June 1, 2014

On the Water. Summer 2014 Begins.


On the Water.  Summer 2014 Begins.
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for June 1, 2014


On Monday, we woke up early to go watch the Prior Lake Memorial Day Parade.  The city does a nice job at paying homage to the fallen warriors that have given us all the ability to have our freedom and go see nice parades on a Monday morning.


Our boys were in the high school marching band this year rather than marching with the Boy Scouts like they've done in year's past.  Luke's mom created a new pair of cymbals for him to use which made him quite happy.  Now he's clanging with the best of them.


This was Avery's last performance in band.  He wants to take additional engineering classes next year and something has to give in his schedule.  His mom and I are really sad about it.  Mainly because we won't get to call him a tromboner any more.


On Friday night, I made my regular stop at Mystic Lake Casino.  This time I couldn't find a parking space because they were hosting a motorcycle rally called Northern Thunder.  I stopped by for a few minutes and watched FireHouse open up their show and snapped a picture of the lead singer flexing for me.  It was pretty inspiring.


I also had a chance to see Eric Estrada up close which was nice.  I miss Chips.


On Saturday morning the boys had some friends over to go tubing.


It's always fun to catch the expressions of the children as we race to try to flip them off the tube into the cold water.


We met Dan and Jen at Candy Cove to swap some children and watch them catch a fish.  Not necessarily in that order.


On Saturday night, we went to see Karl's new boat.  He still has his old boat but isn't riding that one around much any more.  We figure eventually he'll use that one to pull around the kids with his new boat.


Inside of the boat is pretty cool.  It can sleep something like 60 people, but you have to stack them just right.


Most of the time we're with the Zitzewitzes, they take turns looking at us and exclaiming "I'm the Captain now."  Then they giggle over and over again for several minutes.  It gets to be a little creepy after awhile. 


Not only did they get a new big boat, but they got a new little boat as well.  Aaron and Avery loved having the opportunity to use it to get away from their parents as quickly as they possibly could.


We've had a lot of rain this spring, so it gives us a neat opportunity to kayak through the trees.  Which sounds like a lot of fun until you get a root bumping into your butt.  Then you have to scootch back and forth to try to loosen yourself back into the water.  I now refer to myself as a Root Scootcher.


Saturday night brought a lot of rain, but that didn't slow us down.  We just paddled faster when the rain came.  Well, some of us paddled faster.  Others of us just pretended to paddle faster and let our boat mates do the work.  Sorry, Karl, but thanks for the ride!


Luke said "Screw it" and didn't even pretend to paddle like his father did.  He just rode his mother's back and yelled "Yah" every time he wanted her to go faster.


I remember when I was a kid and I'd dream about being able to see a Bald Eagle in the wild.  They were pretty rare in those days.  Not so much any more as we saw at least 3 or 4 of them on this trip.  We've yet to be able to catch one of them, though.