I'd forgotten that I asked for the afternoon of July 3rd off. It happens. I checked my Wednesday schedule at the end of Tuesday and was delighted to realize that Babygirl and I could leave home sooner than expected.
We arrived at 'our' amusement park late in the afternoon and found it nearly deserted. We hiked the mile in to ride our favorite coaster (we didn't have to wait even a second to sit in the last car), and stopped at the 'wet rides' along the way. It's the first time she's done the big splash down ride - usually it's far too cool for us to want to wander around soaking wet. We also managed the white-water raft ride. Right after THAT soaking, we hiked into the water park section, only to discover that they were near to closing. So in the 17 minutes that we had, we threw ourselves onto inner tubes and floated on the lazy river. Twice. It was warm, comfortable and as relaxing as a massage.
We stopped for dinner on the way home at a place I've been intrigued by the look of the for years as we pass it on our way to the highway - a large, traditional-looking 1950's style diner. The food was good, the chrome shiny inside and out, and it was more affordable than any meal inside the park would be.
The Fourth was lovely - warm and breezy. We spent much of the day on Aunt Kelly's front porch enjoying the wonderful fresh air. And those Bolivian dancers! What a great parade. Someday I want to come to Philadelphia for the Mummer's Parade on New Year's Day. It's so much fun to see a few string bands, I can't imagine how awesome it would be to see dozens of them!
This morning dawned sunny with a gentle breeze as well. I think we'll be able to do some water rides on our way home, although I expect the park might have quite a few (thousand) more people in it than it did two days ago.
The little gaps in our 'real lives' matter so much. The rain and storms of our long spring this year have made summer feel like it hasn't really started until now. The gifts of time, sunshine, family, friends and joy are as rare. Having all of those things together in one place at the same time: Priceless. This gift of repetitive lovely renewing weekends has been amazing. Even if it leaves me with my hair standing on end from pool water.