June 4 - Monster Trucks
Forgive me if the date on this is incorrect, but I couldn't remember when we went. The Monster Truck Show was held at the fairgrounds in Davenport and featured Quad-Racers, Tuff Trucks, and Monster Trucks. I went because a family friend is a Tuff Truck racer and we wanted to watch him destroy his vehicle. He ended up winning some cash out of the deal, and went back the next night to win more!
June 18 - Coal Valley Days
Coal Valley Days lasted for the whole weekend, but I only went for one of the days. I went on Friday so that I could see the firewroks, because we all know I am a fireworks addict! I have to say, for my first official visit to Valley Days, I was really impressed. They kept the alcohol and the smokers away from the rides (due to school ordinances) and they actually *had* rides, unlike Riverfest. The armbands were a little pricey, but my brother got his money's worth out of it. The fireworks were not the best, but very well done. I have not gotten to see them before, and they weren't disappointing. They shot them off close enough so that all the carnival goers could see them but far enough away to be safe. I have to admit, I will most likely go back next year.
June 19 - Renaissance Fair at Jubilee Park
After much anticipation, I finally got to go to a Renaissance Fair. The fair is held annually at Jubilee Park, which is near Peoria. It isn't the easiest thing to find either, considering you have to wander aimlessly through the woods for miles before you actually come upon the parking lot for the event. I had never been to a Renaissance Fair before, and I was definately intrigued. I was disappointed in their lack of weaponry for sale, but quickly got over that once the real events kicked in. The first of many was the sword fights. They used real swords, no padding. I'm sure some of the moves were rehearsed, but I was still impressed. I also had time to watch some jousting as well as listen to some music and shop a little. At the end of the day they had a full fledged battle. This time there was padding, but even with the padding these people were good. This was definately one of the more exciting things of the summer.
June 25-27 - Riverfest
Riverfest, what is there to say about the Riverfest? I have to say that this was the biggest dissappointment of my summer. I have gone to Riverfest as far back as I can remember, and I have never seen it or any other festival so bleak. The fact that they eliminated rides wasn't bad enough, they then forced people to pay 5 bucks to be bored. And with no carnival, there were no decent food vendors. Beyond the "Riverfest" I did go down to the river and watch the Boat Parade. It was a bit shorter then normal, but atleast they had it! I also went down to watch the Fireworks, my favorite part of any celebration. I have watched the fireworks down there for many years, and have never seen anything this good. They went on for what seemed like ages and they shot off so many at one time, you couldn't keep up! I pray they bring back the carnival next year.
June 28-July 1 - San Diego
This summer I was shipped off to San Diego to learn about our new Dopi application. It would have been a nice vacation, if I actually *liked* to travel. You can go to my San Diego page to learn more about my trip, otherwise, I will give you a brief summary. I left for Peoria Airport at 3am Monday. Flew til noon California time and was airsick. Ate at Hard Rock, slept at Holiday Inn Express. Day 2 I went to class, ate pizza for dinner, and watched Todd hobble in pain cuz of his sunburn. Wednesday was the same as Tuesday. Thursday I got to go home, had horrific delays at the airport, left at 9am in the morning and arrived home at 11pm at night. Happy Birthday to Me!
July 2 - Birthday Party for Myself
Friday, after I returned from California, I threw a quaint lil Birthday Party with fireworks at my sisters house. We had driven to Wisconsin a few weeks earlier and purchased some cute stuff, so I figured I would celebrate my birthday with a bang. Nothing really eventful to talk about here, but I felt compelled to tell you what I did for my birthday. Got some nice presents, got a necklace, a gorgeous snow globe with a castle in it, a swim bag, nail polish, and some money/gift certificates!
July 17-18 - Quad-City Air Show
The Saturday of the Air Show I went to my mother's home for an Air Show Party. We had a cookout, swam, sat in the hot tub, chatted, and other normal cookout behaviors. A lot of people from Dav-N-Rock showed up as well as most of the members of my immediate family. The Sunday of the Air Show, Todd and I watched the planes from a church off of 53rd St. The view was spectacular and with there being no buildings nearby, you could see everything. We watched for about 30 minutes and we floored by how great you could see everything, without having to pay!
