The closest to Normal (Illinois) that I've ever been.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Happy 4th!

We have all had a very pleasant 4th of July.* The town of Normal had a nice fireworks display at the park. I had figured that they would--the midwest always does patriotic right. When we lived in Albion, WA, there were always a variety of amateur small-town parades. (The highlight was the walk-on by Tas-T Lentil.) Disappointingly, there were no parades at all near Normal.

The kids practiced their bike riding technique every day. Sam is getting much better--he rarely falls down once he gets going. He can stop himself (on purpose) and just needs to work on getting himself started on an uphill slope. Sam accompanied me running on Constitution Trail on the 4th--my regular running partner Argos was benched because he tends to bolt when he hears loud noises like firecrackers and thunder. Sam did pretty well, although he had a couple of spectacular crashes as he tried to avoid pedestrians. Once, he unwisely decided to pass a herd of doughy walkers on the right and skidded out on the gravel. I caught the bike, but Sam literally barrel-rolled down the embankment into the woods on the side of the trail. Another time when I caught Sam falling, he hit me in the mouth with his helmet and I got a giant bloody blood-blister on my lip. We both returned from bloody and bruised, but we had a good time.

Because we're been out of town, we haven't been to the Bloomington Farmer's Market for a few weeks. We usually bring Argos every week because we're trying to socialize him to city life (gratings, traffic, etc.) and he has a great time meeting people and dogs (and the cheese lady always saves some curds for him). But this week was crazy--we couldn't get 10 feet without someone stopping us to ask if they could pet Argos. We tried to watch the live entertainment ("The Old Man Boys"), but so many people gathered around to meet Argos that I felt like I was ruining the show so we moved on.

We also took a road trip to Champaign to see the Champaign mall, which turned out to be quite decent. In addition to having some good stores, the mall has odd bonus features. There are leather recliners and upholstered couches arranged in little groupings for hanging out. There are also multiple family restrooms with toilets of different sizes for kids. The food court has a historic (and reasonably priced) carousel which the kids enjoyed. I ventured into the dreaded Ann Taylor (Anteater) Loft. Every time I go into the Bloomington store, I get attached to some item of clothing that appears to be on sale, and then find out that it was not actually on sale when I go to pay for it. However, in the big city Champaign store, everything was clearly and accurately marked, and I ended up with some cute shorts and tops.

Sunday we went to the swimming pool down the street from our house. It is a relatively small park, but it has great waterslides and wading areas. The kids has a great time, of course.

*Spoiler alert--nothing interesting happened this weekend

1 comment:

Beth said...

that's an awesome pic of argos!