Our family rocked out at the Lisle Eyes to the Skies Festival this past weekend. We're workin' double-time to get our summer to-do list all checked off, yo. Top of the list? CARNIVAL.
A summer just wouldn't be a summer without a carnival, right?
But a carnival and festival that was selected six times as One of the Country's Top 100 Tourist Destinations? Total bonus!
Okay, it was nominated by the American Bus Association but STILL.
While the kids high-fived eachother about going to a carnival-- I was mostly excited to see the hot air balloons. I've never before seen one and there's just something pretty damn cool about having a new experience at the age of 37.
They were much bigger than I ever thought they'd be.
We were all in awe, actually.
This year the festival celebrated its 30th anniversary and I think about the residents of Lisle and how proud they must be that their town is steeped in such a unique tradition.
A tradition that is attended by more than 150,000 people every year.
Seeing the balloons firsthand brought out the hidden adventurer in me, ya know, the one that mostly hibernates all year. For real, I'm a total wuss. But something about these balloons sparked something in me--I WILL go on a hot-air balloon ride. I will. I have to. It looks SO exciting.
All the balloons were grounded, so sadly I couldn't go for a ride. But, someday.
Speaking of grounded, look at Bella and Mia who are one of four stations that are holding that black and white balloon down. That dude's got a lot of faith in the strength of my kiddos.
Strong man Chance needed to help out too.
The sound that the balloons made are what I remember most. Imagine a thousand flags rippeling in the wind-that's exactly what they sounded like.
Every couple of minutes they needed to thrust the flame torch to keep the balloons buoyant which scared the SHIT outta my kids. And me too. Yeah, I jumped a couple times.
I love this picture because it was taken at the exact moment a torch was lit behind the camera.
And it's crazy to me when I think that some explorers have traveled from Japan to Canada in one of these.
Dog pile on eachother!
On our way back to the carnival we stopped at some craft booths.
I am proud to say that we did not indulge in ANYTHING deep fried, although it smelled delish.
And sidenote WHEN DID CARNIVALS GET SO DAMN EXPENSIVE??!!
And yes that is Bella shakin' her money maker while waiting in line. It was LMFAO blasting through the speakers, who could blame her?
Fancy Mia and her jean skirt satchel.
Okay, I'm going to break it on down for you. Watching my kids' reaction when they're on carnival rides are some of my proudest mama moments.
Watching how they react is so priceless to me. Sometimes they're reserved, like Mia for instance who very cautiously lets her excitement show through.
But Chance went balls to the walls guys, he would have for sure been pulled over for drunk driving.
Remember how moments before I unleashed that hidden adventurer in me? Yeah well, she crawled right back into her cave the moment we turned the corner and saw the Super Slide. Nope, protective mom came out instead. But after some convincing I reluctantly handed over the tickets. You see, I thought for sure that Mia would back down the moment she climbed to the top and I was there ready to climb those stairs after her, ready to scoop up my little girl and hold her and keep her safe with me.
But she did it.
And I could tell that she was scared going down, hell I was freaking out--but at the very last second when she slowed at the bottom, she allowed herself to smile. So proud of what she accomplished.
And so was I.
But just as soon as the pride filled my heart, it quickly turned to nausea as I watched the girls bounce around in the WORLD'S DIRTIEST JUMPHOUSE!
Oh man, it was bad.
While the girls frolicked, Chance oogled over the carousel.
And of course Conductor Chance HAD to go on the train, which meant another trip
to the ticket counter. Ca-ching!
We had three tickets left and we all agreed that Chance deserved another ride.
I could watch my kids all day as they experience new thrills.
That night Eugene and I exchanged so many looks with eachother, those proud parent looks that say with no words, awwe look honey our kids are so happy.
Because they were. As a parent I love these intuitive moments because its in these moments that I'm filled with such confidence and assurance that we're doing something right. That our family bond is unbreakable. Believe me, I don't always feel that way, but this night I did.
We ended the night with a $5 duck game, which allowed three attempts to turn over a duck and it will yield one prize. One. My kids were high if they thought I was going to spend $15 on a game so that everyone walked away with a prize. Hell no.
They each got a chance to pick out a duck and they all had to agree on a prize that they could share.
I suck, I know. But it was our last $5 dammit. Didn't our kids realize that spending over $30 on freaking lemonade adds up?
So, they settled on a glittery baton.
Did I write settle? Oops, that must have been a typo because Mia did anything BUT settle on a baton.
She screamed the entire way back to the car that we didn't get her the pink feathered tiara.
Thank god the soothing sounds of the fireworks drowned her out.