Today was Madison's birthday party, and it was super fun for Madison. Firstly, we had a good turnout, with several of her friends able to make it to the miniature golf course on what turned out to be a really nice day!
We had the birthday party at The Oaks Miniature Golf Course, where we've been several times in the past. We hadn't thought to do a party here before, but given the recent world events, a lot of places are closed or considered not as healthy to have parties at. Golf has never been cancelled, and so that seemed like a great place to go. You can see they had a nice banner set up here, along with some balloons for decorations.
They had all the table cloth set up, and you may think this strange, but this is one of best places to be in Gainesville - this deck. It overlooks the golf course, is all in shade, and there are all these rocking chairs there. We've spent many a summer evening sitting here in rocking chairs, enjoying a nice ice cream together. We'll actually come here on certain nights, even if we don't play golf - we just come for the ice cream!
Madison's cake was very nice, something we picked up yesterday. After all the searching through the booklet, we found something that was physically right there in front of us, and Madison liked the look of it so much that this became her birthday cake for the day. All the girls crowded around and sang "Happy Birthday," and soon everyone was eating cake. Before this, there was pizza, and unlimited drinks. And then on top of that ice cream, of course. Yes, eight teenagers on a whole lot of sugar. The stuff of nightmares.
I'm joking. Moving on, Madison sat in the Chair of Cheer, the rocking chair there in the corner, and then she got to open up all her gifts. It was nice to see all the love from everyone, and so many nice gifts. She got a few handmade cards, which are the best kind to get really. She got a new plush Porg, one that we're still debating a name for. The previous Porg is named Deke. She got a cup with a Baby Yoda on it, one she loves. And there were many other gifts too.
As she was opening the gifts and cards, all her friends were looking on, everyone laughing together. It was sweet. And again, it was a nice afternoon, the weather just right outside. It was a relaxing atmosphere, the girls catching up with each other, some having not seen each other in months after school's last day.
In that regard, there was a lot to talk about. It's been a while. They've been talking online, of course. But world conditions have made it such that it's been difficult to see each other in person in this large of a group. As you can imagine, it was a happy reunion.
Madison took her phone with her, and was snapping pictures too. We took a lot of photos, of course, only sharing a few here. It was a very nice birthday party!
And you can see that Madison loved it. She had the greatest time, and although all the gifts were nice, the best gift of all was just seeing everyone in person.
Once we finished pizza, cake, ice cream, and gifts, and ice-breakers, it was time to hit the links! The girls grabbed their golf clubs, golf balls, and were off to hole #1 for a mini-golf adventure.
Well hello there! The girls assaulted the golf course with a whole lot of pent-up energy, which was fairly obvious each time Daddy had to go down into the woods to go find an errant golf ball.
You can see one that went airborne here in this picture, although it amazingly did stay on the green in this case. In her defense, you have to hit the ball a little harder to get it up this fairly long hill. All the girls are looking on she in fact hit it hard... against the side bricks...
The sun was out today, which you can see here, but the course is largely under the trees in the shade, so it was really a very nice day. The course is nothing themed to pirates or jungle exploration, but there are some water features and unique and challenging holes, some with cavernous walk-throughs.
Madison is laughing here because of this one shot by her friend that went through the cave, off the course, and down the hill. It nearly missed me with the camera!
Here's the only big hole-in-one of the day though, with Madison aiming off this ramp and upwards. She watched it fly, and thought she hit it too hard, but the rebound worked out just right, and she got herself a hole-in-one. This was obviously super exciting to her, as these hole-in-ones are a big goal of hers each time we try to play.
But obviously, it was not as much about scoring as it is about hanging out together and having fun. The girls divided up into teams, one of the teams being named the Blobfish. The two teams were battling it out throughout the afternoon, hoping to have the lowest score.
Here's Madison on that other challenging hole, although it's not the most challenging one there. She's hit her stride here towards the end, and out of the eight girls she actually had the lowest score, which is to say she was doing the best out of all of them towards the end.
But ultimately, the Blobfish fell to the other team, Purple Unicorns, and by just one point. It was a close match! Again, it wasn't so much about the score as it was hanging out together and having fun.
Madison had a great afternoon. We left there, and got home, all rather exhausted from the day. So we did a little bit of work - I was still working on Summer Xtreme material, and Madison played a little bit on her piano.
Tonight we watched "The Wiz," the latest free broadcast play in the series of productions on social media lately. We've been wanting to watch this, and in fact missed it when it broadcast live a few years ago. So tonight was a good chance to watch it, and how funny it is that this "Wizard of Oz" theme keeps popping up? Anyway, it was actually a really good production. Mind you, we've never seen any production of it before. But the three of us did enjoy it, particularly the costuming, dancing, and singing. All of it was really good!
Of course, we did another episode of "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." tonight, the one right before everything just falls apart for S.H.I.E.L.D. That will be fun to watch tomorrow with Madison, who hasn't seen any of these before.
We read "Artemis Fowl" tonight, about halfway through on the Kindle. We're praying for our nation and for peace again. Lately, it's difficult turning to the news, as there seems to be a lot of bad news going on. It's best to keep away from that, sometimes. We said our prayers tonight, for healing. Not just for Ba-Ba and those suffering from this recent virus, but for the nation itself. We need some miracles.