first, where J & I lolled on beach chairs & hung out in the wave pool. The kids went on all the water rides (J did some with them) & Matt took them out to the main park to do some rides there, too. Then, their family went out to the car for lunch while we remained by the wave pool awhile longer. We ended up not finding them again, but had a great time anyway. Our picnic was much the same as what we had Friday at the beach (with the addition of leftover goat cheese sandwiches)...that is to say, much better than what King's Island sells. Delirium was closed for the day & I deemed Drop Zone's line too long, so my favorite rides of the day were The Viking Fury (I have little voice today after hollering on that) & Whitewater Canyon (on which we got drenched). The storms held off all day, but all the way home, eerie lightning flashed across the sky.

When we got home, the garage door opened with no problem using the remote & closed with no problem using the wall closer. However, J went out there a little later & found the light still on...and the door unwilling to budge for either device. Crap! I sent out some calls for help on finding the emergency release & called the home warranty people (not covered) & the garage door people (message left). I went down to try & find the emergency release again. When I turned on the dining room light, it popped & scared the bejeezes out of me! I decided not to bother anymore & instead immersed myself in Zorro until I started dozing off.

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