Sudden Drop

The Curiosity mission continues to amaze. Not only is it technically sophisticated, it is well documented. Just as with a dad at Disney World, the video camera is constantly running on so we can always remember how much fun the kids had when we went on that long, long trip! Here’s dad’s note in his vacation journal:

By far the highlight was that huge, huge drop off of Space Mountain. I got some great HD footage from the moment our darling little Curio dropped his heat shield. I told him not to dangle it underneath us, but some kids just won’t listen! In the footage, you can watch it fall all the way down, just like last year when my right sandal dropped into the kids’ barnyard from the State Fair Sky Glider. Good thing we noticed which corn stalk it landed next to so we could go back and get it! On this Space Drop, though, there was no doubt the whole point of the ride was to shake you loose. And it worked. Curio has assured me he’s not going to go on a roller coaster ride like that ever again. From now on, it’s 50 feet at a time, and then only if we go very, very slowly!

Too bad there was no camera positioned to get our shocked expressions. It felt like we were going to crash right into the Mars! As it was, we got covered in red dust. Yuk! But if anyone saw us coming in, I’ll bet we made an impressive (and funny) sight!

When have you made a remarkable entrance?

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64 thoughts on “Sudden Drop”

  1. At a Vikings game several years ago in full costume – purple afro wig, face paint, gold feather boa, and a stuffed bear hanging in a noose from a long stick (Bears game). Things didn’t quite go as expected. As I made my way to the small tier deck looking for my seat, a huge drunk guy came
    hurling down the cement steps directly at me. Although it happened in an instant, there was still enough time for my whole life to flash before my eyes. Somebody screamed and I jumped to the side of the deck just as this drunken hulk smashed into the railing right where I’d been standing only a nano-second before. I think he broke his leg, but he was so drunk that he likely didn’t feel a thing!

    My horrified daughter witnessed this near-death incident. Later, she laughingly told me that had I been killed, she’d definitely have me in full regalia for the reviewal. My thought was that this would’ve made quite a headline in the Stib sports section: Grandma Dies Doing What She Loved.

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    1. I envision the staff reaction at the local ER when people in full Viking regalia are brought in. Must be hard to keep a straight face and must have happened lots of times. Not to mention what they see on Halloween.

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    1. When Dave Garoway hosted the Today Show he had Carol Channing as a guest. Carol’s big eyed presence completely amazed Dave. He tried speak and was completely speechless. I thought that was very funny. There’s no one like her.

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  2. I played a murderer in a high school production of the play “Arsenic and Old Lace.” We only had two performances. The first night when I burst through a door to make my “entrance,” it caught the audience by surprise and they all gasped. That made a big impression on me. So the second night I REALLY leaped through that door like a cop on a drug raid. After a weird pause, the audience broke into hoots of laughter. I had applied my own makeup, and I managed to give myself a mustache that protruded forward beyond the end of my noise. People were weeping with laughter, which totally destroyed the intended mood of the play.

    The production went right into the toilet from that moment on. The guy who was playing my accomplice murderer walked behind a table, hooked his foot on a lamp chord and jerked the lamp off the table. It hit the floor and then rolled into the orchestra pit. That shattered the composure of my partner, who suddenly skipped about four pages of the script and began delivering lines to me that we weren’t supposed to get to for several minutes. There was a lot of explication in those missing pages, so I was trying to respond to his lines while at the same time supplying some of the key information that was in the pages he had skipped.

    I was just crushed, having never before participated in a fiasco on that scale. Then I talked to my grandmother who had been in the audience. She hadn’t noticed anything wrong and she was delighted by the moment when the lamp went into the orchestra pit. I learned something about ART that night.

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    1. That’s a remarkable example of a big entrance, Steve. Perhaps you should have gone into show business.

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      1. Thanks, Jim, but one of the legacies of that disastrous production of Arsenic and Old Lace was that I acquired a massive case of stage fright. I ended up teaching six years of Freshman English at the College of Liberal Arts, and each day I was skating along the razor edge of stage fright so bad I would not be able to go on. I had to duck out of the room several times to regain my composure. And just like my dopey grandma, the kids never caught on to the fact Mr. Grooms was struggling every day with performance heebie jeebies.

