4th of July 2015 in Clear Lake, Iowa
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for July 5, 2015
Blue learned how to swim this week. Kind of. He loves following Sunny so we sent Sunny in after the ball and Blue followed him. Until the water was over his head. Then the puppy proceeded to lift his paws up and down in overly-large swings, reversed course, and headed back to shore. Then he barked with major concern at Sunny for swimming in water over his head. I'm sure he'll get it down real soon.
We've always talked about buying an RV to travel the country some day, but we felt we should probably try it first to see if we even like it. So we rented an RV from Brambilla's and headed down to our favorite 4th of July destination, Clear Lake, Iowa.
We were very concerned with hooking up with the electricity, water, and sewage, but were very blessed to park next to Roger and Jen who were RV veterans and were so very nice. They helped us get our connections set up and ready to go for the first time. Roger also gave us good advice like it probably makes sense to wear rubber gloves when handling the poop tube. That probably should have been common sense, but I haven't dealt with a lot of poop tubes in my days.
Krazy Kory and young Harli were the first visitors to our camp site. We had fun playing bean bags and other camping type activities.
We had planned to do a lot of cooking outside, but the OP in Clear Lake was calling our names instead. I just love their Grinder sandwich! So Spicy!
Which way do we go?
Our first night ended at the Clear Lake Carnival. Avery won back our money that night playing Bingo. That game takes a lot of skill and he's really, really good at it.
Friday morning brought us to my favorite gold course on the planet, Oak Hills. It was a beautiful day for golf, but not a beautiful golf game.
Luke likes to get his balls stuck in really weird places.
There's a new garden spot where old Central Elementary School was torn down. It was beautiful and my boys just love flowers.
Miss Sheri and I like looking at gardens and reciting poems to one another. It helps enrich our love.
Later that afternoon, we took Luke fishing. Lucky for us, he didn't catch anything.
We don't have Iowa fishing licenses, but Luke isn't quite 16 yet so he was able to go legally. Sheri was pretty bummed that she didn't get a chance to go.
To ease her sadness from missing out on fishing, we let her lose at some rigged carnival games. This seemed to make her happy again.
On Saturday morning we went to see the parade. We bumped into the City Mayor, Nelson Crabb. Mayor Crabb always likes to remind me about the time I ruined his rose bushes back in high school. It wasn't one of my prouder moments.
We watched the parade at some friends of Krazy Kory's. We were excited to see Kory's dad, Gene, there mixing up the Bloody Marys because you just can't watch a parade without some spicy tomato juice to kick-start the morning!
Clear Lake's parade is always huge and extremely well attended. Usually there's some national politicians marching the route to get a jump-start on the Iowa electorate before the Iowa caucus. This year we were saddened to discover that none of the presidential candidates were there unlike in year's past.
We'd heard rumors that Hillary was going to be there since she and Bill had attended a few years back, but no luck. She didn't show. Instead, her float consisted of a bunch of youngsters singling songs and chanting phrases I couldn't understand. I'm sure they were very meaningful.
No Hillary this year, but we did get to this colorful lady on a horse which was nice also.
We ended the night by losing more Bingo games. I swear that game must be rigged.
The best part of going to Clear Lake is getting the chance to see so many good friends from our past. Here's pictures of some of them that I was lucky enough to capture: