Summer weekend, dodging the rain

The rain is coming down, down, down this Monday morning, and the past few days have brought several other deluges. We lost power for about two hours on Saturday. I spent a lot of time checking hourly weather forecasts.

Yet we managed to do almost all our outdoor weekend activities, pretty much as planned! Sometimes, you just get lucky.

On Friday, G (nanny) and I brought the four kids to Hersheypark. In my mind, going on a weekday would mean smaller crowds, but I guess a lot of people are working summer Fridays in August. We bailed on the water park because it was so crowded that there was a line to get in the wave pool (it was at max capacity). I had not seen that before. But we did manage to go on all the dry rides that we wanted to: The Reese’s challenge, Trailblazer (twice!), the Cocoa Cruiser for the little ones, and Sidewinder for the 8-year-old. He went on by himself, which is a lovely benefit of having older children. You don’t need to chaperone them on rides you really, really don’t wish to go on! The forecast had predicted showers in the afternoon, but they held off until we got in the car for the ride home.

Saturday AM it was pouring at 7 a.m., so I had to cancel my planned long run. We lost power during an afternoon thunderstorm. I was checking the forecast frequently, because we had bought tickets three months ago for Longwood Gardens’ fountains and fireworks show (an entry on my 2018 Summer Fun list). They said they’d go on as planned even in moderate rain. So I packed everyone’s rain jackets and we drove in a torrential downpour to Kennett Square.

Fortunately, when we arrived at 7:30 p.m., the rain had turned into a drizzle. We walked around the gardens, and even visited the beer garden (also as mentioned on my summer fun list). We had to wipe down the seats and the kids whined a lot about eating in the rain. I enjoyed my beer and and pretzel and then the skies actually cleared for the fireworks themselves. This was pretty spectacular: dancing lights on the fountains, flames on the water (very cool effect) and fireworks up against the clouds. The 3-year-old sat rapt for the beginning of it, and I was very proud that he didn’t seem scared. At some point he darted over to my husband’s lap, I assumed for cover, but when I looked over, I realized he had fallen asleep (it was 9:30 p.m.) He managed to stay asleep through the rest of the firework show. I am not sure how this is even possible.

Sunday’s forecast also called for storms. One of my husband’s colleagues has an annual pool party in New Vernon, NJ (one alert Off the Clock reader at the party noted the epilogue, where I talk about not going last year and biking instead!) The thought of driving an hour and 45 minutes up there just to be rained out was not immediately appealing, but again, the clouds parted and we had not just no rain, but actual sun. The kids played in the pool for four straight hours. It was only after we drove home, and I was outside picking tomatoes for a salad when the thunder started. Then another deluge. But at that point we were good.

In other news: If you happen to be in New York City this Wednesday, August 15, I am speaking about Off the Clock, and talking about emotions, energy, and schedules with Mollie West Duffy, at WeWork at 79 Madison Avenue. The event is free and open to the public, starting around 6 p.m. You can RSVP here, and shoot me an email (lvanderkam at yahoo dot com) so I know to say hello!

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