This year was the first time I was able to attend the big annual local parade celebrating America's declaration of independence from Great Britain. 
I especially loved the old classic cars:

I was also hoping to see the award-winning Greenbelt Dog Training Parade Marching Drill Team, but they were a no-show this year:

Here I am scanning the horizon for signs of hostile intruders:

Right as I was preparing to intercept an enemy invader, wouldn't you know I get this excruciating itch right between the shoulder blades:

My folks decided to spend a week in Cincinnati visiting family, so of course I said yes.  Ten hours in the car, however, is not what I call fun.  Fortunately, we took stretch breaks at places where history comes alive, like Sideling Hill - one of the best
rock exposures in Maryland and, indeed, the entire northeastern United States:

Here I am in profile with the weathered mountains of Western Maryland behind me:

Happily I made it to Ohio with my wits intact.  Soon after my arrival I found
myself utterly captivated by the charms of a spry little wood nymph:

I gave her my favorite rock while reciting one of my poems.  She was expressionless - I couldn't get a read on her.  Frankly, I found her to be a little stiff:

Anticipation is the caption for this next photograph as Mom and I eagerly await our three-way chili spaghetti.  Camp Washington Chili was closed for the month of July,
so we tried their competition next door - U.S. Chili:

Did I mention that I fractured my tibia just before we went out of town?  With my leg immobilized, I have had the opportunity to develop other parts of my body.  Here Maya and I are playing Pat-a-Cake with my arms moving at record speed:

Aunt Sue took all of us cousins one day to Totter's Otterville, a magical playland across the river in northern Kentucky.  My cousin Hayden introduced me to the magic of trains and train culture.  I was immediately hooked:

The next day Dad and I went down to the zoo, zoo, zoo with Grandpa Dave.  I got
to play with a California sea lion, although he, too, was cool like the wood nymph:

The best part was the Wings of the World exhibit where you can feed the birds
"seed sticks" and let them crawl all over you.  One bird would not stop licking Dad:

Later that day I led a jam session down in Maya's basement - I was on fire:

That evening I got to have fun time playing with my cousins before they left the next morning for their family vacation in Michigan:

We did some role playing that night at Uncle Dean & Aunt Sue's house.  I pretended
to be two years old and ready for potty training:

The next morning Dad took me to Lunken Playfield, located curiously enough next to Lunken Airport.  I pretended I was airborne looking out the window in first class:

Doesn't it sort of appear as if a fish-eye lens was used on this photograph?

Mom had to fly to Chicago on business for a couple lonely days.  On Friday we drove
to the airport for a joyous reunion - it was an emotional moment:

After we made it through another 10-hour car ride, I was so grateful to be home that I even volunteered to sleep in my old "co-sleeper" bed - no strings whatsoever:

I was so thrilled to be out of the car that I ... couldn't wait to get back in:

Notice how the pattern on my outfit seamlessly matches the one on this sofa,
thus I am perfectly camouflaged and you can't even see me:

A rare moment of quiet contemplation:

I've discussed this issue ad nauseum - I thought we had a deal:  no ads on my blog!