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  3. Good morning. Although I am not really the big entrance kind of guy, I do sort of have some big entrances when I dress up as Santa for my Grandchildren. I try to use strange voices to deceive them so they don’t know that I am the one playing Santa. Once I was a hippy Santa and one other time I was a French Santa. Three years ago my Grandchild, who was 5 at the time, gave me a funny look and said nothing because secretly she knew it was me playing Santa. I still play Santa and the young Grandchild still doesn’t say that she knows I am dressing up as Santa.

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    1. Cool story, Jim. Think of the lessons you are teaching your grandchild: 1) the fascinating difference between Appearance and Reality, 2) the way people can lie to us with good intentions, and 3) the appropriate response to spotting a fraud can be to keep your silence. I’ve taken graduate classes that didn’t teach me half that much.

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      1. Yes, but some of those graduate classes were not really what they should have been if they were like some I took.

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  4. Remarkably enuff folks have already entered the State Fair grounds and are eating pronto pups and looking for llamas. If you go to Machinery Hill afternoons between 1 and 2 you can get free samples of Mini-sota Donut Ice Cream and the rhubarb-laced competitor at the Kemps booth in the Little Farmhands exhibit. Baboons who go to the Fair between now and the 28th can vote for their favorite flavor after the tasting. Folks who have extra time because they are avoiding the swine barns can attend celebrity judging and announcement of the winner on Wednesday at 1. Trail denizens avoiding crowds or waiting for a ride from Curiosity are welcome to vote on line for Mini-sota Donut Ice Cream at http://www.kempsnextflavor.com/ and https://apps.facebook.com/kempsfavs/contests/

    Thanks to all for your support and indulgence!

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      1. I heard from 7 people who tried my ice cream and voted for it. They say it was the crowd favorite, but they are friends….The PR folks are setting up interviews and I am supposed to come for those but I don’t get much notice. I may be there tomorrow and definitely Wednesday. But I think they present a carton not a crown!

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  5. I graduated from college late in life (went back and put myself through school as an adult). I ended up being the valedictorian of my class with the prerequisite speech to give. As I am the only one of my siblings to make it to this point in my education, my folks were all over this and traveled up for the long weekend of the graduation ceremony.

    The day after the graduation was miserable. It was raining, a pipe broke in the basement and I fought with my dad about plastering. All afternoon my mom tried to cheer me up and suggested I’d feel better if I took a shower and changed into some clean clothes. Then she started talking about going out to dinner. I was supremely crabby, didn’t want to shower or change and just wanted to order a pizza and sulk. In the midst of all this my next-door neighbor came over and said some boxes had been delivered to me and could we come over and get them (I’m still not sure why I thought this was plausible….). Once in the door of the neighbor’s house, I was met with a huge “SURPRISE” – a surprise party for my graduation thrown by friends and family. After the initial hubbub died down, I excused myself, went home and changed quickly into clean clothes!

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    1. Surprise parties are surprisingly dangerous. I know of a couple that almost blew up. (And now I’m trying madly to remember if I’d remembered to shower the day of my surprise birthday party!)

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        1. thanks steve so if i can make the cabin on the last weekend in september i ll elegantly look my cheddar wurst. got my tent out.

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    2. Husband (then Boyfriend) threw me a surprise party for my birthday on year with a zero…I went out of town a couple weeks ahead of the birthday to visit a friend and he very helpfully drove me to the airport. I left him with my Big Bag That Went to Work that included my daytimer/calendar (this was before smart phones or Palm Pilots even), so, poof, he had access to my address book. Started calling friends. They, in turn, told him who else in my address book should be called. Then the days leading up to my birthday (including *the day*) I had to be at a conference for work in Ohio. The plan was that he’d pick me up form the airport when I returned and we’d go out for my birthday then…only he claimed we needed to stop at his house first to pick something up. Like 25-30 of my friends waiting for me with cake and presents…I made sort of a quiet entrance (focusing on my pooch, who I hadn’t seen for days and was being tended when I arrived by boyfriend’s roommate)…and then realized what was around me. It was a lovely time.

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  6. Completely OT. Since you have asked twice now, PJ, here is my list of musts at the Fair (not in any particular order and leaving out food, which I’ve already documented): Pet Center and outdoor demonstrations, Butter heads, seed art, Miracle of Birth, Ag building for big vegetables and Christmas trees, parade, watching the dancing at the DNR stage (somebody is always dancing there), all the animals barns, Little Farmhands (double duty this year for the Mini-sota Donut Ice Cream), Skyride and the education building (love all the kid art projects). This year we want to stop by the St. Agnes demonstration kitchen and spend time in the Eco Experience building as well. Teenager also likes to watch the Union carpenters make stools and chairs. And then there is the general walking around and people watching!

