1. Go on a Firefly walk – We planned to go out on July 7th for our town’s fireworks show but were stopped in the front yard by O’s first experience with fireflies this year (she’d seen them last year but probably doesn’t remember). She was so happy running around chasing them (and we were running a little late anyway due to a cranky Number 2 needing to nurse) that we decided to skip the trip and just play. Turns out it was a very fortunate decision because not 10 minutes later I asked Daddy if that was fireworks or lightning and began to feel rain drops (it was lightning). A few minutes after getting inside, cue super downpour! And check one off of the bucket list.
2. Trip to Vermont – A 6 hour drive in perfect conditions, we made it to Vermont in about 8 hours, especially amazing because we didn’t drive in the middle of the night this time with the babies asleep. We left early in the morning and, like magic, only needed to make 3 stops. We semi-cheated because Mimi was in the backseat entertaining the kids but I was still really proud of both of them – actually of all of us! At the first rest stop we got strawberry banana jelly from a farm stand and O finally used an automatic hand dryer without fear (probably because it wasn’t one of the turbo-powered, blow-the-skin-off-your-hands versions that we usually see). And at our third stop we got chocolate creemees (Vermonter for soft serve). Once we were there, my sister and her family treated us to the 27th Annual Stoweflake Balloon Festival, a trip to Shelburne Farms (an amazing castle of a farm with newborn goats, cow milking demonstrations, cheese sampling and a ride to the farm being pulled by a tractor), and a trip to Jay Peak (indoor (!!!) water park with an awesome kids area).
3. Watch a Sunrise – Sunrise sunset, same thing. We saw it while driving but unfortunately I was in no state to remember to take a picture. But I realized we should have put on our bucket list was looking at the stars when we could actually see some stars. My sister lives out in rural Vermont where there is no light pollution (very unlike the city that never sleeps) and the view was spectacular. But I was so sad I couldn’t wake up the kids to enjoy it with their sleep schedules being so messed up already. Luckily (?) there were a lot more wake-ups on the drive home (which was at night) and O got to see the celestial wonders at a dark scenic turn-off (much better than a lit-up rest stop).
4. Hot Air Balloons – We attended the 27th Annual Stoweflake Balloon Festival in Vermont with 18 month old cousin Wolverine (don’t worry, it’s just my blog nickname for him). They had launches twice a day for the weekend but the night launches were accompanied by vendors, rides, gift shops, food and live music. Luckily this made the morning launches, which didn’t have any activities, free to attend. Bonus! So we got up before the crack of dawn and walked out into a field to watch all the brightly colored balloons slowly fill with hot air. The sunrise launch lasted long enough to be worth the hour drive but short enough to keep anyone from getting cranky or bored (especially when someone awesome started handing out helium balloons for the kids). As if this event wasn’t already amazing enough, they had a Keurig machine set up with free Green Mountain Coffee – and they had decaf for me. Heaven.
5. Go Swimming (1st time!) – When we were in Vermont, we also drove up to Jay Peak. Originally a ski resort, they recently built the indoor Pump House Waterpark to attract summertime visitors. As an almost vampire-like sun avoider, the idea of an indoor waterpark had me drooling and Jay Peak didn’t disappoint. Sorry no camera this time either, felt it probably wasn’t the best thing for a klutz to bring to a water park but above are some pics from their website. They had 2 water slides for double or single raft riders and 2 tube slides to ride without rafts, one of which throws you in a 360 degree loop (terrifying!). The park also has a Flowriding (like faux surfing) area, a lazy river, hot tubs, an adorable kids area with lots of water spouts and small slides, free towels (woot!), an arcade and food. The kids play area was even shallow enough for Number 2 to sit with us and splash safely while we watched O play on a slide and there were lifeguards everywhere. But I took O in a life jacket into the lazy river with me and we bobbed up and down in the 3ft waves – she had a blast!
6. Watch Fireworks – The fireflies above got in the way of seeing real ones but at least we watched the Macy’s show on TV. Check!