Monday, July 20, 2009

The duck race - otherwise known as our agonizing afternoon

I had read about the Midlands Boys & Girls Club annual rubber duck race in the newspaper and thought it might be a fun event for the kids. It was held Sunday afternoon so we let the girls forgo their naps and took everyone over to Saluda Shoals Park. We were running a little late - the race was supposed to begin at 3:00 p.m. and it was already around 2:30 p.m. When we pulled up to the park gates we saw that everyone had decided to get there at the same time - traffic was backed up all the way through the park.

Not only that but they stopped letting people drive into the park to try and find a parking space and were asking everyone to park in the front of the park. Since we were under a time element to get our three rubber ducks registered for the race, Ryan and I hopped out of the car and decided to walk to the registration while Michael and the girls (who had fallen asleep) park and join us.

Not the best of ideas. I sometimes forget that I am 39 weeks pregnant and can't briskly walk long distances like I used to. Top that with the lovely 90 something degree weather and all I can say is that I was near tears as we walked pretty much the entire length of the park to reach our destination.

But we finally got there and quickly got our three ducks registered...

We then placed our ducks in the front of the tractor to be dumped into the river for the start of the race. You can see Emma and Avery's ducks labeled in the giant pile above.

A quick photo of Ryan with his duck...

Supposedly they had food available as part of the event and although I saw people walking by with cold drinks and hot dogs, they were not anywhere to be seen near the race spot. I figured we'd eat a late lunch there so by now it is after 3:00 and no one has had a thing to eat since breakfast. So we had three tired, hot and hungry children on our hands and one very pregnant and uncomfortable woman!
So we waited in the lovely hot Columbia weather for the duck race to begin. Can you see the look of excitement on all of their faces!?!

It finally began but the kids weren't able to see much of anything because of the crowd of people and dense trees lining the river. 15 minutes later the race is over and we are just waiting around to collect our rubber ducks because the kids REFUSE to leave without their new rubber ducks.

20 minutes later they finally dump the bags of rubber ducks (hundreds of them) pulled from the river onto the grass for people to attempt to claim their own ducks. I'm sure you can imagine the fun of bending over and digging through piles of plastic yellow ducks looking for your specific duck!

To make matters worse, we had decided to wait and go to church Sunday evening so by this time we are really cutting things close to 5:00 p.m. church start time - and we still hadn't eaten since breakfast!

Michael was able to locate one of the three ducks and the other two kids received plain non-decorated ducks to take home with them. We grabbed Wendy's to eat in the car on the way to church and arrived looking and feeling our best! Ha, Ha!

Definitely not one of my brighter ideas...It all seemed like such a fun idea at the time. You sometimes wonder how you went so wrong!

This was the bright spot for the kids...they got to meet a giant yellow duck and had their picture taken. And...the duck gave them a high-5 as they all reported to me after their visit!

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