Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Just after school let out, I was inspired by Marcy over at (Don't Be) Too Timid and Squeamish to create a summer bucket list with the kids.  We sat down together and each kid came up with a couple of ideas and I added a few of my own.  We had accomplished everything by the end of June.  Then July hit like Hades during a heat wave and we ventured out as little as possible.  It's probably fortunate my kids have the same aversion to heat as I.  How torturous it would be on a 99 degree day to have some child masquerading as a desert creature forcing me to go to a playground.  July ended up with the occasional movie outing or trip to a nice air conditioned Cincinnati attraction like Museum Center or the Newport Aquarium.  The majority of the month was spent indoors watching a lot of television, playing a lot of video games, and eating a lot of ice cream.

July 27th marked exactly one month until school starts, so I thought it would be a good time to try a bucket list brainstorming session again.  This time I asked a question:  What would we need to do to make you feel like this was a fun, successful summer?  That query, combined with heat-induced summer cabin fever, caused the floodgates to open.  I stood at the Ikea dry erase board in the kitchen and wrote down anything they thought of.  A good 99% of the ideas are doable.  At Foghorn's insistence I wrote down "go to outer space," even though I'm not stupid enough to try to arrange that excursion.  (It did, however, make me think of Ralph Cramden's "to the moon" threat, which I've wanted to use on Foghorn this summer about every other hour.)

The mind map we created is a bit daunting.  Some of the items are dependent on decent weather (I steadfastly refuse to go to an amusement park on one of those 95-degrees-and-dripping-humidity days) and others I find cost prohibitive (I refuse to spend $20 on a first run movie along with another $20 in snacks).  We're making a valiant attempt, though, to hit everything and if all three of us survive the experience I'm sending word to the Vatican about the miracle.

In the last five days we:

* Went to Run, Jump, and Play - Giant inflatables, trampolines, and indoor play sets.  Oh, yes, and air conditioned.

Still not sure why Uncle Chester likes to come
along to these things...

* Went to a church festival - Bars & Bells tickets, rides, and the winning of plastic maces with which to torture people.  Priceless.

Had to impose a rule on the number of consecutive
rides on the Ferris Wheel after the Professor rode
10 times and made himself deathly ill on a
previous visit.

* Went to Coney Island for rides - Cincinnati's original amusement park is much smaller than in its heyday 50 years ago, but it's still got lots of fun, classic rides like the Scrambler, Tilt-o-Whirl, and Flying Bobs.  Foghorn's favorite is the small roller coaster.  Just be careful to NEVER sit in the second seat from the front.  When the car reaches the bottom of the first hill your head is thrust forward and then it zooms right up the next hill, snapping your head in the other direction and smashing your cranium on the barely-padded back of the seat.  The Professor's chiropractor has often joked that there are rides at King's Island that tempt him to stand at the exit handing out his business cards.  I've got to tell him about this one.

The Queen of the Tilt-o-Whirl

"We all live in a yellow submarine..."
* Went to COSI (Center of Science and Industry) in Columbus, Ohio - It's an hour and a half drive each way, so our trips to COSI are usually annual ones.  It's always worth the trip, though, as this place has tons of hands-on science goodness.  The kids are particularly fond of the submarine area and the Space section (although the latter is moving and undergoing renovations).  I'm in love with an area called Progress, which takes you back in time to first an 1898 Main Street, then a 1962 version.  The kids have decided that they get along much better if they join forces against me, so their behavior on the trip was pretty good.  I ran into a small hiccup when I stopped an hour into the trip at Bob Evans to stuff my children with pancakes and bacon, thus ensuring no visits to the COSI lunch room would be necessary.  Unfortunately Foghorn got into one of her moods, refusing anything to eat or drink and crying through the entire breakfast.  I was eyed with sympathy by the young cashier as we left.  And once again Foghorn causes condom sales to spike.

The Inmates making waves...as usual.

1960s appliance store.  Foghorn lifted the lid and said,
"What's cooking?"  Then I explained that's a washing
machine.  Don't judge too harshly -- we have a front

Yes, she's wearing the new scarf I just
knitted her out of wool yarn.  And, yes, it
is a humid, 87 degree day today.
* Went to Adventure Station at Sharon Woods - This indoor play area at one of our county's terrific parks has been a favorite since The Professor was tiny.  They've both gotten much too old and big for the ball pit, but the indoor slides, climbing appartus, and make-believe areas are still a hit.  I'm trying not to worry that most of their time today was spent playing "prison break" and talking to imaginary cohorts who were armed with shovels, picks, and chisels.

Of course, having a schedule this jam-packed is not without its downside.  Between our busy days and the Olympics to watch in the evenings, there is a huge stack of unopened mail in my in box, I still haven't put all the groceries away from Sunday evening, and there is a giant basket of clean-yet-wrinkled laundry sitting on top of the washer.  Last evening The Vulcan started grumbling something while in the kitchen and then made an unfriendly remark about the sink overflowing with dirty dishes.  Having survived a breakfast with Foghorn, three hours of driving, and another three hours at a museum, I wasn't in the mood for his criticism.  He made a rather snarly suggestion that I not go anywhere tomorrow and instead tend to the house.  This did not go over well. 

This morning as we were packing up for Sharon Woods, he emerged from his office and gave us a cheerful farewell.  Foghorn and I were standing at the bottom of the stairs and I made a point of rubbing his nose in the fact that I was not staying home to clean and then I mouthed some obscenities at him.  Foghorn chimed in with a loud, "Yeah, Dad.  Make your own damn dinner!"  The Vulcan wandered off muttering something about her never finding a husband.


* Camp Gonnawanna

Spending the Summer With Nancy Drew



quilt32 said...

You've hit a lot of the high spots. It will be interesting to see what's left on their list.

steph said...

What a great list!!! My Erlanger grandkids LOVE their annual trip to Coney Island.....

Just in case you really ever want to do that outer space thing.....Paducah has a Challenger Center with a simulator that is amazing fun and much closer than Alabama ---or the moon.

C McKane said...

Wow that is an awesome list. You had me cracking up more than once. Ferris Wheels are deceptive aren't they and I love the Tilt-a-Whirl!

So did you put your groceries away yet ;)

Marcy said...

How awesome! It looks like you're having a blast. I am still catching up with my blog reading after traveling. Thanks for the shout-out. :)