June 2012: Bayou Boogaloo Cajun Festival (Disaster), 
Fun at the Beach & Fathers Day, First Family Camping Trip (Disaster)

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So for our first Disaster of the month, I thought that this year I would go to the Cajun Festival by myself.  I made this decision because I'm really the only one in the family who likes this festival.  My dream was to go there and pig-out on all the yummy Cajun food I love and watch Zydeco bands for a few hours.

I took the train so I wouldn't have to pay for parking, I got there early so I wouldn't have to pay admission 
and I did NOT bring the umbrella that I was looking at in the car before I got out to get on the train at the station.

I arrived at the festival just in time to get in free.  I ate a crawfish étouffée potpie, which was small but yummy.  As I ate it, a light rain started.

I bought a full serving of the regular crawfish étouffée and rice, that I love, and it started to rain harder so I moved into the beer tent.  
Then a huge storm came and sat on top of us for about 90 minutes.  Vendor tents were blown down.  The rain wafted and soaked into the beer tent as the small crowd of "survivors" moved ever-closer to the center of the tent.  Eventually the police declared the festival canceled for the day and kicked us all out of the tent and the park.


But there was no way I was leaving without eating some steamed crawfish.  I heard, through the gossip grapevine in the beer tent, that the guys in this red tent in the background were gonna cook one more batch for some rich guy who parked his boat at the marina and paid them an extra $100.  So I made my way over to the tent full of Cajun guys and made friends!  They let me hang out with them, eat all the left over food they were gonna throw away, and I got me a whole mess-a crawfish.  So, in a way it worked out fine.  Better than expected even.

We've been to the beach a bunch of times this year but this was our first time to really play in the ocean.


I usually wait until around July before I want to get in but it's been crazy hot so the water is already late-summer warm.


I asked Anya if she wanted to go in with me and she said yes!  For like the first time ever!


I took her out in my arms and we bobbed around in the waves


Then I took her about 10 feet off shore and she rode on the Boogie Board ( I never let it go)

Then the last time, we went like 60-70 yards out.  Way out to a sandbar.  We played on the waves and rode them a little (I still never let go of the board) and she LOVED it!


Next time I'm gonna put her in a life vest on a surfboard.  Here's hoping!  Fingers crossed!


Beach kids catching some rays!


Playing with their bubble sticks


These always draw a crowd.  Everybody kept coming up and asking about them.


Father's Day

Custom cards from Sasha & Anya

Plus a super awesome hand drawn Marvel Hero Zombie comic.  Mixing Daddy's two favorite generes!

Here's a picture for Grandma & Grandpa Wiseman to show the size of the sunflowers at the end of June.
They're way bigger now and we have about 10 in bloom.

Like most people across the country we have been hit pretty bad by the recent heat wave.  Unlike most though, we reserved and paid for a campsite months ago and have been getting excited and preparing for weeks to go on our first family camping trip this last weekend in June.  As we left the house Friday afternoon in the 100+ degree heat to go to our primitive (no electricity, no water) campground with our friends, Holly said "I just want to say, I'm against this."  Alan however, channeling his best Clark Griswold, forges ahead like a madman with no care or concern for the welfare of himself or his family.  WE ARE GOING CAMPING!  We get to the campsite.  It's HOT.  I start setting up the tent as Holly and the kids explore the campsite and climb in the trees and play.

An hour and 4 bottles of water later, I have the tent and everything set up.  Holly and Jess drive into town to buy a battery operated fan that we can use to hopefully try and keep cool and get pizza for dinner because it's too hot to cook.


Alan and Ben and the kids walk down to the bay beach.  It's about 8pm. 

The kids play around for a few minutes.  Anya hurts her foot and insists I carry her back to camp.  Temperature still 100+ degrees.

Ben goes back to camp because their dog is barely able to walk anymore in the heat.  I take the kids down to the camp play playground.

The kids are soaked with sweat.  Jess and Holly return with the fan and pizza.  heat index in Jess' truck = 116 degrees.


