What’s Happening Wednesday: I’m a Big!

New post! New post! New post!

I’ve decided to take some other bloggers’ advice and set a weekly blogging schedule to keep myself active. With that being said I’m going to start a “What’s Happening Wednesday” and a “Throwback Thursday”. One to keep you up to date, and one to tell you all about things that have happened in the past. 🙂

So! The first “What’s Happening Wednesday” starts now!

Hello readers,

This last Sunday, I became a Big.

For those of you who are not familiar with Greek life and this term, let me explain. Every new member gets a “Big”. This person will serve as their mentor for Greek life, and if they’re a good Big…life in general. It’s a very special bond. Obviously then, every “Big” has a “Little”, and every “Big” is a “Little” first. Are you following me here?

In my sorority we get to know the new members for a few weeks after they accept their bids. We, as active members, get to let our Vice President of New Member Education know if we’ve met any girls we feel we’ve bonded with. The New Members then get to make a list of who they would like as their Big. Our VP matches the girls up, but only lets the Bigs know the pairings.

Then we string them along with anonymous gifts for awhile and maybe if you’re a little mean, try to trick them. After awhile, we have a get together where all the Bigs are revealed to their Littles in a really fun way.

I got to be the person stringing someone along this semester. Because my darling friend from my hometown (who was actually a freshman on the high school cheerleading squad when I served as Assistant Coach), accepted a bid to my sorority.

On Sunday, the excitement heightened. We met and were all given pictures taped to our backs. It was like a game of “Headbands”, where you have to guess who you are. When you figured out what you were, you had to find your “match”. Like, “Cookies and Milk”, “Boots and Dora”, “Pooh and Piglet”, etc.

My Little happened to be wearing eggs. It took everything I had to not just run up to her and say “HEY WE MATCH!” even after I figured out that I was bacon. But it was worth it when the moment finally came. Here it is.

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“What are you?” “Eggs.” “I’m Bacon!”

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So much love here.

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But then she told me she already knew it was me because of a silly mistake.

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Eggs and Bacon

After figuring we were a pair, it was time for gifts! I took off my sweatshirt and revealed one half of our matching t-shirts and made her change into the other half that was in her gifts.

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Big and Little

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Here is a family picture. I have a Big, and a Grand Big. I also have an “Aunt” who is my Big’s “Twin”. My Aunt got a new little, too. So our family grew by two!

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From the center out: In the headband: Grand Big. To her right, My Aunt and to HER right…her new Little. To my Grand Big’s left in the matching shirt is MY Big. Then to her left…obviously my new Little and me! 

It’s so wonderful to finally not be anonymous anymore. It’s so wonderful to share this bond with a woman I’ve known for five years. And it’s so wonderful to look forward to all the memories we’ll share on our journey together!

So that’s what’s going on currently in my life. Let me know if you have thoughts on Bigs and Littles. Or if you have one of your own!

Love,

Miss Leslie the Good Witch

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Dormant Blog

Hello again, all!

I hadn’t realized that my blog has laid dormant for nearly 3 months now! I guess all the advice I was given about setting a blogging schedule was right…OOPS!

Anyway, I have TONS of ideas to bring to the table. Now that school is back in session, sorority life is full swing, and I’ve been considering some new thoughts. (Plus, I need to get some more wedding pictures from my beautiful bride I posted about previously.)

I just need to sit my derriere down and start typing. (And maybe convince my sister to do the same, since she was my inspiration and we both sort of sputtered out.)

Anywho, here’s to a new burst of inspiration (and hopefully creating a habit).

Thanks for stickin’ with me, readers!

Love,

Miss Leslie the Good Witch

Mr. and Mrs. 7-12-14

Greetings from one happy and worn out bridesmaid!

This last weekend, one of my best friends from high school married the man of her dreams and the father of their beautiful son. And I was lucky enough to get to wear the pretty dress and painful shoes and stand up for them! Woot! (One of my favorite things in the world, if you haven’t figured that out yet.)

While I am impatiently waiting to see the dozens of formal and fun professional photos that I KNOW will be fantastic, I’ll share a few snap shots from my weekend. 🙂

Pre-wedding festivities on Friday night…

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Just a few beauties after rehearsal and dinner! The bride is GORGEOUS!

Saturday afternoon ceremony….

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Here comes the bride…

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At the altar..

 

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They did it! Mr. and Mrs.!

Waiting for our bridal party photo shoot…

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Bridesmaids!

