Monday, July 31, 2017

Summer 2017: Day 70, Vacation Day 2

Another day of driving, but not quite as long. It's funny how Iowa isn't quite as time-sucking as other states, and Illinois, even at its widest, is quick on Interstate 88. After breakfast at the hotel, we hit the road about 9 a.m. and made great time, arriving at my dad's about 7:15 p.m. Dad ordered Lou Malnati's pizza for us for dinner, and we taught him and Susy how to play Exploding Kittens. Welcome to Chicago! It's good to be back.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Summer 2017: Day 69, Vacation Day 1

And the vacation begins! For any road trip, there is usually one long day of driving, and this was it. Lori, whose birthday was today, took the wheel for most of the day as we went from Salt Lake City to Grand Island, Neb. We got into town about 8:30 p.m. CDT, checked into the hotel, and then went to Olive Garden for dinner. Otherwise, we hauled across Wyoming and half of Nebraska, getting a little rain but making good time.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Summer 2017: Days 46-68

I just haven't been in the mood to write ...

And this is a big issue because, well, writing it what I do, what feeds my soul, and, outside of writing for work, defines who I am beyond a father and husband. But the will just hasn't been there. It's been an exhausting summer, and I want to chalk it up to that, with the directive to figure it out for fall.

In the meantime, three weeks passed between summer blog posts. Here's what happened:

Ben swam three meets, and he's struggled a bit during them. He's either looked tired or is struggling in his noggin. At the state meet, he underperformed, and he usually swims great for big meets. He did make the B final in the 50 back, which he was excited about, especially considering he's in the 11-12 division and just turned 11 two months ago. But after reaching the final, he proceeded to finish last and, again, looked tired. I want to discuss it with his coach when we get back from vacation.

Michael's seventh-grade basketball season ended with a tournament in Vegas. They went 1-3, but they didn't play all too badly. Michael averaged 7 points and 10 rebounds a game.

Vegas was fun again from the vacation point of view. We hit our favorite spots for dinner -- Sushi Mon, Metro Pizza -- and tried a new rib place. We played in the pool often. The weather wasn't perfect, but that was actually a good thing. Michael hung out with his basketball friends.

I worked hard these past few weeks and am ready for the break vacation will bring. The heat has been severe as usual for a Utah July. I've been trying to deal with getting Ben's soccer team moved over to a new league. The summer has been anything but relaxing.

But, summer has been going fast. Not blogging hasn't made it go any slower, either ...

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Summer 2017: Day 45

Hot.

Ben got back into the morning swim practice routine after taking yesterday off. Michael had a swim meet down in Sandy. We went to Wing Nutz for dinner. And, it was hot.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Summer 2017: Day 44

Hot.

Today was a recovery day. Poor Lori -- they didn't get enough help to clean up the park, so she was out the door at 6 a.m. She enlisted Michael to help a couple hours later, and finally, the temp workers arrived to help as well. They were exhausted after it was over.

Michael had basketball practice in the evening. First day back at work after a four-day weekend is always a bit of an adjustment, but today wasn't so bad. Just hot.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Summer 2017: Day 43

Today was the Fourth of July, and it was exhausting ...

Lori was helping organize the Sugar House Park fireworks and other activities in the community, It required a lot of work ... and some volunteers. We were up at 7 a.m. helping move garbage cans around the park. The city simply dropped 300 cans in a couple locations, and they needed to be put in certain spots. That took a couple hours and some trips uphill dragging cans, but with several people helping, we got the job done and headed home.

Ben and I participated in the neighborhood Fourth of July parade while Lori and Michael prepared for the rest of their day. The temperature began climbing. After a few hot dogs, we left the parade, and I took Ben and one of his friends to another Fourth of July gathering, this time in the backyard of some good friends of ours. The pool was perfect as the temperature passed 100.

We made it home by 7 p.m., and our family walked to Sugar House Park in advance of the fireworks. The organizers had a little VIP area cordoned off next to the fallout zone, and we grilled some Italians and hot dogs and waited for the fireworks to begin.

Then the chaos began. The organizers had rented a golf cart, and I took the boys in it for one lap around the park. It was crowded. People seemed a little cranky -- they had been waiting in the heat all day, and they were ready for night to fall and the fireworks to begin. Then, people started launching their own fireworks, even though that was illegal. One landed on the other side of the fence, on the dry grass next to the expressway, and started a blaze about 400 yards away from us. This was a mini inferno, and almost at the same time, the fireworks began ...

Turns out, we were in the fallout zone. The fire marshal moved us, but about a minute later, something landed on the other side of the expressway again, and another blaze started. We moved away from it and were about 150 yards away. Michael got some great video of a tree just exploding into flame. But the fire burned itself out quickly.

The fireworks were OK. There were a lot of drunk morons in the park. We usually aren't in the park itself for the fireworks, so we miss most of the obnoxiousness. The long day of heat didn't help. The fireworks ended, and we couldn't get out of the park soon enough. The walk home felt long, but we finally made it, only to hear more fireworks set off well past 11 p.m. Thus ended a Fourth of July we won't forget.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Summer 2017, days 28-42

Another two-week break. I gotta get better at this ...

OK, 14 days passed, and I'm going to try to recap. I did write on the solstice. There's been a lot of basketball and heat and swim meets and cooling off in that time. Tonight is July 3. Here's what happened the past two weeks:

-- Michael's basketball team took second place its division in two basketball tournaments here in town.
-- Ben had a long swim meet at Kearns Aquatic Center and did all right.
-- Michael had a swim meet, too, at SportsMall, and did all right too.
-- We went to Cowabunga Bay on a night sponsored by the boys' orthodontist.
-- Ben and I hiked to Peak 10420 today. It was short but steep, and definitely worth the view.
-- Lori's friend Tina and her family visited us from Denmark (well, not just us; they are visiting the entire Western U.S. and swung through SLC for a couple days).
-- Ben and I swam at Murray Pool yesterday.

Those were the highlights. This is why I need to blog every day ...