We eat pizza and Jess takes Holly home to get her car.  Holly's car has air conditioning, the family van does not.  We figure we are going to need to duck in and out of the car to cool down over the weekend.  While they are gone, Ben and Alan take the kids to the Campground Friday Night Campfire and S'more Roast.


The kids have fun.  It's about 10pm.   Still in the high 90's.  It is not going to get any cooler.  But it's going to get worse...  

We head back to camp, wait a while for Holly to return.  When she does around 11pm, we decide to turn in for the night.  We get in our tent and set everything up.  Holly and Alan on the air mattress.  Sasha and Anya on the floor on top of their sleeping bags.  That lasts about 10 minutes.  Then the kids are on the air mattress.  We all four lay there, literally in pools of sweat, looking up through the tent mesh screen ceiling at the trees and sky above (I didn't put the canopy on the tent because we need any air circulation we can get, though the air is stagnant and devoid of any breeze whatsoever.)  

After about an hour I say to Holly "forget this, let's go home."  I had told Ben before we went to bed, that in the morning that we would go swimming and then just strike camp and leave.  My thought now is, let's just leave everything, go home and come back and get it all tomorrow.  Holly agrees and is ready to go, but Sasha goes furiously crazy.  "NO!!!!   We are NOT leaving!  I AM NOT LEAVING!  This is my first camping trip.  I AM NOT GOING HOME!"  So after we try to bargain with her for a while, I decide to send Holly home and I will stay with the kids.  If I can have the whole fan to myself I might be able to make it through the night.  So Holly leaves.  Anya falls asleep.  Sasha and I lay there for another 30 minutes or so.  Then she decides she can't sleep so I tell her to go to the other side of the tent and read.  She does.  The air is still.  It's crazy hot.  It's about 1am.

Then, out of nowhere, the wind starts blowing.  Hard.  Huge hot gusts are bending the trees over the campsite back and forth.  The wind is literally howling.  Debris from the trees is showering down in the tent.  Sasha is terrified.  She starts crying and leaps into the bed.  I calm her down and explain to her that its just the wind and pine needles and sticks hitting the tent.  The breeze might actually help cool things down.  (The weather report for the whole weekend was completely clear, no storms, precipitation 0%)  Sasha and I lay there next to each other watching the trees creak and sway for about 20 minutes, the campground stirs to life as people batten down their tents and belongings.  Anya is still asleep.  I see dim lightening to the east.  Heat lightening, right?

WRONG!  More lightening, followed by thunder, and then the rain comes.  The rains come fast and suddenly and we have no canopy on our tent, so it falls down right on our faces.  We are soaked within a minute.  Everything inside the tent is drenched.  I tell Sasha "we're done."  I wake up Anya, pick her and Sasha up, carry them to the van and drop them into their car seats.  For the next 30 minutes in the pouring rain, I literally tear down our entire campsite and cram it, by any means necessary, into the van.  The air mattress, which had to be plugged into the van to inflate really needs to be plugged in to deflate too, but I can't pull the whole tent over to the van through the mud and rain.  So at 1:15am, temperature still in the 90's, I'm rolling around inside my tent with no roof, in the dark, in the rain.  I'm caked in mud and sweat and pine needles, trying to deflate this air mattress enough with my big fat body so that I can cram it into the front passenger seat of the van (the only part of the vehicle with room left to put anything.)  Finally, everything is in.  I tell Jess we're leaving and not coming back.

We drive home.  It's 1:45 am.  There are emergency vehicles everywhere around town.  We find out later the storm warnings were so severe that they we telling people to take cover inside their homes.  We get home and everyone goes to sleep.

11am Saturday.  We wake up and go to IHOP for breakfast.  1pm we all go back to sleep.  5pm we get up, I unpack the van as seen below, and set up the tent and air mattress and everything else in the back yard to dry out.  We eat dinner.  We all go back to sleep.

Late Sunday morning we get up and carry on with our lives.  The End.



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