"Really, Curtis? Let's just see . . . this summer you've had a baby, moved across the entire country, fed giraffes with your bare hands, explored Washington, D.C., drove 18-plus hours to Kansas City, relived your love story, and next month we are going to the beach. It might make you bad, but I can't judge you."
So, let me give you a recap of some of the other summer activities. Which one is the guilty highlight? I'll let you be the judge.
Since we've driven so much already this summer, our rental car was due for an upgrade. The rental agency is located near the airport, so we decided to make a day of the 40-minute drive and exchange at Airport Overlook Park. This gem of a park is situated at the end of the busiest runways Charlotte Douglas Airport. We arrived at peak takeoff time in the early evening to see a long line of a variety of airliners ready to depart. The runway ran parallel to the overlook area, so we got to see and hear the acceleration in an exciting way! I had to cover poor Livia's ears, but Sebastian just adored seeing these flying cars up close. We've always known that Sebastian did not receive his mother's poor eyesight because he can spot a plane in the sky before anyone else. Whether we are out on a walk, playing in the pool, or just driving to the store, Sebastian will shout "ah-peen!" before we even notice the faint roar of the engine that's been humming in the distance. The sky might clearly showcase a small airplane, a tiny glimmering light, or a simple streak of exhaust, but Sebastian always knows. We were amazed the day he bit his pretzel into a "t" shape and called it an airplane. What imagination. So this was the perfect place to take our boy . . . until we take him to Dad's truck plant (one day)!
Cow Appreciation Day
For the last few years, Curtis and I have tried to take full advantage of the free Chick-fil-A on Cow Appreciation Day. This summer was no different! Chick-fil-A offers customers a free meal during July when customers dress up as a cow (!!!). We really do love Chick-fil-A. It's clean, family friendly, real, and delicious. So how could this list of summer highlights feel complete without this?
Moving to new cities every few months doesn't give us a great chance to become experts in the area, so one of our new favorite pastimes is exploring by car. We love driving around both historic and new neighborhoods, dreaming of our future in a Southern Colonial, a natural Craftsman, a fun Mediterranean, or charming cottage style home. As we have driven around, we have found some fun parks to stop and enjoy. Even though Sebastian loves driving around, he loves climbing and jumping and running and sliding even more.
Summer Splash Pads
In addition to finding creative playgrounds to explore, Sebastian has loved the variety of splash pads around the area. We have a pool at our apartment complex, but who wants to jump into thousands of gallons of water when you can jump through a set of extreme sprinklers.
Earlier this year, Curtis and I got suckered into listening to a 3-hour timeshare presentation. Free rewards for the long and painful sales pitch: an extravagant vacation to the Mexican Riviera, an exotic cruise, or a family-friendly stay at the Great Wolf Lodge. We were living in Texas at the time, not quite certain if we were soon moving to Portland or somewhere else later in the year. Oh, and we were secretly pregnant. As awesome as it would be to be take our much-deserved vacation, we just don't think this is the year to go all out. Timeshare people: The popular Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, Texas, is very accessible, very family friendly, and very close by. Well, we're likely moving to Portland soon. No worries—another Great Wolf Lodge is located in the lush mountains of Washington. Oh, but we might be traveling for work to North Carolina. And we aren't sure when. There's another Great Wolf Lodge in Charlotte!
Basically, fate made us take this vacation. And Sebastian sure is glad we did! He had a blast at their indoor water park, jumping through man-made waves, climbing up and sliding down Sebastian-sized water slides, running through falls, and wading through fountains. Livia wasn't quite sure what to think about all the spray features and splash landings, but because she's perfect, she never complained. Curtis and I took turns going down some of the grown-up slides. We invaded some families' fun to ride 4-person tubes, but we both loved the mat racer. We would totally come again—for free, that is. Guess we need to find another timeshare presentation!
When Curtis and I were touring the East Coast together with the BYU Wind Symphony seven years ago, we were treated with a traditional Southern pig pickin'—twice. And we LOVED them. Don't ask me why. So when our ward announced that they were having their annual pig pickin' while we were still here, you can bet we were excited.
|My first pig pickin', May 2007. Excuse my chubby cheeks.|