#1 - THE FREEDOM FESTIVAL PARADE
The GOOD - We were too lazy to save a spot ahead of time, but Saturday morning as we walked along the crowded sidewalk, we paused under a tree. Minutes later the people in front of us got up and left, leaving us their primo, shaded spot. SCORE!
Most people around us were friendly and good to our kids.
I was in such a good mood, and I was compelled to buy a flower headband as large as Quincy's head from a street vendor.
Wade jumped up and snagged a free t-shirt
Kal and River made friends with Congressman Chaffetz,
and Brett used Quincy to get some waves and smiles from a few Provo High cheerleaders.
The BAD -
Every year I ask myself why. Why, do I go through this parade misery? The crowds, the heat, the cranky kid aftermath etc.
The only saving grace this year was this Polynesian marching band, the patriotic floats and my favorite..the bagpipes.
The UGLY –
I think it’s lame to have a parade full of advertisements.
This year the parade was full of them. Centurion Security was the big parade finale. Yawn.
Captain America however made me laugh. He was a very confident yet portly superhero.
#2 - THE TRADITIONAL HABITAT RETREAT
Being isolated with the kids on a hot day playing in cool water...
It was all good.
The BAD -
The resulting mounds of dirty, sandy, smelly laundry
and a dirty, sandy, smelly car, backroom, shower and bathtub.
The UGLY - The water was a bit swift and high and there were a few creepy crawlies. Lauren had a leech stuck to her foot. She thought it was just some mud and tried to wipe it off, when she realized it wasn't dirt she ran Helter Skelter through the bushes screaming "get it off, get it off!"
#3 THE STADIUM OF FIRE
The GOOD –
Lauren danced this year as a Stadium of Fire dancer. She worked so hard for several months practicing and even earned her own money to go. ($175).
Dean and I reluctantly (not really) left the other kids at home and went to the Stadium of Fire ourselves. For a first timer it wasn't too bad, actually pretty good.
I gave it a 7 out of 10. The F-16’s flying overhead were awesome and even the Jonas Brothers were entertaining. Mostly Dean and I took turns trying to spy Lauren on the field.
The BAD –
The harsh, brutal all day and night practices leading up to Lauren’s dance.
The Nazi-like dance teacher who called me during practice the day before and said ”Um, like if Lauren doesn’t get here in ten minutes, we are giving her spot away.” (all the while Lauren is throwing up outside the stadium because of heat exhaustion)
However when it was all over and we were walking the two miles to our car, we asked Lauren if she would do it again next year…
she said excitedly “YES!...Can I?”
I was crying inside.
The UGLY –
The tacky treatment of the military families being roped off on the field. Only allowed to sit on the ground relegated to sit behind the dancers, VIP seating and the sponsors. Tacky, tacky.
On our walk to the car, guess who's limo pulled up right in front of us?
Yep..the Jo Bro's.
The sad thing was that Lauren could've cared less, but I was the one that got all starstruck and screamed 'We love you Jonas Brothers!'