Greetings CSMD Readers! We have a special treat in store for you here on the Radvon Ranch this summer! In the spirit of the fun and carefree days of summer vacation and the theatrical release of the legendary 3rd grade summer tale, “Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer”, we are sharing our 3rd grade summer fun with all of you. We’re calling it “Spawn’s Supermegatotally Thrilladelic Not Bummer Summer”. You see what I did there? Yeah, clever, I know it. ;)
Each day, we’ll be sharing craft tutorials, outdoor activities, tips, inventions, fun and messy art projects, discounted, cheap, and/or free AND fun activities, Lego builds, backyard builds, fun book recommendations, and anything and everything else that catches our fancy. We’ve also created a Summer Checklist of ideas that interest us now, today. That list may change by the end of summer, so this isn’t like a do or die list, just a list of some high points we’d like to hit and a clue as to what may or may not be showing up on our blog this summer. (The Summer Checklist was formerly known as the “Bored List” in our house, but that seemed WAY too boring to be any actual fun, so it got a renovation for this summer.)
Today is Day 1: Community Block Party and Mini Golf - an awesome way to kick off “Spawn’s Supermegatotally Thrilladelic Not Bummer Summer”! (Judy Moody Inspiration) St. Luke’s Hospital opened a new satellite health center here in the Slate Belt. It’s a few small towns over, but it was just a hop, skip, and a jump away (about a 10 minute drive) and everything was supposed to be free by virtue of being provided by the health center for their open house. We got a notice in the mail. [Insert invite scan here.] All I had to do was RSVP by Memorial Day to get our name put on the list. Easy peasy lemon squeezy! I called the toll free number and signed us up, forgetting that Spawn was supposed to be in fencing class on Thursdays until the end of May! D’oh! Fortunately, the renovations on the gym at the Y were progressing much slower than anticipated and we got a call yesterday from the Y to notify us that class was being canceled and tacked onto the end of the session in the 4th week of June. WOOT! Community Block Party on!
We arrived, shocked to see how many people had turned out from the 4 tiny towns surrounding the new health center. We snagged one of the last few parking spaces, grabbed some bottled water and prepared for the hike down to the health center entrance from the far, rear corner of the shopping center. Out of nowhere, a night in shining armor on a white golf cart appeared in front of us, offering to shuttle us to the front doors and registration. Nice! Notice how thrilled Spawn is with a free golf cart ride. =D
We looked around on the ride down the hill and it was not looking very promising. Lines everywhere, crabby, overheated people with the wind whipping plates and napkins out of hands, not enough trash cans, and not much to do under the party tent from the look of things. Uh-oh. Then we arrived at registration…well, the line for registration.
Yeah, we arrived about a half hour into the festivities, so we figured we’d have a little wait, but this line looked MONSTROUS. Was all the fun going to be sucked out of our free summer fun family evening?
Fortunately for us, the MONSTER line turned out to be 2 lines: one for registration and one for the open house tour. I was NOT spending so much as a single moment of my summer fun family evening in a line to tour a few medical offices and the x-ray room at the imaging center. :P Chumps!
While we were in line, we passed a small table of refreshments and noticed the slices of cake were disappearing fast, so Spawn and I snagged the last two slices while we waited. Life is short! Eat dessert first! (Mine was at least two-thirds frosting and I hate frosting, but I was glad I got to try the cake. =D CS Dad didn’t even like the looks of it!)
We signed in at registration, got this nifty loot bag full of info about the new health center and the new hospital being built in Easton at Riverside (only one loot bag per family :P), and free vouchers for each of us for dinner (a slice of Sal’s Pizza and a drink), free vouchers for each of us for dessert (Italian ice from Rita’s), and free vouchers for each of us for mini golf (Perfect Putt). Seriously, there’s nearly $30 worth of freebies in this bag at this point in our night! =O
Still eating our cake, we passed on getting in line to tour the health center and made our way over to the fire trucks outside to poke around and peek inside. The young firefighters manning the open truck weren’t the most engaging conversationalists, but they were polite and let Spawn crawl all over the truck, into every nook and cranny. =D
After that, we hit the party tent to see what was going on for the kids activities and grab some dinner. It was still pretty windy, so we decided to grab some slices and drinks and find a table so we could check out the other activities before tackling mini golf…last. (The vouchers were good for one day only!)
