This might just be the best July 4th holiday weekend that I've had in recent memory.
We started the weekend with Friday evening's Jazz Café: lots of black, snaps rather than claps, Olive Garden catering, a student poetry slam, and the highlight of the evening, the Bridges 2009 dance.Everything went wonderfully and surprisingly well that night, all the way until the end of the dance, at which point everyone broke down to Vitamin C's "Graduation Song" and then lapsed into sad, angsty karaoke...and even that was, overall, a good time! The food was fabulous, and I very much enjoyed listening to the original poems. Everybody looked great for the evening - especially the counselors. ;) I must say that dancing from a chaperone point of view consisted of much more busting into crowds and dancing while walking than ever being in a circle, with a partner, or just taking a break from the heels, but I still manged to have a great time with those students and even the other counselors. It was upon our return from the evening when I discovered the infamous prank (see previous entry.)
Saturday, Independence Day, was a real treat. It is a Bridges tradition to travel to Clemson's Youth Learning Institute grounds at Pinnacle Falls, North Carolina to celebrate the Fourth of July, and this year was no different. After getting to sleep in for a couple of extra hours after all of the activity the night before, we headed off in the vans. The weather for the day was perfect - it wasn't too hot or humid, but it stayed sunny. Once we all arrived at the grounds, after many singalongs and naps, we had many options: playing football, soccer, volleyball, or badminton; body art and facepaint; slip 'n' slide; crafts; hiking; swimming in the pond; and just hanging out. I started out with the slip 'n' slide, moved to the pond to clean off, and then took a hike to a beautiful waterfall (the namesake of the site) before the grill masters were ready for dinner around 5:00.
After a delicious grilled dinner and a bit more playing around in the last few moments of light, we attempted to gather everyone for the "kickball final," a.k.a. the biggest water fight in recent history. I'm just going to go out on a limb and call a victory for the counselors, but I'm biased. Once we finally calmed down, ice cream was served, and then we lit sparklers and sang patriotic songs to close out the evening. There was some great girl talk on our van ride home.
We returned around 10:30 yesterday evening for an 11:00 In Rooms call - just enough time for one of my girls to do my make-up: a "runway look," she called it; I was instructed to never wear it out. So, with my overdone blue eye make-up, bathing suit top, and smelly body due to lack of time for a shower, what did I do an hour or so later? Yes, that's right: I went out to get fireworks.
John, Alyssa, Shira, Phil, and I left (after making sure that enough counselors were on the halls, of course) to go to the ATM and actually buy the fireworks, for which we ended up bargaining. We came back, picked up Desmond, and then went to a parking lot to light them. Keep in mind that this was my first time EVER setting off, rather than watching, fireworks...probably because it's illegal in West Virginia. I remember going to my uncle's house when I was younger and watching him set them off in his backyard...I digress. Anyway, I lit my first fireworks last night, and it was great fun.
The adventure did not stop there: the six of us then decided to watch a movie, as the opportunity presented itself when we viewed the rental selection in John's car. First, we needed showers, though, and as we trickled into my room slowly, we copied the idea of some students and played hide and seek in my room and the bathroom, eventually waking Bree. Henceforth, the seven of us started the movie in the middle of the night, fell asleep, and left a few hours later, getting a meager amount of sleep for a long Sunday.