Thursday, August 25, 2022

July Weekends


July was all about hiking Saturdays, movies, and swimming Sundays at the local water park. I'm not exaggerating when I say it was all perfect, beginning with our extra long 4th of July weekend (read about that here). I'm spoiled by my kids who cook. The boys, particularly the oldest, have been cooking a ton. We we've been treated to baked french toasts, homemade salsas (with veggies from their gardens), and creative smoothies. 

Finding new-to-us trails close to home is challenging as we've seemed to hike them all. We checked out Yellow Banks Park for the first time and gave a few of their trails a try. We typically avoid the parks with smaller hikes as we're now consistently hiking over four miles at a time. However, we paired all of the trails together and wound up hiking over four miles on this Saturday. The minis are convinced that every hike should end with a treat. I don't necessarily disagree with that, so we got pho and ramen for lunch.

We spent a Saturday night at Flix Brewhouse watching Thor Love and Thunder. Theater and movie are both recommended by all five of us.

We fit a whole lot of fun into a few hours of Sunday. We arrived to a very uncrowded Adventureland. We spent a few hours at the water park enjoying the pools, slides, lazy river, and my new favorite cheese curds (not beating Sully's cheese curds, but they're a good grab while at the water park). We were shocked to find no wait times at all of the rides throughout the park, so we took advantage and hit up the rollercoasters. Perfect, perfect, perfect.

I came to our chairs to drop off my (water proof) phone case so I could do a few water slides with the kids and discovered dog poop bags laying on our chairs. The middle one, who is the official poop picker-upper had them in his swim trunks when we arrived and just threw them on the chair. I'm sure a few passing people had questions.

As I mentioned earlier, finding hiking trails we haven't been on is challenging. That's one reason we've been spending a decent amount of time in southern Minnesota checking out their state parks. On this Saturday, we went into the Twin Cities and hiked at Fort Snelling. We saw the point where the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers converge, even walking into the rivers a bit. The five mile hike was on easy, flat terrain. While the river was crowded with boaters, the trail wasn't busy. 

At the beginning of the month (read about that here), we discovered the glorious Myre-Big Island State Park in Albert Lea, MN. After Fort Snelling, we stopped at Myre-Big Island for a quick dip in the lake at a secret swimming spot along a trail. 

Mom and Dad managed a weekend mostly to ourselves! We had my high school reunion one night (no pictures, but wonderful drinks and company), visiting friends quickly before the kids were off to grandma and grandpa's for 24 hours. Hubs and I did a late brunch at The Breakfast Club and hung out for the afternoon at Adventure Bay sans children. It was amazingly relaxing and refreshing! Being the super exciting people we are, we went to bed early and slept the night away peacefully.

The last weekend in July, we hiked at Brenton Arboretum, ate ice cream at Home Sweet Cone (highly recommend if you're in the Waukee area), got all of the school supplies, and did a quick visit to Adventure Bay. The Arboretum was incredibly peaceful until we realized it was right next to a shooting range and things got rather loud. The minis haven't had an actual supply list since 2019, so the youngest two went overboard and picked out all of the fun pencil bags, new backpacks, and 1,000+ colored pencil packs. This year I fully supported the supply shopping craziness.