After picture fashion fixes…

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MOH fixing the bride’s bustle in the parkin’ lot.

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And a fabulous guest fixing my torn dress…

About that ^^^…apparently the little slit in the back of my dress didn’t withstand the galloping sideways  I did as we tried to blur ourselves by running in a circle and keep the newlyweds in focus during the bridal party photo session. It was either that, or when my groomsmen hopped on my back for our picture with the newlyweds. (I can’t wait to show you all the goofy pictures we took!)

I ripped my dress again later on the dance floor approximately 10 seconds after stating that I’d “better be careful or I’d rip my dress”. Oops!

Killing time between pictures and the Grand March…

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Pretty ladies.

Dinner time…

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Maid of Honor, me, and the bride’s little sister.

The first dance that started the party…

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True love. -sigh-

The world’s greatest wedding date…

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My handsome boyfriend.

That’s just a peek into what was an absolutely beautiful, love filled, and fun weekend. Congratulations to the new couple! ❤

Love,

Miss Leslie the Good Witch

Failed Ideas and Unplugged Weddings

Hey all!

So I’ve been pretty quiet lately. But it’s not for lack of ideas on what to blog about…but rather ideas that fell through.

Like the bachelorette party I was beyond stoked about…well, it fell a little flat. Long story short, none of the other ladies took my wise and seasoned advice not to drink too much while we were tubing on the river (I’d learned very well the week before). We got ready to go out for dinner and bar hopping for the night. I’d even bought a new dress that made me feel like Barbie! We had a delicious dinner at the local Mexican restaurant, and then tried their “Open Jukebox Night” at the suggestion of the waitress. Then we went to our first bar, where the bride and Maid-of-Honor ordered waters. The bride couldn’t even take her free shot! So I gladly took it for her. It wasn’t much later that they all decided to call it a night. At 9:30. Sweet.

Then I was going to blog about my long 4th of July weekend. But the majority of my weekend consisted of lake time, fireworks, and bars. Don’t get me wrong, the weekend was well spent and a blast. I just don’t want to bore you with the details.

Which is how I ended up here. This GREAT article someone shared on Facebook. With my next stint as a bridesmaid and wedding weekend beginning in only two days, this seemed fitting.

It’s an article titled Why You Might Want to Consider an Unplugged Wedding. It was written by a professional wedding photographer and is very eye-opening. Sometimes I’ve noticed a few photographs ruined by misplaced and well-meaning guests. But I’ve never fully considered the impact our “smart phone generation” has on our need for instant sharing and gratification. Sure, it’s tempting to snap an aisle pic to share instantly before the reception even begins…but I’d bet the consequences were never clear to you.

In an extreme circumstance, I’m actually quite thankful for all of the photographs taken by guests at the wedding I was MOH in last summer. There were cameras provided by the DJ on top of everyone’s personal cameras. And if it weren’t for all the aspiring photographers on the guest list…we’d have no pictures of the wedding. Though it’s not because of anything the photographer did…but rather because an extremely unfortunate twist of events…the marriage fell apart before the photos were even purchased. But I can bet that that sort of thing is a rare occurrence as I’d hope most couples budget to be able to afford the pictures (and  stay together longer than a few months).

I know that for my own wedding, I want an unplugged ceremony. To ask that of the reception would be silly…I’d LOVE the personal pictures captured by my guests. And as the author mentions in the article, sometimes there are moments the photographer misses. And by all means, if you feel it necessary, take your own pictures of all the big moments at the reception…but be artful and stay out of the shot. 🙂

Read the article and tell me…What do you think? How do you feel about what the photographer is saying? Do you have any wedding picture horror stories? Are you considering an “Unplugged Wedding” for your own future nuptials? Chime in and let me know!

Love,

Miss Leslie the Good Witch

 

Shoe Frustrated

This is my first post in “27 Dresses”, and it’s negative. Boo.

I am a bridesmaid in a wedding in less than 2 weeks. We are all expected to have the same pair of white patent pumps that the bride picked out at DSW. I went to DSW less than a week after she gave us the information on the shoes. And learned that they were only available online.

So, first frustration, I wasn’t able to try them on.

I ordered the shoes on DSW.com in a size 9. They arrived and I was so excited! But then I tried them on and they were too small. I went back to the website to order a bigger size.

Second frustration, they do not MAKE a 9.5. It’s not even an option!

Third frustration, the size 10 shoes were sold out!

I searched the internet and was able to find the same shoes on Zappos.com in a size 10, for almost $10 more. So I ordered them. And they arrived and I was excited all over again.