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    1. Thanks, vs, I have visited all of those places, though I have to admit, the Miracle of Birth is not my cup of tea. I got queasy within minutes watching a cow very close to giving birth. That was one entrance that I didn’t want to watch.

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  7. Pardon me for another entrance story. Does anyone remember the way Archie Bunker used to make his entrance down the stairs while the upstairs toilet loudly flushed? Well, I got to do that at least once.

    Our offices when I became editor of the outdoor magazine were in a shabby old farmhouse that had been built when the toilet was outdoors. Someone had clumsily added a tiny indoor toilet later on, and that was right next to my desk. In between my desk and the toilet door was our seating area for business guests, which was actually the middle seat of the publisher’s Volkswagen Microbus that sat propped up on a pile of bricks. You get the idea: it wasn’t a fancy place!

    Because the toilet was nasty and a highly public place, I tried to avoid it at all costs. There was a two-inch gap at the bottom of the door, so bathroom smells drifted out to fill the farmhouse. But one morning I knew I needed the toilet desperately, never mind its shortcomings. I was in the bathroom when I heard someone come in the office and ask to see me. Our “receptionist” said, “Mr. Grooms is away from his desk at the moment. Please take a seat and he’ll be back soon.” So this guy, who was wearing a suit, sat down right next to the bathroom door.

    We kept an aerosol can of Lysol deodorant on the toilet, and I sprayed that thing for about thirty seconds before opening the door. The toilet was the loudest I’ve ever heard, with a thunderous flushing noise followed by some weird war whoop as a sticky valve tried to shut. So I got to make my entrance, walking out with my hand extended for a shake, while the toilet went KA-WHOOSH-snarkle, snarkle, snarkle, snarkle-WHEEEEEE! It was a dramatic entrance.

    I should mention, maybe, that the meeting I had with this businessman was short. Our magazine had the clumsy name of Fins and Feathers. This poor fellow thought it was Fans and Feathers, which gave him the idea that he could maybe do business with us. He sold feathery fans and other accessories to strippers and burlesque performers.

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    1. i think you may have missed an opportunity there steve. those transvestite hunters and fishermen have nowhere to focus on. you could have had their undying attention. maybe a feathered boa for the flyfisherman and goose hunters would have been the next great hunting accessory. can you get them in blaze orange for the deer hunters?

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    2. ill bet he sat there waiting for you wondering what sort of place this was that catered to burlesque queens and was decorated with hunting and fishing motif.you could have told him about your other publications swedes and feathers , norkes and feathers , danes and feathers. ya shure you got to em all. youre tinkin about doing a yermans and feathers tuu.

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  8. Morning–
    We had a folk concert series at a theater. The second night I barged into the green room with a big “Who’s Ready to Rock!” and interrupted the lead guy singing the band a new, quiet, mellow song. I slunk back out of the room… (The band was ‘Trova’).

    In a play once I got my foot stuck in a plant stand. I was playing a sort of Woody Allen character so it fit and the audience loved it.
    Too many play stories to repeat here… and most of them were only funny if you were there.

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    1. i think many recollections are only funny if youre there but thats why we blog. a captive audience. aint that right llamas…argggh

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  9. The one truly grand entrance I have made where people were focusing on me and I knew they would was on the day I got married. I wanted a little pomp without being fussy – but decided this was my one chance to have a trumpet play for me on an entrance (pretending I was regal), so I had best take advantage of the opportunity. It was all a great idea in my head until the day came and there was the pause before the trumpeter started the Prince of Denmark March. Then I found myself repeating in my head as I processed into the chapel, “don’t trip, don’t trip, don’t trip, don’t trip…phew.”

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    1. When I married as a young person, I had my mom and my dad escort me down the aisle. And good thing too, because I DID almost trip over my long dress!

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      1. The friend who designed my dress knew that putting me in anything I might trip on was a bad idea. We went with an Edwardian sort of style that only came to my ankles and was not huge or full or crinolined…nothing to trip on or get my feet caught on, thank heavens.

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  10. One last entrance story, then I’ll pipe down!

    When I was working as an academic adviser for CLA freshmen, I got a message that the Director of the Honors Division of CLA wanted to speak to me. People told me there was only one possible explanation. He had a staff opening and surely wanted me to become the manager of Lower Division (freshman and sophomore) Honors programs.

