When we returned home, Uncle Dougie and Marla were chatting with Shawn and Bo, waiting to drive us to the annual St. Patrick's Day parade in Downtown Des Moines. It wasn't exactly parade weather... In the 20s or possibly low 30s with a brutal wind out of the east. But that doesn't stop the hearty Wirts! We took our lawn chairs and joined the thousands of other crazy Iowans who thought it would be fun to freeze our ears, listen to the whiny cold children, and wave at cold men and women in green wigs, clothes and shoes who were enthusiastically throwing green beads and Tootsie Rolls to whoever was brave enough to catch them.
We walked about four blocks to get to the parade route. Here is where we put our chairs. We lasted here about 5 minutes until the wind and cold drove us back into the crowd for a better seat. After much searching, really whiny boys and second thoughts about attending the parade at all, we found a new place to sit....
Inside the parking ramp behind glass, far above the wind and cold, we had the best seats in the house! Alas, the children were still not happy. Let's face it, when you're a kid, the only reason to go to a parade is for free candy. Without the free candy, you're just sitting and looking at weird people in weird clothes, driving weird vehicles. Sooooo.... Good ol' Uncle Doug to the rescue. When we spotted people passing out candy, he took Marla and Mazy down to the street to elbow their way to the front of the line and score a bunch of beaded necklaces, candy, stickers and koozies. Bo stayed with me to play on my phone and watch the chairs. We were quite content.
After the parade we were all famished and went to Smokey Row for lunch. And then Uncle Doug bought the kids ice cream cones. Marla ordered Rainbow Sherbet (or Rainbow Collision, as she called it. I thought that was a very clever name.) and Bo ordered Caramel Combustion.
Poor Uncle Doug didn't get any ice cream.
Mazy said he is "an ice cream traditionalist." He ordered chocolate. Bo finished his cone the first and we declared him the ice cream champion. And then he finished the rest of Marla's cone and we dubbed him ultimate ice cream eater. He was quite proud.
Then it was back home by 3 to hang out with Shawn and Violet. We ate a late supper and then watched GI Joe cartoons on Netflix. The boys went to bed a little late, and that's when I remembered that tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day and we did not have anything planned yet. Fortunately, we had already bought Easter gifts so we borrowed a few small items and put them in this funky wooden box that's been in the basement for a couple years.
So the boys are getting some Battleship dog tags and some NFL playing cards. Violet is getting some Dora bathtub toys. To make it more treasure-y, I put in a couple handfuls of coins and six $1 bills. It's from the leprechauns, after all.
So now I need to figure out where to hide it and what kind of trail to leave so the boys can follow it. I always start the trail at their beds and lead them down the stairs and to the treasure. It's fun. And instead of our traditional green eggs tomorrow morning, we're going out for breakfast! Whoohooo! We love our monthly family breakfast at Village Inn. We try to get up early and beat the crowd.
OK, I have some leprechaun work to do. Happy St. Patty's Day, everyone!!