July 22 - WCW Thursday Night Thunder
I was only a little bit disappointed that I missed the WWF Raw taping a month earlier. After going to Thunder, I am not so sure it wasn't a blessing in disguise. The lights were more important to those putting on the show than the "actual" show. The fact that it was Live made me anticipate the whole night, until I realized what *Live* really means. It means you sit around and do nothing during commercials (which WCW has a lot of). You also sit quietly while viewers at home get to watch peices from Mondays show, as if they didn't watch it when it happend. It was two hours spent waiting for action. The highlight of my night was getting to see Buff Bagwell, but that is a whole other story!
July 31 - Great America
The last weekend of July, we went to Great America with my mom, step-dad, brother, sister, and her family. I have to admit, I had fun. We had photos taken by the Photo Vultures that swarm you when you enter. We also have some cheesy pictures taken with our heads plastered on other bodies. I didn't really ride any rides other than a few carousels and such, but it was entertaining anyway. I watched my neices ride tons of rides and take pictures with Looneytunes characters. Some of my family rode coasters, but most of us were to chicken! Afterward we stayed at the Holiday Inn, which was a trip in itself because there were 9 of us in two adjoining rooms. The kids went swimming in the indoor pool and we ate atthe hotel restaurant.
Aug 1 - Sears Tower, Chicago
After Great America, we spent the next day in Chicago hitting tourist traps. It took about an hour, but we finally got to go to the top of the Sears Tower. The view was spectacular, I never realized how large the lake really is! Afterward, we went to lunch at the Rock-n-Roll McDonalds. Trust me, it isn't worth your time. We also stopped by Planet Hollywood for a bathroom break, went to the Hard Rock to buy T-shirts, and looked at cows.
Aug 11 - Bettendorf Museum of Arts and Science
I didn't know there was a museum in Bettendorf, and it is one of the best kept secrets around. I don't spend much time in museums, but this is well with any kids (and most adults) time. I can't even decide what is my favorite. There was a recreated live tornado, a castle, a huge treehouse, something that puffed out clouds of smoke, and a zillion other things. Many can't even be described, you just have to experience for yourself. If you have never gone, it is well worth the $4 admission!
August 23- Niabi Zoo
In a daring mood, I decided to take my neices and my brother to the Niabi Zoo. After Arianne puked before leaving, we decided to just take my brother and my littlest neice. The zoo was the same as always, with a few very nice improvements. The elephant has her own new living quarters and her old home is now hosting an animal known as a Tapir. We also got to walk around the pond behind these two animals domains and were amazed at how huge the fish are. We fed fish and ducks while Shallin cried about her fear of bees. She also wouldn't go in to the petting zoo without being forced. I think I was most amused by the lions, who were roaring so loud you could hear them from anywhere in the zoo. I had never heard them so loud before in all my years of going.
August 27- Southpark Mall Carnival
Since most of the local carnivals were duds this year, I was glad to see they had some going at both local malls. It was much better than I was expecting. The rides were similar to the Valley Days rides, although they had armbands for $15 on all weekdays which was nice. We went on a Friday and I was surprised to see very few people there. I have to say I felt overly daring because I actually rode rides for a change. I rode the Pharoah so many times I can't count. I had a few spins on the Tilt-A-Whirl, rode the Ferris Wheel, went through a fun house or two, played some games, and rode the Tornado a handfull of times. For an avid carnival goer, I was at first confused about the Tornado. I have never seen anything like it before. I have to admit that I really did like the ride and hope it gets out to a few more carnivals. It is definately worth a try!
September 3- Kewanee Hog Days
I actually made it to my first hog Days Festival. Unfortunately I couldn't come for the race and flea market and all the other fun weekend events. I did, hoever, go Friday night and check out the carnival and some of the food vendors. If I had the time and money, I may have ridden some of the rides. They were rides I had never seen before, which shocks me but not necessarily the residence of Kewanee. Overall, I have to say it was worth the visit.
September through October
Considering it is no longer actually "summer" I won;t add more the this page. I will add the fact that I will be doing my annual Pumpkin Patch visit out in Hampton soon. I will also be hitting an apple Orchard or two, running from a few Haunted Houses, and building my annual Halloween Attraction at my house! Check the halloween site for more details on my home decorations.