Fourth frustration, they were too BIG!

So now, I’m sitting here with two pairs of shoes that don’t fit correctly, trying to decide which I’d rather deal with for the day.

Fifth frustration, I can’t even find a pair similar enough in a different brand to pass the bride’s approval.

Sixth frustration, DSW.com tells me they will deduct $8.50 from my refund for shipping. When I already had to pay that much to order the shoes from somewhere else because they didn’t have my size for a “free exchange”.

Thank goodness for being a Pointe dancer, because right now my only plausible option is to wear my Pointe toe pads in the shoes that are too big. That way, my toes have some cushion and my heels are pushed further back towards where they should be. And my feet won’t flop out and trip me when I walk down the aisle.

I’ll have to figure out how to hide the purple gel pads, but it might just work. Far better than the bride’s solution of “stuffing tissue paper in them and kicking them off after they cut the cake”. Please! That’s quite a large amount of time to be wearing uncomfortable shoes.

Seventh frustration, I’m paying $50 for a pair of shoes that don’t fit. Regardless of which of the two pairs I keep.

I’m SO FRUSTRATED.

Any thoughts or ideas from my fellow bloggers?

Love,
Miss Leslie the Good Witch

P.S. Here’s the culprit. Grr.

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A New Queen Crowned and the King of Pop Lost…

Hi All!

Speaking of Musky Festival…it just so happens to be the 5 year anniversary of my own stint as Musky Festival royalty!
How do I know it was exactly 5 years ago this evening that I received the title of 1st-Runner-Up at the annual Musky Festival Queen’s Scholarship Pageant?

Because I was reminded that today is also the 5 year anniversary of the day we lost the King of Pop, Mr. Michael Jackson.

That night was one of the biggest coincidences of my life! I’d chosen to choreograph a Pointe dance with my then-boyfriend helping me out. This is where the coincidence comes in. I’d chosen to dance to none-other-than “Billie Jean” by none-other-than Micheal Jackson!

I remember I’d spent the day having lunch with the judges and then facing my individual interview. Any other time was spent with my fellow contestant and good friend hanging out and jamming as we drove around town to…Michael Jackson.

I also remember when my phone started blowing up with texts telling me to “dance for Michael” and “make it a dance to remember” and “honor Michael tonight!”. I was absolutely stunned when I learned that he had been found dead. Stunned that I’d been so looking forward to my performance, so excited that I’d decided to rock my “Michael Jackson glove” and take on one of the most iconic songs of all time. Yup, it was that night.

I tell people that “Billie Jean” is my song, and Michael would have wanted that way. Obviously that’s not true, but that song definitely holds a special place in my heart regardless.

I so wish I could have watched my performance and been able to see how my partner and I killed that dance. I wish I could have seen whether we honored Michael or not. But I can’t. Ever. Never did. You know why? Because the one girl that didn’t receive a “place”…well her mother was the only one that recorded the pageant. And it turns out that girl was a bit of a sore loser…though she claims recording over it was an “accident”.

Anywho! I do have just a few pictures of the performance. Notice my glove!

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And though this post started as a remembrance…I figured because I’ve already told you all about how much fun Musky Fest is and how much I love the family and tradition…here are some more pictures of my weekend of Royalty. Throw Back Thursday…a day early.

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My friends that came to support me. Posing after the pageant.

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Hanging out downtown. My dance partner is actually that guy in the white shirt next to me. (Because boyfriends tend to hang around.)

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My beautiful (late) cousin and I.

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She stole my tiara! (And would have kept it if I’d let her!)

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My aunt, cousins, and I at the street dance!

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That fellow contestant and good friend I told you about. We were on the Dizzy Dragons.

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Here’s MY pictures as royalty in the parade!

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I’m in the hot pink. Are you surprised?

5 years is a long time. But Michael Jackson made an impact on the world that still rings out. And being Musky Fest royalty made an impact on me that still holds true.

So keep letting Michael Jackson’s music blare. And stay tuned for more about my Musky Festival project I’ve been inspired to take on and spearhead!

Love,
Miss Leslie the Good Witch

My Bubble Took Me…to Musky Festival

Last weekend, I attended the 65th Annual Musky Festival sponsored by the Hayward Area Chamber of Commerce. It takes place right in my fabulous hometown and is just one of the many events we boast year-round.