Spawn had a little trouble finishing his slice because he was so excited. The med-evac helicopter from St. Luke’s had landed as we were arriving and it was right in our line of sight as we ate. He knew it was the next stop, but it’s hard to remember that when you have A WHOLE SLICE OF PIZZA to finish. ;) He got an Orange Crush with his slice and…honestly, I thought, “What the hell. It’s a party. It’s only one soda and he only has soda maybe once or twice all year.” Ahem…gentle reader, learn from my mistakes. Do not let an ADHD child who rarely consumes sugar- and dye-laden carbonated drinks have an Orange Crush. EVER. Not for any reason. Let us never speak of it again.
It didn’t help speed things along overmuch having The Smile-ologist (clown) turn up tableside to do magic tricks, pass out stickers and clown noses, and generally distract Spawn from a dinner he was trying to rush through while he was already distracted by the promise of sitting in a helicopter after dinner. The clown noses are from Barnum & Bailey and say “Greatest Show on Earth” on the tip of them =D
After dinner, we ran over to the grassy field by the health center to check out the helicopter. The photos really speak for themselves, but suffice it to say, Spawn LOVED every second of it. We tracked down the pilot and Spawn picked his brain clean with every question he could think of. We crawled all over the helicopter, asking questions and Spawn even crawled inside to take pictures where his decrepit old mom couldn’t reach. =D
That thing sticking out from the side of the blade is on every blade and it’s to help the helicopter discharge static electricity. Awesome, right? =D
When Spawn had had is fill of crawling all over the helicopter, we checked out the St. Luke’s mobile doctor’s office (an RV) and hit up the Rita’s booth for some Italian ices. We had a short wait while they made a refill run to the store and we got some of the first tastes of the new flavors – mango for Walt and lime for Spawn and I. I tasted some of Walt’s, but the mango was too sickeningly sweet for me. Spawn and I were delighted with our limes, though! AND we got to see the Icee Guy! He had coupons for me and a sticker for Spawn. Sweet!
Next, we decided to go see what the line was like for balloon animals. The answer was: LONG. Long line. Meh. We’re not patient, happy queuers, so we decided it was as good a time as any to go tackle mini golf. We hoofed it back up to the car the old fashioned way (on our own two feet) and dropped off the bags and bottles of water to lighten the load.
Now, if any other family used the phrase “it was as good a time as any to go tackle mini golf”, you wouldn’t bat an eyelash. But let me tell you, we’re literal people. Nobody plays mini golf the Radvon-family way: full contact, nearly anything goes (distractions, interference, goalie-style hole-blocking, cheating, etc. are all encouraged). If you remember to add “-ish” to the number when you yell out your stroke count after each hole, you get to deduct a stroke from that hole. If you lie and deduct on your own and someone calls you on it and you don’t use “-ish”, you get strokes added to your stroke count. =D The number of strokes added is at the discretion of the other players in your group. =D We’ve been THROWN OUT of mini golf courses for our rowdy game play before, so we have a proven track record of obnoxious mini golf game play. I’ve incurred BACK INJURIES playing Radvon-style mini golf. =D My husband is physically SCARRED from Radvon-style mini golf. We can only pray that he’ll walk right again someday.
This flower was growing with a bunch of other daisies in the weeds on the back of Perfect Putt's untidily-kept lot. It made up for all the carpenter ants all over the course. ;)
Note the note on the rock blocking the one hole says "Hole Broken". My ball rolled up and GOT STUCK RIGHT THERE when I aimed for one of the other holes! That's why I titled this photo "No Sh*t". :P
Spawn: 65 strokes
Me: 53 strokes
Walt: 48 strokes, the creep :P
We took our time and had a really relaxing time because we waited until nearly the last hour of the block party, assuming those folks with young kids would pack up and head home early. ;) It worked out great! Look how quiet and uncrowded the mini golf course was when we finished! The vouchers were provided through St. Luke's sponsorship for the evening, but would have cost us $14 on any other night! Attending this block party really paid off in the end for us. We got to go mini golfing (FREE! - we'll be checking that off the list now!), visit with some firefighters, meet a helicopter pilot, have some Italian ices (FREE!), have some pizza, chips and a drink (FREE!), had cake (FREE!), and the entire evening didn't cost us a single cent! I was tempted to get a milkshake at Perfect Putt's cafe, but I resisted the temptation. I'd had two desserts and half a Pepsi already and I was getting the shakes. =D
All in all, it works out to about $30 - 40 worth of freebies just because I didn't throw away our junk mail and actually read through it for once! It's a great tip and one I'll be keeping in mind the rest of the summer!
Happy summer vacation, CSMDers!!!
Chrissi, Cyber School Mom