Tubby made it through about 15 minutes on my lap before he got too antsy to sit in the row of chairs. We spent the remainder of the hour long service roaming the hill, practicing walking, and playing with sticks as I took in the view of the large, clear lake, always within earshot of the guest minister. After church, we all stuffed our faces at the breakfast buffet inside which featured french toast, fruit, scrambled egg dishes of various kinds, pastries galore, and the best little "Mount Caramel Rolls" I have had. Yum. Jonny and I ate especially well, as we were both afraid of a repeat of yesterday without finding food.
Lyle took us for a quick tour around the camp grounds. We learned that he has been coming up to this Bible camp every year since he was a baby. Not only is each week biblically based on some theme, but the whole atmosphere is so inviting to reconnect with your family and God. Placing things in proper perspective in this busy world of ours is a challenge indeed, and this place helps you jump back onto the right track. I hope that I will be able to bring my kids up here someday, possibly even start the yearly tradition of our own. Marching Band in June, Mount Carmel in July, and Watermelon Day in August. Sounds good to me!
We found decent spots along the hot downtown streets of Alexandria, just south of the judging area. As we waited for the parade to begin, I found myself already dreading the heat, at 77 degrees....but then I kept reminding myself that last year, it was 20 degrees hotter. No kidding, it was awful. Big surprise today: Daddy was able to get a few hours of coverage at the hospital, so he made it up to see part of the parade! Out of 21 bands, Waconia played first, and they did an awesome job. Bob continued to follow them down the route, watching each performance before heading back home. After two hours, the sun fell behind the buildings enough to provide us with much welcomed shade, and the people in front of us left the scene, leaving us with front row shady seats and perfect views of the rest of the shows. It was great, a perfect day for a parade, and everyone was on their best game. We also enjoyed a performance from a visiting school marching band from Norway. They were fun to watch, as was their nice performance in the awards stadium later on that afternoon. For all of us who have been complaining of high gas prices, this visiting band was shocked with how low our prices are...apparently in Norway, it is over $9 a gallon! Perhaps we don't have it so bad?
As so many other parades this season, we lost Grand Champion by one mere point to Park Center. Mankato was once again only one point behind us. The Vikingland Band Festival has become basically a battle between the three of us bands to see who will win. No one else comes close. But true to our audience appeal, Waconia once again won the People's Choice Award. I think that is the most to be proud of!
Finally, at 7:30pm, an exhausted Jonny, Tubby, and I climbed back into our truck, blasted the air conditioner, and headed the two hours back to the cities. I felt sad that the schedule had been so hectic, and that I had been so close to my other "sister" friend Lisa, but had not even been able to see her. Come summer, I anticipate the yearly visit to her house, and can barely stand the wait any longer. *sigh* I will have to come up with another plan for next year to make it all work out. I called my parents on the way home who graciously allowed us to stay one more night instead of picking up the kids and driving home at 11pm. (And, as Lyle pointed out, my tires were basically threadbare.....I was freaking just a tiny bit) We managed to stay awake longer than usual, getting silly and giddy with Grandma before once again crashing into our beds. My, what a BUSY weekend it has been!