Staycation Rewind | Balloons, Photoshoots, and More!

Staycation had arrived. With some PTO stored away, my work week *officially* ended Wednesday evening and the long weekend had begun.  Well…um…Staycation had actually arrived when the fam rolled into town the previous Saturday, but I like to think that everyone was just moping around waiting for me to get home each day so that the fun could really begin. But sadly…I know everyone was having a blast each day while I was taking my daily shift in the salt mines, workin’ for the man…but sometimes you gotta do what’cha gotta do, right?

Truth is, while I wish that I could have stayed home all week with Hannah, Chris, and my ol’ man…it just wasn’t feasible this year. None-the-less, I was determined to cram as much fun as humanly possible into those few precious days I had off.

As I was saying…Staycation the long weekend kicked off almost as soon as I walked through the door on Wednesday night, as Missy had planned for the five of us to head south to Indianola for the National Balloon Classic.

Incoming Balloons

You guys. I’ve lived in this state for, like…six years. Why has everyone failed to tell me how much fun this is!? Spending a summer evening outdoors, watching hot air balloons, listening to local cover bands, playing games on a blanket, and eating food from vendors (almost state-fair-esque)…what more could anyone ask for?

The NBC Crew

Game on!

Here’s a cool panoramic view from our seats on the hillside. Soooo incredible (click to see the larger version…worth it!)…

Click to "Inflate!"

The coolest part of the evening was, of course, the night glow!

Night glow at the Balloon Classic

Home by ten, we settled in for games and ever-meaningful small talk (as par for the course on this trip) and wound up in bed after midnight.

Thursday we awoke with one goal in mind: a Photo Shoot. However this time, the shoot was not just for the girls, but for Hannah and Chris as well. Just recently engaged {while on a vacay of their own in St. Martin}, they wanted us a photo shoot of their own…an engagement picture photo shoot!

Trying to get all three toddlers to cooperate, stay still, and smile for the camera is a frustratingly impossible task, but Hannah has the mad-skills to pull it off:

Missy and Rowan

Silly Sienna with a Pear

Tommy lifting Jovie!

…and those are just a small sampling. She is a wiz at editing, too…and promises to deliver many more soon!

We put the girls down for a nap after a good, if not exhausting, 90-minute session and immediately headed out on location for Photo Shoot #2:

Shooting near downtown Des Moines

The "actual" picture from the above shot!

Surprisingly, Hannah and Chris we much more cooperative than the girls were being 😉

Old Bridge over the Des Moines River

Behind the Scenes

We SO can’t wait to see how the others turned out! Perfect, I’m sure.

The afternoon wrapped up with flights of beer from el Bait Shop {ok, so before you go assuming that this is the only bar we ever go to, hear this: we had intended to get our flights Monday night after dinner at the High Life Lounge, but they had stopped serving them by the time we got there. So, you know…we just HAD to go back}, and then home for dinner, roasted over a bonfire Chris and I made in the rain…which thankfully cleared up just in time for cooking (you know we had to get that in there one night)!

Roasting Brats

We called it a night a little earlier on Thursday, as we had a big day ahead of us: tubing the Raccoon River!

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About Tom Hardinge

Loving husband to my wife Missy, loving father to my four daughters Sienna, Rowan, Jovie, and Lola. I'm a chronic over-packer who loves good coffee, good music, running, waffle tee's, fleece pants, and Jesus Christ!

4 thoughts on “Staycation Rewind | Balloons, Photoshoots, and More!

  1. Pingback: Red Chair | living in pursuit

  2. Pingback: The Perfect Day | living in pursuit

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