Saturday was HOT. Super HOT. I was already planning on hosting a party for the Bells on Temple Square members and their family, and I anticipated that we’d have about 60. I’d been prepping and planning all week. But John really wanted to have a garage sale, and I couldn’t foresee any available Saturdays for quite some time, so I gave in and said we could just do it. That meant about 3 days of sorting, purging, gathering, etc. We made signs, we dragged up tables, we folded clothes. On Friday morning (after being out late on Thursday night to go see a play with the Relief Society ladies), I got up at about 5:30 to start taking out our tables and make sure the signs stayed up (they hadn’t). I had to wake up the tired kids, most of whom did NOT want to be woken up before 7. But I wasn’t about to do this by myself.
We started our boring sale, which was a lot of sitting there outside, waiting for people to come. The kids were wondering why we were even doing a yard sale on Friday, but I was hoping by having it on Friday, we could NOT have to sell our junk on Saturday. At the end of the day, we had made $70. I was hoping that was enough to toss everything and send it to DI. But no, they wanted to sell again on Sat. So, we hauled everything back to the garage and closed up shop.
Next day, repeat. At 1:00, we started to pack everything away. We didn’t have time to waste. We had a retirement party to go to, and our Bots party to set up for. But why was it so hot? Cole and Megan took most of the leftovers to DI (thank goodness).
At about 2:30, we started to set up the canopies. We have one square shade canopy that we bought, and two that we were borrowing from a neighbor. While we do have a LARGE back yard, we do not have a shady back yard, so we had to put up some shade.
And we have this thing.
It looks great, right? The description sounds great, too.
Holds up to 30 people
4 sidewalls with windows
2 end walls
All-white waterproof polyethylene canopy features UV protection; blocks 90 percent of sun’s rays
Measures 10 by 30 feet
We borrowed this canopy when we had a different big party here, for my parent’s 50th anniversary (also hot, also in June). Ryan’s sister and husband host a lot of parties for the Chilean association, so they have all the stuff. We set this thing up in the morning, and then had to leave. It was no small feat getting this thing up, because the instructions (I think we did actually have the instructions then) are ambiguous and just when you have one side done, one of the poles comes unsnapped. It’s a VERY frustrating thing to put up even when it’s not 95 degrees. When we came back, the wind had taken it and twisted it. Part of the canopy was ripped and one or two of the poles had broken. NO!!!! We had to do our best to repair it and put it back up, but we wore worried it would get ripped and ruined even more. We used other stakes and weights to hold it down. It did hold up for the evening. However, we couldn’t return a broken canopy, so we ended up buying her a new one, and we kept the one we had broken.
Fast forward to Saturday. Blazing heat. We’re already exhausted, dirty, and tired from yard sale X 2 days.
Ryan and Cole are pulling over the bounce house and setting that up. We had the box of poles and tarps. No instructions. 5 of us sat there surrounded by poles with the mandate…”You guys figure that out.” Are you freaking kidding me? First I tried to make light of the situation. “Let’s pretend we’re on the amazing race and this is our task in Africa.” They were not amused. Megan even went in to get cups of water for us, since we were in danger of heat exhaustion. We tried fitting pole 1 to pole 2. Now what? 3 and 4? No, that doesn’t fit. Turn it around! Tempers were flaring with the heat and frustration.
If someone were to ask me what I thought of that really cool canopy and should they get one, I would Grab them by the front of the shirt and yell in their face, “For the love of Pete, man, do you not love your family? Don’t do it! Don’t buy it! I know it looks big and the price is great, but DON’T DO it! You WILL say things you regret, and isn’t your family worth more than that?”
There are 387 customer reviews on Amazon for this tent. That’s 387 families that are probably in family counseling now (or at least they should be). One short and sweet review said, “If you want a canopy made from cheapest materials available this canopy if for you. It would make a wonderful windsock. One good gust and hope you can find all the pieces.”
You get the picture? There was whining, crying, gnashing of teeth, yelling, screaming, and stomping. There was also working together, trying to be supportive, and encouragement. We weren’t ALL bad. We TRIED. In the end, we got the thing up, and miracle, it stayed.
We all needed showers to cool off (both literally and figuratively).
The party was still hot, but much less than if we’d had shade.
I was so busy, I didn’t even get any decent pictures, but my friend Liz took a few. You can kind of see the canopies in these pictures.
We survived. The party was fun, even though it was too hot. I haven’t written my review on Amazon just yet. But I’m ready in case I decide to.