    I went to the doorway leading to the Honors office but found I didn’t have the courage to walk through. Three times I went there, and each time I just paced back and forth in front of the door before retreating. On the fourth try, I got mad at myself. “Dammit, Steve, go in there and meet this man. You aren’t begging for anything. HE wants YOU, so get your nerve up!” I plunged through the door.

    Dr. Burnham Terrell had a corner office. He was a dapper little fellow with a goatee, a philosophy professor when he wasn’t being the Honors director. I rushed through the office and entered Terrell’s office, trying to look confident. In an overly loud and aggressive voice, I announced my name and asked what he wanted of me.

    Dr. Terrell had one of those inbox/outbox things on his desk, the kind with wire mesh baskets that are stacked vertically with a space of several inches in between. I thrust my arm forward to shake hands, but I managed to shove my hand right in that space between the inbox and the outbox. Dr. Terrell stared at me in total shock for the longest time, trying to decide if he should shake my hand where I had put it–stuck in his inbox–or wait for me to collect myself and try again. Another grand entrance.

    And–arrrgh!–I’m a blue doily again.

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    1. Ah, the suspense – did he want you to become the manager of Lower Division (freshman and sophomore) Honors programs?

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  11. When I was about 8 or 9 years old, mom asked me to carry a glass bowl full of warm rødgrød she had just made to the root cellar. Dad and my uncle Leo were standing at the bottom of the stairs waxing skis. I made it down the first three stairs to the small landing, but somehow missed the first step on the longer set of stairs going to the basement. I bumped from stair to stair, all the way down, on my butt while holding the bowl of rødgrød with both hands out in front of me; didn’t break the bowl, and didn’t spill a drop. Dad and Leo both thought it looked pretty funny and laughed until they realized I was hurt. I wouldn’t be surprised if that fall set the stage for the arthritis I have in my lower spine today. I do know it hurt like hell.

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      1. its funny what the prorities are when you are a kid. i was about the same age when i had a sledding accident that cut me real bad. required lots of stiches and i was concerned about staining the white wool mittens i covered the wound with on my way home form the hill on route to the hospital.
        i too have a accident that traces back to childhood that screwed up my back and made me a chiropractors best friend for a number of years. they didnt think about looking at getting your muscles and joints looked after a traumatic accident back in the old days when family doctors were gods

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        1. I had a sledding accident as a young child (I’m guessing around the age of 6 or 7). It wasn’t my fault, but I banged my head on a tree, going full speed down the hill. Maybe that explains my brain problems today.

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  12. My first wedding was in Søndrestrømfjord, Greenland, and I didn’t make a grand entrance, but someone else did. During the wedding dinner, hosted by my fellow kitchen staff of the air port hotel where I worked, I thought it would be a nice gesture to invite the young woman who was staffing the reception desk in the transit hall to join us, after all, my wedding bouquet was roses stolen from the reception desk. Just as I entered the empty transit hall and approached the reception desk, I saw a man, stark naked running down the stairs behind the reception. Following closely behind was another man, this one fully clothed, shouting threats in Danish to the naked man. Naked man managed to escape into the ladies’ room at the base of the stairs, slammed and locked the door. With clothed man banging wildly on the door and continuing his threats, I decided that the receptionist had her hands full and probably couldn’t join us, so I returned to the dinner.

    Turns out the clothed man and his wife had arrived at the hotel the previous day, but due to limited available space, only women and children had been given rooms at the hotel proper while all men had been put up in a quonset hut across the street. Naked man had apparently visited clothed man’s wife only to be be interrupted by a surprise visit from the husband. I should have known that a wedding with a bride in a black dress (another funny story) and a dinner interrupted like this didn’t bode well for the longevity of that marriage, but by then it was too late to heed the warning.

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      1. Had a very nice time. Weather was sunny and cool most of the time, but no foliage has changed colors as yet. Even attended church in Eveleth on Sunday morning to hear a mother daughter duo sing Pie Jesu; marvelous way to start the day. Visited the new Veterans’ memorial in Virginia, very impressive, and husband got to take some photos in an old cemetery in Biwabik. I love the Range and the Rangers.

