Balloons and barbecues

The dog days of summer are well underway, and as the hot, muggy August days drift by, Vivian and I are still keeping busy having fun with our friends (among other things)

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Last weekend, we went to the wine and balloon fair with Jenny, Jon, and Sarah Adair out in way West Omaha (where Maple Street thinks it’s in Gretna). It was hot and windy, and there wasn’t actually much ballooning. About two or three were able to take off before the balloon people gave up. There was plenty of wine to be sampled, however, with local wineries such as James Arthur Vineyards and Soaring Wings making some welcome appearances.

Vivian and I spent that Saturday and Sunday staining our backyard deck. It looked like it needed some sprucing up, with plenty of dirt and grime that we had to spray off with a pressure washer. Now were treated the surface with some lovely red stain that seemed to breathe new life into the old wood surface.

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Saturday night, Vivian and I headed down the street to the Nothnagels’ house for their annual barbecue. Vivian brought her legendary artichoke dip and some banana rum that tasted quite interested with a strawberry margarita. People enjoyed the food outside and made use of the playground next door before the ravenous mosquitoes decided to take over the backyard. Inside, we made good use of the giant basement dance floor to Lindy Hop to every goofy track we could find on Troy’s laptop, and I also wound up “swinging” Shannon’s cute kids C.J. and Kasee around until I was dizzy. Some people played Rock Band upstairs, and Vivian got me to croak along to Green Day’s Know Your Enemy, which I know best as the bicep track from Body Pump 72. There were also a couple amusing games of Twister that seemed to lack a clear winner.

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On Sunday, I got to enjoy some Lindy in the Park at their new location up beneath the archway at 11th and Farnam. The new location was a little breezier and had more shade than the usual spot down the river on the Gene Leahy Mall, so I danced on the uneven pavement with a few of our Jitterbug friends before heading back to the Nothnagels to help consume a few of the leftovers.

The next day, Vivian and I both reached a milestone in our experience at the YMCA — we both completed our “summer sweat” cards. Over the summer months, participants could get a free T-shirt if they participated in 30 different group fitness classes and collected initials from their instructors in order to prove it. The deadline was September 3, so we both made it with a few days to spare. Go team!

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