We're settling into a routine around here: lazy mornings give way to swimming lessons for their boys followed by some sort of activity. Yesterday we played in the park. ("It's cooler than our playground and ours is pretty cool!") Today we played in the city pool.* It's actually 2 pools, dividing shallow and deep by a cement walkway. I spied 6 life guards, I think-- 4 in chairs and 2 moving at all times, with positions being traded probably every 15 minutes. There is an elaborate water slide on one edge-- Boy tried one out, but didn't go back for more. He did it, though, which was pretty cool. The cousins are not as strong swimmers, being younger, and I was proud of mine for spending much of their time with them.
After that, Boy and Cousin O went to the chess club at the library, while Girly and Cousin H rode bikes and planned a play. For dinner we went to Ted Turner's Montana Grill. It's basically a fancy hamburger joint where you can get bison instead of burger. It was quite tasty, even if it didn't have beer on tap. I've gotten spoiled by brew pubs... turns out I'm a big fan of local beer on tap, where ever 'local' may be. We drove through downtown and saw the damage from a gas line explosion earlier this year. It's a cute little downtown, except for that.
What I enjoy most about traveling is seeing my people (I rarely travel anywhere I am not able to visit someone), seeing different things, and remembering why I choose to live where I do. Certainly, my friends who are more than friends at home are the main reason I stay, but I love small town America, where everyone knows your name and what car you drive and if something looks out of the ordinary, know someone they can call and ask. Girly loves biking through the neighborhood much more than she likes biking across our bridge on our dirt road, but I would not trade the isolation of our home for anything. Having a 12,500 student college 5 miles away would be fun, but I like knowing my neighbors are willing and able to come rescue me from any situation I may get myself into. I like my grocery store, even if I can't find my favorite salsa anymore. I like my home. And as much as I like visiting other areas, I can't wait to get back. Even if it is rainy and cold.
*I apologize for the reference to the lack of rain out here. I feel rather guilty about it all...