This past weekend, we took advantage of an extra day to meet some friends in St. Louis. We arrived (after a long 10 hour drive) to some fantastic weather there. I was also surprised by the beautiful rolling hills (south of the city in Eureka). With highs in the lower 80s, we opted to spend time at Six Flags. It was primarily a chance for us to get some time reconnecting with our friends. The girls enjoyed hanging out with the 9 year old son of one of the couples. The boys stayed back in Baton Rouge opting for a weekend with their own friends (not my first choice, but something they wanted).
I would have thought the park would have been packed, but it was only slightly busy and not bad at all. The park is pretty nice, but is primarily focused on rides and not shows. So I took in as many roller coasters as I could handle (and perhaps 1 too many). The girls loved one ride in particular and so we rode it many, many (many) times. I did not realize that Bugs Bunny and friends were there. Interesting. We finished up the day with a firework display at closing time.
The next day, we took advantage of a summer pass to visit the park again and take in the water rides. We hit all of the big stuff and the rides were fun. The lines were a little longer on Saturday, but that is to be expected. Overall, Six Flags was fun.
The best part of the trip was time spent visiting with our friends. We missed getting together last year. It was great to see the home improvement pictures of Dave and Mel. Some awesome updates to their home. It was great to hear about the exciting travel plans of Don and Dana. It was also good to just spend some time visiting and realizing that we are all transitioning through changes in family life as our kids get older. It was really great to hang out with them a few days.
This past weekend, I spent a couple days (only one was a full day) at Chicot State Park with a few friends of mine. We scheduled the weekend back during the month of July in hopes that we would be able to schedule around it. It worked out pretty well as the four of us were able to make it. These days, that’s an amazing feat. So many other things come up.
The park is pretty nice. It’s an older park, but it is maintained moderately well. I thought the eight person cabin was very nice and spacious. It was just around a hill from a nice pier that jutted out into the lake. Due to a rough nights sleep (snoring friends perhaps), I was up early for a morning run. I put in five of my ten miles running up to the north part of the lake. Really beautiful scenery and plenty of wildlife. I passed no fewer than ten deer and probably closer to fifteen. Only a couple bucks and they were mostly on the small side. It could be a much nicer park if they would put a little money into repairing some of the facilities that have fallen into disuse. I didn’t get to visit the arboretum though.
I brought my kayaks though and spent a couple hours out on the lake investigating the opposite shore. Amazing place. So many trees that are out in the lake. The water was a little low, but it didn’t affect the kayaking. There were lots of waterfowl out. The turtles and even a few alligators were enjoying the sun from their cozy perch on the logs. It was nice to have Todd join me about half way through the excursion. We paddled around to find a nice stand of cypress trees.
Of course, these “get together”s would not be complete without some amazing meals prepared by David. Rarely does anyone eat so well on a camping trip. Jeff and David also provided the entertainment with some fine singing and guitar playing. Good stuff. We also managed some Bible trivia, spiritual discussions and prayer time. It was a great time spent with some great friends.
I’m going back to the previous last weekend and post a couple pictures from Maggie and Gayle’s birthday party in New Orleans. With so many birthdays to go around, grouping them up is the only way to effectively have parties for everyone. I thought it was pretty cool that Connie’s mom had a My Little Pony cake. Probably a first for her.
This week the girls finished up their swimming lessons as well. It really turned into a daily pool party with friends from church there as well. Everyone brought their lunch and spent a couple hours playing in the pool. The girls loved it. Even the boys went a couple days with their friends. Great way to beat the summer heat. Maggie displayed her skills by going to the bottom of the 9′ deep end to retrieve objects. That’s just crazy.
My week was spent breaking in my new running shoes. I brought my bike into the shop to get a 2k mile checkup done on it (free year of service on it) and with all the rain we had, everyone had their bike in the shop. That left me with a week to find another mode of exercise. I picked up a clearance model of Asics running shoes (last year’s Cumulus 15) and put in a few miles each day. I’ll get my bike back tomorrow, but I will probably add a running day or two each week to add variety (as long as my knees don’t complain too much). It was definitely a change of pace. It’s a lot tougher than riding a bike, but you also move a lot slower so hazards don’t come at you so fast.
We celebrated Independence Day out at the Broussard Ranch. This has been an annual event since the kids were little and it’s always a great time to fellowship with some great friends. This year we also had our bible study friends (James, Denise & Alyssa Guillory) with us. A few things that I come to expect each year, lots of food, visiting, music and animals. Maggie usually had at least one puppy in her hands at all times. The uninvited guest this year was a donkey that has been hanging out around their farm. With all of the braying and at least one photo bomb, he made things a little more interesting. Hmmm, zip line, improvised Chevy swimming pool, concert, great food, slip ‘N slide and insects. We had it all.
My apologies for throwing all of this in one post. It was either that or just not post anything. Perhaps if I can kick my Skyrim addiction then I will be a little more with it in the next few weeks.
I had a nice time this past Thursday. For the 4th of July, we met up with friends at the new home of the Broussard’s. Todd, Jeff, David and I were there along with our families. This was the first time that I’ve gotten to see David and Tracy’s new homestead since they moved. It’s a nice place with plenty of room to stretch. They were still renovating their house on the property, but it’s still a great place to get together with lots of room on the front porch.
The boys and I got to shoot pistols a little, the girls got to pet and hold some kittens and we all got to catch up on the latest happenings. Tracy did an amazing job with the BBQ and I didn’t hear anyone complain that they were still hungry. Top it off with a juicy, sweet watermelon and I call that a win.