July the Fourth

I am so behind on my summer blogging, and I’m only a few weeks out from school starting again (!!!), so I really need to get on this. So here it is, over a month late: our Fourth of July!

Milking a 'cow'

Milking a ‘cow’

Little farmer!

Little farmer!

Rowen 'sharing' his empty cup

Rowen ‘sharing’ his empty cup

Unlike years past, we had a seemingly endless variety of options for where to see fireworks – I swear every town in the Napa Valley decided to host its own celebration, which seems kind of ridiculous given 1) fireworks are expensive, and 2) the drought has turned California into a tinderbox, but the Napa Valley is showy like that. Anyway, we chose to go to the Calistoga fireworks show, because it featured a one-day fair with unlimited rides attached to your ticket – and our kids were both free. Dan and I were hoping for fair food, and while there weren’t as many options as at the bigger fair in Napa (or the really, really big State Fair in Sacramento) we managed.

Damien-on-rides pics:


Damien REALLY liked this weirdo train tunnel obstacle course


I was surprised that Damien wanted to go on this slide (which ended up in a pool of water) but he really liked it (much to Dan’s disgust… the water was pretty ew.) Unfortunately there was a bully on the slide (a 10+ year old kid when most of the kids were under 5) who I actually called out before moving on to another ride – Damien luckily understand what was going on.


Damien and Dan in the belly of a giant spinning bear… Fairs are weird!


Damien and Dan on the ferris wheel – the one ride we all went on


Rowen and me on the ferris wheel


The fair from the top of the ferris wheel


So pretty!

IMG_20150704_180442018   Along with the rides, there were also cute kid activities, and a really awesome area for small children to play. I was SO grateful for an area to put Rowen down – he didn’t want to be held all day but since he couldn’t walk, usually my options would be find-a-vacant-field-somewhere. This was much better (and cleaner.)

Family art session

Family art session

There were a bunch of easels and chalk, but Rowen preferred the eraser

There were a bunch of easels and chalk, but Rowen preferred the eraser

Posing in his cute 4th of July outfit :)

Posing in his cute 4th of July outfit 🙂

Damien and Rowen in the baby box

Damien and Rowen in the baby box

Bowling in the kid area

Bowling in the kid area

The one problem was that it was a very LONG day with two little kids. If we lived closer I would have gone home midday and come back for the fireworks, but for us that would have been an hour round trip (plus we would have had to retrieve our car from the fair parking lot, which was a pretty long walk we weren’t wanting to do more than we had to) so we stayed put. Near the end of the day we did find an air conditioned building with arts and crafts activities for kids, and Damien spent 45 minutes “building the Axiom” (which looked a lot like a clay mountain).

This, it seems, is the Axiom

This, it seems, is the Axiom

Nighttime rides!

Nighttime rides!


Finally we were able to wander over to the racetrack, where they would be shooting off fireworks after dark. A lot of people sat in the grandstands but we crossed the track and went to the grassy field in the middle, where a band was playing (they did covers of all different styles of music and were really entertaining) and the kids could dance around and be crazy and no one cared. When the fireworks show finally started it was one of the better ones I’ve seen in years… and amusingly, Rowen fell asleep in my lap halfway through. He seemed pretty interested until all of a sudden he just went unconscious, haha. Damien enjoyed it, though not quite with the wonder of last year (granted this was now the second time he had seen fireworks so he was an old pro.)


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