Enjoyed a great weekend with my family. Saturday kicked things off with the day 1 cookout at my mother in laws. I manned grill 1 as my brother-in-law manned grill 2 with my Dad sitting close to both so he could yell advice when he thought we needed it.  Hamburgers, hotdogs, sausages, ribs, corn, pasta salad, fruit salad…the works. All the food was good but the company was better. Had about 14 kids and about 10 adults. No alcohol was involved since it was a family event. There was also absolutely no drama (as there tends to be when you get family together for some reason), so everything was pleasant. As the day went on we all ended up on the screened in porch where we talked well into the night while the children ran and played until dark and then they ended up splitting into 2 groups, boys downstairs on the traveling Xbox 360 and the girls upstairs gathered around the computer most likely taking turns on facebook. The parents being outside guarded the sodas to prevent the late night caffeine/sugar rush and talked about current events and not so current events. Then as the night drew long and the sounds of the children died down, we cleaned up and packed the food to prepare for day 2.

Sunday was day 2 of the cookout. We slept in, then we all reconvened over at my mother in laws house to kick off day 2. My wife and I set up the homemade slip n slide for the kids. The setup included spreading out a 6 ft wide by 25 foot long plastic tarp, hooking 2 hoses up to a pair of sprinklers and then anchoring down the plastic with lawn staples. Needless to say that after several semi perfect attempts, we finally got it just right. Now as for the status of the lawn afterwords well, lets just say it won’t need watered for a long time. I am sure the mud will dry up by next summer. Anyway, after that was set up we hung out until the rest of the family arrived. From there we heated up the food, refired grill 1 to cook what didn’t make it to day 2.

Once we were finished eating, the kids equipped themselves with swimming gear and we turned on the water. The kids had a blast and the more we watched the children the more the kid within the adults fought to get out. We finally let our inner child out and took to the slide. That is when the laughs began. I will not embarrass myself or the other adults by posting video (YES there is video proof, but it is more classified than the Roswell documents). We slipped and slid well into the afternoon until the light dimmed and we all changed out of the water (and mud) soaked clothes as it was time for the fireworks.

This year we did not venture down to the capital steps to watch the fireworks, we ventured out into the street. My brother-in-law bought a basket of fireworks and we lit them along with the ancient relics we still had from few Fourths back. We had a few duds, a few let downs and a few confused fireworks but the grand daddy of the all was a thing called the “Dancing Diamond”. This thing was amazing. It was a 8 stage firework that sparked and popped. I was truly impressed, it was almost like a miniaturized 1: 1000th scale version of the real fireworks. Needless to say that will be a staple in out fireworks display from here on out. After the fireworks, we divvied up the left overs and headed home for some much-needed rest and relaxation.

Since the 4th fell on a Sunday I had off work on Monday. I again slept in then I woke up to find everyone else still in the “Don’t make any noise and wake me up” zone. So I went downstairs and waited for everyone to rise. As the groginess subsided and strange feeling crept in…. “pain” seems that my slip n slide adventure had a not so publicised on YouTube side effect…. soreness. I spent my day off working the kinks out of my neck, back, legs and arms. Then as we spoke to the family members on the phone throughout the day it wasn’t just us but everyone was sore. Seems running full speed and launching yourself onto a sheet of plastic about 6 ml think drenched in water sprawled out over grass that hasn’t seen a drop of water and baked to an average temp of 95 degrees over a 2 week period can cause a few stiff and sore muscles. Well I’m just sayin… seemed like a good idea at the time. So we just laid around the house in the AC as it was hazy hot as hell outside. With my son upstairs in Xbox land, me and my wife watched a Psycho marathon and then she stumbled onto a Hitchcock category on demand and we watched them well into the night. We started with Psycho I, II, we watched half of III but lost interest, so we switched to The Rope and ended with The Birds. That rounded out the holiday weekend, now it is time to switch gears and get back into work mode. That is until next weekend when we will be having another cook out!! Although we will most likely forgo the slip n slide this go round.