Last year I found a renaissance festival for kids. After the fact, of course. So I put the date for this year's in my phone and waited. A few days before the event, I informed the kids we were going on a drive.
They complained because they didn't know where I was taking them, the drive was long, and we couldn't bring Howard. He was sad too, but someone has to work to keep this crazy family going.
The festival was in Nevada City. It was geared fully for kids. They took turns being a knight at the entrance.
Then they met with the fortune teller.
Even the older girls got into it, and decorated the heck out of their shields.
Annie helped out with gluing at the puppet station.
Adam was the only one who wanted a crown, but he said it could not have glitter.
The face painters were all volunteer, and had different offerings. This is a shield on Adam.
Pretty sparkles for Sarah.
Emma was a good sport about hers. She is lovely.
Laura got the full face treatment.
Laura is wearing a tunic she decorated. Then she made a peg doll.
Regular swim season ended with Championships. Our team was undefeated in our division, so our family decided to actually go this year. The kids had a clinic the Saturday before. All kinds of training and practice. Laura left a little early, because her friend Emily was having a birthday party. Laura was bummed to leave swim and put on clothes, but when we got to the party, it was a swim party!! Good thing she had a swim suit in the car!
Her friends from Girl Scouts were there too and they had a blast. And she got to keep the flowers.
Since swim took up most of our summer, we decided to pack a summer's worth of activities in the days leading up to school.
One fine Sunday we headed to the city of Columbia, a state historic park. We walked the streets, had lunch, and rode the stagecoach.
Not everyone was excited.
Adam got a new gun, which he shot at the stage robber.
They thought I said I was going to the schoolhouse. So when they were finished, they hiked to the old schoolhouse, with no water. They were hot and thirsty. It was dusty.
Meanwhile, I was in the building next to the bowling, watching a movie about how water was moved to Columbia using a system of wooden troughs. It was air conditioned and nice, but no cell service.
When I finally walked out of the building, I got a bunch of texts, asking where I was, did I have water, and help!
So then I hiked to the schoolhouse, which was interesting, but I would have driven to it. Water was distributed, Howard walked back to the car and picked us up.
Then we drove to Moaning Cavern and went on a tour. It was 300 or so steps to the bottom . It doesn't sound like much, but it was through winding walkways, and then a spiral staircase. By the bottom, this out of shape mom's legs were rubbery, and I knew we had to go back up!
If you look closely, you can see a rope hanging in the back. We chose the stairs over the rapelling to get to the bottom.
After the long hot day, they took turns falling asleep.
Monday morning they started the last week of swim. It was pretty relaxed.
Did I mention swim was in the mornings, starting at 7 am?
By making finals in championships, Laura qualified to go to Meet of Champions the next weekend. There were only 6 kids from our team, of all who qualified, who went to MOC. They had special practice the week before. Laura spent most of her time talking with her friend Maggie.
At Meet of Champs, while Laura was waiting to do one of her heats, the girl behind her asked if she was Laura. It was her friend Kylie from last year's fall swim! She was swimming with a different team and they hadn't seen each other since October 2015. They spent the rest of the meet hanging out.
Sarah made sure she was at the front of the line to get her medal.