Musky Fest has always been a weekend to look forward to. When I was little, it was all about the carnival and the food that comes with it. Pre-teen and teen years, I was occupied with the major social aspect of it. Now that I’m getting older, I’m still enthused about the social aspect, enticed by the drinking and party atmosphere,  aaaaaand mostly a devotee to the sense of family and tradition it carries.

Each year, I have list of various things I have to do, or Musky Fest just wasn’t done right. I was so excited to not only share this event and my list with all of my followers, but with my Big Sister in my sorority who came home with me. Side note: We obnoxiously matched on Sunday, because we could.

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Little Big and Big Little ready for the parade!

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Matching ladies.

Unfortunately, due to some schedule conflicts, I didn’t complete every single thing. But I can still share with you what is important to me, what I did accomplish, and what I recommend you check out. I’ll give you a breakdown of the three days I spent at home with a case of Musky Fest fever.

Friday night, my boyfriend, my Big, and I drove the two hours home and got to Hayward around 6 o’clock. We made a pit stop to unload our luggage and what not. Then we headed into town to get some dinner with a friend. We couldn’t say no to some Coop’s Pizza Parloure.

We enjoyed our delicious BBQ Chicken Pizza. Well, most of us had pizza. I’ve never had anything but pizza at Coop’s Pizza, though they offer a variety of foods including pastas, sandwiches, and burgers. It took the out-of-towner to be the weirdo who ordered a burger and learned they weren’t that great. So recommendation, get the pizza.

Yummy pizza!

Yummy pizza!

Next, we walked the short distance to Main Street, where all the festivities are held. Well, all but the carnival which has moved several times in my lifetime, each time FURTHER from Main Street. But never beyond a short walk at least!

I immediately began running into several friends and family members, both those who I’d seen recently and those I hadn’t. Musky Festival is really just a giant reunion. I didn’t even actually make it into the fenced in street dance and beer tent that night. I spent a majority of my time standing on the sidewalk in front of Angler’s Bar and Grill catching whoever happened to be walking past. I didn’t drink a single drop on Friday night, but it was still a great time. I also learned that being home and surround by so many familiar faces is where I’m truly in my element as a social butterfly. My Big said she’d never seen me so energetic! And as I “danced” and gestured my way through every conversation, my brother joked that “this is why we call her dancing queen.” -contented sigh- Home.

Somewhere in there I had a point about what I was doing. Oh  yes!  Standing in front of Angler’s Bar and Grill. Another recommendation for if you ever make it up to the Hayward area. It’s packed beyond belief during Musky Fest weekend, but it offers yummy food and a view of Main Street so you can people watch on their patio!

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Picture courtesy of Angler’s website.

Anyway. Next comes Saturday, where we had a full day ahead of us. This is where the scheduling conflicts (but really they were more like sleep issues) came into effect. My boyfriend, his sister, and I had planned to go do some shooting of clay pigeons, tube down the river, and then make it downtown to check out the craft and food vendors before they shut down.

But alas, we overslept. So we missed the opportunity to do the shooting part of the day. And by the time we finally got everyone to meet and get down the river, the vendors had closed for the day. That’s one of the things on my list I didn’t get to complete…Making at least one lap up and down and around Main Street to see all of the interesting, unique, and fun products people are offering. There’s a recommendation in there for you, too, fellow traveler. Make sure to check out the vendors.

On the bright side, tubing was a blast. Another recommendation, tube the Namekagon River. There are lots of places in town and just outside of town (20 minutes down the road in Trego) that rent out tubes and provide shuttle service. The views are beautiful and the trip is rather relaxing. Just make sure you tie your tubes together in a sensible fashion that allows you to keep each other out of the weeds and trees!

I don’t have any awesome tubing pictures to share with you. For three reasons; I was afraid we’d miss the shuttle if we took one before, I obviously didn’t bring my phone or a camera down the river, and I was maybe a little drunk and cranky when we got back to the landing. Oops!

So basically, I went home, took a shower and took a well needed nap. The next thing I knew, I got a knock on the door saying it was time for dinner. So my crew ate, got all glamoured up, and headed back down to Main Street for the evening’s festivities.

This time, I actually paid to get into the street dance and got my 21-and-older bracelet. I flitted around the beer tent socializing and bull shitting as best I could. I got a little dancing in, check. And my feet were definitely covered in beer. Because it isn’t a Musky Fest unless you get spilled on at least twice!

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It was all fun and fabulous, until the street dance was over and I realized I’d lost my phone. Panic ensued, I had several people searching, I got snippy and cried, I talked to my cousin (the police officer who took notes in his cute little officer notebook), and I got really upset when my boyfriend called and someone answered but didn’t talk.

