July 7, 2013

July 4th 2013 in Clear Lake, Iowa

July 4th 2013 in Clear Lake, Iowa
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for July 7, 2013

On Wednesday night, we were all excited to start our vacation and head to Iowa.  All of us except for Sunny that is.  He had to go to the Dog Pad for four nights.  It's a very nice kennel.  They don't even have cages.  But for some reason, he never seems very excited to go there.  I guess he just misses his family too much. 

We sought out the Hornbuckle family as soon as we got to town.  The 4th of July parade was the next day and they run one of the coolest floats in the parade.  So we figured we'd pester them to be part of it again.  Luckily for us, they invited us before I had to get on my knees to beg them to let us in.

On the morning of the 4th, Grandma Linda drove down to join us.  We immediately recruited Chris to help us complete our family pyramid.

Before the parade began, we sought out Krazy Kory's parents, Gene and Bobbe Madson.  They were this year's parade Grand Marshalls!  I was a little nervous since Gene was going to be leading the entire parade, I thought he might get crazy like his son and walk us all into the lake or something.  Luckily for all of us, though, he did a great job and just took us through the traditional route!

When we arrived at the float, I was impressed with the number of people that would be marching in support of JDRF.  They had a great group this year!

Jason and Jen were looking pretty cute together so I made a mental note not too walk too close to them during the parade so they wouldn't outshine me by too much.

I made a similar mental note about Chad and Riann.

And another note about Cassie and her friend.

I then made a note about Kim...

and notes about Avery and Mike.  Who's futures are so bright, they had to wear shades.

I was just about to make a mental note about Luke when I finally said "Screw it!"  There were just too many beautiful people involved with this float for me to have a chance at standing out.  I'd just have to figure out a way to enjoy basking in all of these cool people's glows.

We were a little worried about Grandma Linda being able to walk fast enough to avoid being run over by one of the floats behind us.  Luckily for us, she was able to ride along on the float.  We just gave her a flag to play with and she was entertained for hours.

Since Vic coordinated the whole float thing, she also rode  on board so she could scream out orders to us walkers.  I was very thankful for her instructions because otherwise I would have been walking in zig zags the whole day if she hadn't been helping keep me in line.

Luke and Avery learned early on that the proper way to hand out the Icees is to look for the beautiful ladies in the audience and hand one to each of them.  It's kind of hard to avoid the little kids with their hands reaching out, but by the end of the parade they had become pretty good at it.

We were so happy that we brought along that bucket of root beer barrels when we saw this guy.  We stopped the float and all took turns belting him that hard candy.  I'll bet after he lost those two front teeth, he regretted making this sign.

Krazy Kory, young Ben, and Kelly the other Madson in the Dynamic Duo were along the parade route.  They were there cheering on Gene and Bobbe's proud moment as Grand Marshalls.

We had the chance to see lots of friends while we were home in Clear Lake.  That's why I love going back there.  There's just a lot of good people in that town.

On Friday, we started the festivities for our 25th class reunion.  We were supposed to go out on the Lady of the Lake, but it was too windy so they just let us hang out on the boat while it stayed at shore.  Which is actually a lot more fun than it sounds.

On Saturday morning, we golfed with members of the Class of 1988 along with some of their family members.  Golf sure is fun.

On Saturday night, we had our reunion dinner at PM Park.  The turnout wasn't as great this year as it's been for past reunions, but it was still a great time catching up with old friends.  Some of whom we hadn't seen in 25 years!  Where did all that time go?

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