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        1. i was at a baseball tournament uo there 2 years ago and loved it. i stayed in virginia and had games in chisolm , hibbing grand rapids and learned the back roads pretty. swimming holes, hiking trails, pretty little town parks and bob dylans theme restraunt. nice folks are the best part. goota love them rangers. ill never forget a snowmobile trip years ago when i needed a spark plug on a sunday and the mall in virgina was the only palce to go on a sunday. well i went in and it took a couple of minutes to figure what the odd sensation was. it dawned on me at 6 foot even with my boots on i was 4-5 inches taller than anyone in the mall walking down the main atrium with 250 people in front of me. bunch of little bohunks i reckon. love the vibe up dere

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  13. My remarkable Baboon entrance was, or course, in the lime green getup for our gardening day at PJs.

    At a couple of high school reunions, I tried to be cute. At one, I just wore my school sweatshirt. People were impressed/amused as other classmates didn’t seem to have held on to them.

    At the other reunion, I made a big swirly skirt (I’m not sure why as that wasn’t the style when we were there). I wore it with tennis shoes gussied up to look like saddle shoes. Our weird school dress requirement had no uniforms, we just had to wear tie shoes and most of us wore saddle shoes.

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      1. Maybe THAT’s why they couldn’t take their eyes off me. I thought they were just remembering wearing similar sweatshirts in gym class.
        Hmm, same thing with wearing only a skirt and saddle shoes…. I’ll have to get someone to check me before I go out in public next time. I may be disturbing some social taboos without knowing it.

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  14. hippy days in the vw bus on week 3 of the summer sojourn we were in washington state in a state forest ravaged by a forest fire and looking for a cool campgoround. the regular was a bunch of charred stumps and so we went looking. a sign said east gulch and pointed down the raod. i went because it sounded goo and as we progressed doewnt ther raod it got less and less defined and the adajcent shrubbery came closer and got fuller until i was driving down a 4 wheel drive jeep trail with basketball sized rocks evry 5 or 6 feet. i was begining to think it was time to turn around but the shrubery was to thick so ahead we went. i came to spot where the road took a mean dip downward for 20 feet then up a steep hill on the other side of the dip. as we went through i realized it was wet clay and as we started sliding to oblivion i hit the gas to scoot up the other side and proclaimed we would not be going back that way because of the danger in trying to do that again, that turned out to be the tip of the iceberg. we ended up driving up and down 4 or 5 mountains and it was beautiful but i knew we were totally lost and had no idea of where we were headed. i followed waht i thought was a path leading to hopefully somewhere that wold be a resolution. we went down one notable hill where my fellow travelers all volunteered to get out and hold the handles on the van to assist in keeping it from making hte same type of entrance in dales video . it was straight downhill and again i told them get out of the way im going for the bottom and e wont be coming back this way again. we hit bottom and mozied for what was likey a total of 2-3 hours in a beautiful setting but when i saw the possible signs of humanity and headed off to the horizion where i found 3 or 3 houses built high on a hill with a 5 foot high chicken wire fence keeping the mountain wildlife out of their back yard. being part of that mountain wildlife now i took it upon myself to remove a couple of fence posts so i could drive over the fence down through the yard and arounfd the fornt of the house back on to the street and into mainstream civilazation once again. i bet i lost 5 pounds sweating concern out of my pores. i was so happy to be back on the raod that i felt it was a huge entrance. it went unnoticed by all but the 3 fellow travelers and possibly a sleepy resident if they happended to be looking out the window and the good karma gods who were looking after me that day. good story to look back on not a lot of fun to be in the middle of at the time. but thats the payoff. gotta get out of the comfort zone to have a good story.

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    1. Nerve-wracking! I can’t imagine moseying for 2-3 hours without a clue as to how to get out.

      I assume that you put the fence back in place. (that’s either the Virgo or the First Born in me)

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    2. I have been a hunter and fisherman all my adult life. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten in just this kind of situation. Up the creek with no paddle. And I know the feeling of that special moment when you realize it is suicide to go ahead but impossible to turn back the way you came, so you blunder on and on.

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      1. if your are not smart enough to see the end of the story before you begin you had better be ready to kick the can down the road while you are on lifes journey. that reality has led to a story or two

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  15. Another day with great LOL stories, Baboons! I’ve been trying all day to think of something that hasn’t already been told – there has been a surprise party for my 24th birthday… I can remember graduations, but nothing truly remarkable has come to mind yet.

    Stepson Mario likes to surprise people with his visits, so the last time he was here, we were instructed to tell no one that he and the girls (then 4 and 7) were coming. We had a Super Soaker Party the day after they arrived, so they were able to make a very cool surprise entrance, complete with squirt guns…

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