I am always finding things for us to do, but my brother gets all the credit for this one! Between the sounds of the band, glow of hot air balloons and the lighting of a Christmas tree with a cup of ($2.50) hot chocolate in hand and a little nephew hand in the other... couldn't ask for my more! We walked around and checked out all the sites, but mostly played with the boys in a the grassy field.
My favorite part of the night was the finale. 5-6 sky divers were dropped into the sky above the park... they looked like fireflies as they dropped from the sky with their parachutes illuminated and their suits lined with lights. As they got closer you could see what looked like flames coming from their chutes. It was so awesome and before we knew it they had landed and were running toward the crowd! The diver in our section was the best because he ran toward us and turned at the last second so his parachute landed over us. The boys (and other kids in the area) were shocked and delighted as were most of adults.
Immediately after the divers landed there was an awesome firework show! I personally think it was even better than the show they put on for the Forth of July! Jacob was so amazed and kept saying, "Its awesome."
The next day we went back up to the park to check out the car show, vendors and to ride the elephant and camels!!
Kenny, Little Brian and I checked out the craft vendors while Brian and Jacob explored the other vendors (like the fire department, different sales booths etc). It was strange shopping with a kid with us... I love Little Brian's perspective and how he would look at items and think about their prices. He never asked for anything (even the transformer flash light he saw).
After we were done exploring Jacob and I jumped in the Elephant line while Brian, Kenny and Little Brian walked around the car show. We waited a good hour to ride that Elephant and paid $2 per person, but it was totally worth it! We climbed a flight (?) of stairs and climbed onto this massive creature... With nothing but a metal bar on one side and rope on the other we held on tightly as the enormous animal sauntered across the grass arena with a gentle sway that made us feel like the whole contraption including the 5 of us could just fall off at any second! I had thought the ride would be similar to a horse, but really it was SO different! Kenny and Brian joked that they practically had to do the splits to straddle his wide back. Jacob loved that he was the 'driver' and Little Brian said, "That was SO much fun! even though he was initially afraid to ride. After we dismounted I had a quick second to pet the elephants neck and was shocked by his extremely rough skin and coarse/bristle like hair. It was a really neat experience.
We were about to wrap things up and head out for some pizza for lunch when an unexpected generous lady stopped us and gave us a stack of tickets ($9 worth) she was unable to use! I was excited because I had wanted to ride the camel too... why not get two items off my bucket list in one day!? The line wasn't near as long and before I knew it Jacob and I were on a camel's back separated by his single hump! As our camel, Jamal, stopped to much on some hay we say Brian and Little Brian attempting to mount the camel... apparently Little Brian decided at the last minute he didn't want to ride. With a little encouragement he decided if his dad rode in front he would ride behind him... Brian got in and Little Brian was supposed to take 'the seat' behind the hump, but instead leached onto his dad's back (like a backpack as Brian later joked). It was pretty comical to us watching... When they got off the camel Little Brian was all smiles and said how much fun it was... lol