For as long as I can remember, my mom and her sisters have gotten together for girls weekends. This usually involved Christmas shopping when we were younger because it was the only time they could go shopping without us along. As the kids have aged, my mom and her sisters have started having more and more girls weekends. About seven years ago, they planned a girls weekend at a Country concert in Richland Center, WI and invited all of the daughters to come along. It is a great weekend of spending time with my cousins and aunts, listening to great country music and enjoying the simple life of camping.
This past weekend was our 7th Annual Girls weekend at Star Spangled Celebration. Though we had our share of ups (wonderful concerts, good conversations and lots of laughs), we did have a few downs (moving campsites, severe thunderstorms, sleeping in our cars, and obnoxious neighbors).
We left early Wednesday morning in order to get our camp all set up and ready a day in advance. Upon arriving at the campgrounds, we were informed that we would be unable to set up camp as it was in a flood plain and they were under flash flood warnings. Fortunately they had a secondary campsite at the local high school, unfortunately that meant setting up camp twice and not having the usual amenities (like running water). We set up just our tents and sleeping bags then went into town for lunch. After returning to the camp, my sister and I decided to take the kids to the pool to cool down. We spent the evening talking while the kids played.
Before settling in for the night, we roasted a few marshmallows for smores around the campfire.
My kids were up bright and early at 6am on Thursday. We got some breakfast and then played around the camp until about 9am. The kids started getting restless so we headed into town to do a little shopping and then take the kids to the park. We returned in time to make lunch and then tore down camp to set up at the real campgrounds. When we finally had everything moved and set back up, we took the kids to the pool to cool off before eatinga quick dinner and heading to the concerts for the evening. First up was Bucky Covington, one of the top ten finalist from American Idol.
Wynona Judd was the headline act for the evening. I really enjoyed some of her songs which I remember from childhood.
The next morning we were up early again. After breakfast and playing around the campsite for awhile, we drove into town to pick up some more ice. We returned in time for a yummy lunch of chicken breasts and potatoes. It was my sister's birthday, so we suprised her with t-shirts for everyone in the group that said "Courtney's Birthday!"
While Aidan slept, we again took the kids to the pool. We left the pool just in time to eat a quick dinner and still make it to the concerts as the opening act "Charissa and the Auburn Sky Band" was finishing up. Next up was Heidi Newfield.
Neal McCoy was up next. Though I have seen him at this venue before he is such a great performer that I was really excited to see him again. You can tell from this picture that he is very high energy and very entertaining.
By the end of Neal McCoy's concert, the clouds had started to roll in and the concert organizers said that storms were coming, but they would do their best to let the show go on. I decided that I would skip Phil Vassar, the headline act, and get the kids back to the campsite. I got them dressed and ready for bed and a security person at the grounds approached me and warned me that there would be lots of ground lightning with the storms and they may relocate us to shelter. I decided to buckle the kids into their carseats where they fell asleep while I packed up everything that we didn't want to get drenched. As soon as the concerts were over, my sister and her daughter joined me to sleep in the car. It was not a very comfortable night's sleep, but it was better than worrying about our safety in the tent.
We awoke in the car around 5 am and as it had stopped raining, decided to move back to the tent, where we slept until about 8. We had breakfast and then my mom helped me to take the kids to the showers to get them cleaned up. Soon after we left to take them to drop them off with Randy. We had planned on eating lunch together, but the kids fell asleep, so we moved all of their stuff over to his car and went our separate ways. Fortunately, we made it back to the campsite for a delicious meal of porkchops and potatoes. After cleaning up lunch, we took my niece to the park until the concerts started. We saw:
and Daryl Worley.
Last, but not least, was the concert I was waiting for all weekend: Diercks Bentley!
I felt a drop on my arm and thought that he had maybe sweat on me, but soon realized that it was sprinkling. Thankfully, they fit the whole concert in as planned without weather interruption. We packed up our chairs and headed back towards camp. We started a fire and even had a few smores before the downpour started. After packing away anything that wasn't covered, we settled into our sleeping bags for the night.
Around 8 am the next morning, it was still sprinkling, so we decided to just go ahead and pack up in the rain. About an hour later, we had everything packed into the cars and were finally headed home!
All in all we had a really fun and relaxing weekend, but I was so glad to be back home!