I decided to run away for the summer.
Get away from the heat of the Vegas desert and the irritation of the Vegas people.
Even if I hadn't decided to be a bum in my parents' basement for the summer, I would for sure have been home for one of my favorite weeks of the year:
I don't really know when it started. Since we've lived in Idaho, I don't think we've ever been anywhere for the 4th of July. We've partaken in the hometown events, first off the river, then on when we got our first boat. It became a tradition at that point: hit the Rupert parade then out on the water for the rest of the day, coming home just before dark to watch the city fireworks from our front lawn.
And then at some point a bit of these traditions changed: my mom's sister and her family would come up for the whole week leading up to the 4th--and, some years, a half week after. With cousins at ages similar to most of my younger siblings, it became a week of river days, night games, and fun. Most years, especially early on, mom's other siblings came up with their families, and it was like a mini family-reunion. We ate all the meals together, played boardgames and camp games, had long, deep, late night discussions, and partied it up on the river.
The finer details of the week sometimes change:
some years we can't spend the 4th on the river cos dad's working
or we go to the golf course to watch the fireworks
or fewer family members come than usual
But there are certain things that never change.
We always spend most of the time on the water. We always eat at least one dinner at Guadalajara's. We always see the latest summer blockbuster movie, all together as a family. We always go and cheer on the endless smalltown parade.
We always have a great time.
This year was no different.
It's no ocean, but I can't imagine a summer without some river time.
Three of the Perkins siblings ;)
Sibling tube ride!
I can't believe we convinced these old people to do this...but it was sure fun watching them scream!
Me & Q at the end of the last day of boating fun
We spent most of the week on the water. We went to Guadalajara's. We saw Inside Out (and, consequently, sang the Lava song for dayyysss). We went to the Rupert parade and cheered on our favorite entries. We played night-tennis. We played fruit basket and Big Booty and had BBQ dinners and s'mores for dessert and crepes for breakfast. We laughed together and talked together.
But this year, we finally did something we've talked about doing for years: we watched the city fireworks from the water.
We've wanted to do it every year, but sometimes dad was working or the weather was really bad or we had boat troubles or everyone was too tired and just wanted to go home, but this year, we really did it. It was cold and a little stressful for dad, but I, personally, loved it. There was such a sense of community, a bunch of boats dotting a section of the river right underneath the fireworks display, all joined together, close enough that you could hear the other boats' oohs and aahs.
At the end of it, most of us were sunburned and exhausted and a little ill. We had spent a LOT of time together, but still cried a little when everyone left.
I love the 4th of July.
Not just because it's America's birthday :)
but because it's River Week.
A failed attempt at a panorama pic. I think it just sort of sums up the spirit of River Week ;)