By this time, we had been ushered out of the street dance by the police officers. So naturally, we headed into the other bar on Main Street, the Gridiron Pub and Grub. Fun fact, one of my very best friend’s parents just renovated and opened it. I think you can sense a shameless plug coming…and that’s good, because here it is. Another recommendation, when in Hayward, The Gridiron Pub and Grub  is another option for good food, some drinks, and a great atmosphere (it’s family friendly too, as there is a dining room and patio in back!)

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Anyway, while we were in the bar, my boyfriend came up to me and told me I’d better love him. He’d found my phone! I got the whole story and thanked both people involved (who were both at the same bar) profusely. Turns out one of the guys I graduated with had found it on the ground and knew better than to just leave it there, so he picked it up. When he gave it to his friend, she went to turn it off and saw my boyfriend was calling and answered because she recognized is his name. Ding ding ding! Phone located and passed back to me. I got my phone back with 22 missed calls, and told myself I knew there was a reason everyone had first and last names in my contacts! Ha. Thank GOD for small towns. You know, sometimes knowing pretty damn near everybody doesn’t turn out that bad!

So the rest of the night was fun and we went home happy. Yay!

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This was clearly taken AFTER finding my phone.

On to the final day of the week that is my favorite day as far as family and tradition. Sunday is parade day! Sunday was a lazy morning for us. But for those who are feeling ambitious, there is a Musky Fest 5K Run/Walk to tackle. Yeehaw!

Anyway, the real attraction on Sunday is the grand parade. This year, my marvelous aunt just happened to be the grand marshal. How cool is that?! So after the veterans and flags, the official banner of the parade, my aunt and her grandsons in a pontoon, what seemed to be every fire truck in the surrounding area, the Musky Fest royalty float, the Hayward High School Marching band, the Shriners, a bunch of political/advertising/and organizational floats and vehicles, and a few other royalty ladies went by…

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The veterans that started the parade.

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Official banner.

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Musky Festival royalty.

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Hayward High School Marching Band.

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Shriner cars.

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Shriner Drums and Bugle Corps.

my absolute favorite part of the whole parade came marching down the street.

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I wait all year to hear their drumbeat!

Marty’s Goldenaires. A legion sponsored marching band based out of Bessemer, Michigan. They come and play every year. There are always several familiar faces and a few brand new baby-faced boys sprinkled in. It’s an all men’s marching band with members ranging from teens to their sixties! (Maybe even older.) They are always the grand finale of the parade. They always come back around the block and play in the main area where the street dance had taken place the few nights before. They always then go play at a nearby bar, and then the backroom of the Veterans’ Center.

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Marty’s Goldenaires ready to perform on Main Street after the parade.

And ever since I can remember, I’ve followed that band through each performance (minus the local bar one) with my dad. I can’t even explain what it is that makes them so awesome to me. Maybe it’s the nostalgia they bring. And not only do they play a variety of music and play it very well, but they are entertaining. They have established little tricks and gimmicks throughout the show. My favorite thing they do at the Veteran’s Center is play through the song for each branch of the military, and recognize the veterans that stand. It’s pretty awesome and a great sense of American Pride can be felt!

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Just part of the band  and the audience packed into the not-so-large back room of the Veteran’s’ Center.

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My dad, me, my aunt (the grand marshal), and my other lovely aunt.

You know how they say “It’s not over until the fat lady sings”?  Well, I say “Musky Fest isn’t over until the Goldenaires play”. And that’s just how I roll. (Someday I’ll figure out how to add all the videos I took.)

After the festivities of the weekend this year, I really got family and tradition at my uncle’s surprise birthday party. It’s very rare that my dad and his five sisters are all in the same place anymore, so hanging out with my aunts, uncles, and cousins was the perfect way to end a great weekend.

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My uncle is the birthday boy on the left. And the rest are my daddy and his five sisters.

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Cousins.

My final recommendation? Visit Hayward. Even if it’s not for the Musky Festival, there are plenty of things to check out. I might just have to blog about my unique and attraction-filled hometown and tell you all about what else there is to do! Until then, that’s what I’ve got.

Love,
Miss Leslie the Good Witch

P.S. I forgot to mention one other Musky Fest tradition that’s been attempted but not always fulfilled for six years now. Cheese curds with my boyfriend’s little sister. Check and yum!

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All parade pictures are courtesy of my Big’s photography skills.