Friday, February 20, 2015

August's Big Camping Trip: Day 1

By now, 
most know that we purchased a camper in August 2013
kinda on a whim.

To recall that whole thing
you can go back
read all about it
here:
here:
here:
here:
and here:

We had a blast.
I am so thankful I have started documenting our adventures.

This year
we had the privilege of tagging along with daddy
back to the Marion/Morganton area for another class.

And, of course, we had to stay at
again!

We left on a Friday, 
after daddy got off of work.
I wasn't quite ready,
mainly because this is what we were packing in!


So I stalled a bit,
and we left a little later than we had truly wanted.

It is a 4 hour drive from here to begin with,
and since we left later than we wanted...
on a Friday...
in the rain...
a HARD rain
and our travels took us right through the
Raleigh/Durham/RTP area...
in the rain
at rush hour.

Yeah,
daddy wasn't happy.

My phone tells us where wrecks are on our trip,
and I-40 West was a parking lot!
We opted NOT to sit through it
and take a detour.
It took us through the RTP backroads...
in the pour rain.
We hit a patch of water on a small 2 lane road
and 
the tires on suburban AND camper lost contact with the road
and 
we were hydroplaning...
my heart stopped.
I am certain my husband's did as well.
The kids were watching a movie so they were oblivious,
thankfully!

It only lasted a second or so, 
but it was enough to just about put us over the edge.

We finally got back on the highway and
it was relatively smooth, yet wet, sailing from there,
if I recall.

We started to notice that the sun was quickly going down
while we still had a bit left in our trip.
We called and let Jellystone know we were on the way,
but weren't going to make it by nightfall.

We finally arrived,
we had chosen a beautiful lake front spot.
It was pitch dark...
there were trees everywhere,
a lightpole,
and a tight squeeze
stood between us
and the end of this nerve wracking trip!

Did I mention it was dark?
I have become the backer upper person,
because I seriously think I have a depth perception issue.
And I can take directions better than I can give them when it comes to this camper.

So I hopped in the driver's seat.
And due to the darkness,
couldn't see A THING!
Couldn't see my husband trying to give me directions,
Couldn't see the trees that I needed to avoid...
I tried a few times
then daddy got in and I did the best I could to guide him.
It wasn't pretty.
And daddy's nerves (and patience) were SHOT!
This 4 hour trip had taken close to 6.

We were tired,
cranky,
hungry,
stressed...
and did I mention hungry.

I had planned on pizza on the grill.
And since we had no other options,
none that were quick
and it was after 9pm by the time we were set up...
I cooked pizza on the grill.
On a pizza stone!
It was AH-MAZING!
It had a wonderful smoky flavor to the crust.
It was (in my eyes) totally worth the wait!



Luckily I make up beds typically before we leave,
and all clothes are where they need to be,
so we can just fall into bed.
Which is what we did.

The next day we were so excited to start our vacation!

Most of my children don't know how to sleep in.
And they follow
Anna's Rule of Life from Frozen:
"The sky is awake,
So I'm awake,
So we have to play!"

So out they went to check out the local animal friends.


Yep,
she is still in pajamas!


And this one was still asleep!


This does not do our site justice,
to show you exactly what we had to deal with the night before,
but we finally made it in there 
and that is what matters!


Once everyone was awake
and dressed,
Daddy took the kids to the other side of the lake 
in order to "Wake Up Yogi".

The kids all got some sort of noisemaker.


And they proceeded to march around the park,
with these noisemakers,
waking up the entire campground 
while they were searching for whichever
bear was to be woken that particular morning.


After the bear was awake,
they came back for breakfast
and 
to get bathing suits on.


Mr. T was trying out his casting skills on land.


Jackson and Alexis wet their hooks in the pond.


They lost patience quickly and found a little friend.



My sweet girly girl
was not scared!
She allowed the little salamander to crawl all over her!



Daddy eventually rescued the little critter out of the mane of hair
that it was close to getting lost in.

Then Mr. T got a turn.



And just for fun,
we put the critter in Jackson's hair.


Later we hit the playground:




They had a rock and roll theme for activities.
So we mosied on over to the games area
and participated in a few relay games.

One was rockstar sack races:
(I cannot get over the smiles on these faces!!!)

The jumpers were to wear a head of "hair".
Lex jumped right out of hers immediately,
so daddy helped her out.




Next was Mr. T's turn...
daddy helped him in,


and off he went!


He got about 1/3 of the way through the course,
stripped off the hair and bag
and BOLTED!
But by the looks of this face,
he knew exactly what he was doing!


Next up was big daddy!


Daddy had to hold on to his "hair" too. 
Apparently sticking his tongue out helped.


Next up was Rico.
He managed pretty well.


Then came Jackson.
He got off to a great start,


But the "hair" gave him a little trouble too
so he gave up and just held it in his hands.


Next was an air guitar contest.

First for the youngest group:


Then the older kids group:


Finally the adults.
I was "talked into" participating.
I really wasn't excited about that.
I am here on the far right,
the gentleman down on the other end was 
REALLY getting into it.


So I figured I would give it my all.
And my husband caught this 
LOVELY
shot of me!


Now you are probably asking yourselves,
why in the WORLD would I put that on the blog?
Well first off, not many people actually look at this blog.
Second, this is proof, for my children,
that I DO infact know how to have a little bit of fun
and be a little goofy...
I just don't do it often.



Eventually we headed over to the pool,
chilly weather and all.



And we HAD to build a fire,
we were camping afterall.





We ended the day at the Saturday night dance party.


Mr. T partied as hard as he could
and gave up.


So daddy took Tony and Jackson home.
While Alexis and Rico and I stayed to party a little longer.


She, too, was all danced out
but Rico wasn't quite ready to go yet.


That was all Day 1!  




Thursday, February 19, 2015

Dreaming of July

So here I am,
sitting in my living room,
on the couch
with the fire blazing in the gas logs
In front of the fire lays:
4 pr of shoes,
4 coats,
4 pr of gloves,
4 pr of socks,
4 pr of pants,
4 toboggans
and 
a few random shirts.

Why?
Because outside of our door
is a nice coating of ice and a little snow.
So since I am sitting all nice and toasty inside,
and it is so stinking cold outside
(average high for this time of year in our area is mid 50s - 
we are sitting at chilly 29° right now,
which is a slight improvement over the teens we have been
hitting at this time of night the past 2 or 3 days!
and we are expecting to hit 3° for a low! in 2 days!)

So let's venture back to July 2014
to recall a few warmer weather activities!

July 2014 was actually quite calm for this family.

Nana and Papa came down to watch fireworks with us:

(yes we were very much at a car lot!)


The two littles got the best seats in the house!


And of course we had to do sparklers!!
The littles took a little convincing, 
but they we couldnt' stop them!


This is how Jackson rides in a car.
(sigh)


The littles took swim lessons.
For the first time ever!
(Tony is second from the left, Lex is second from the right)


Mr. T was NOT feeling this swim lesson thing.
He was quite worried about drowning.

He would not let go of the instructor at all!
And after a ton of coaxing,
finally agreed to go under.


And survived!


We put the big boys to work in the yard!
Whoo hoo!!



We finished up our school year.
Jackson finished 2nd grade
and
Rico completed 4th.


A couple of days of swim lessons got thrown off due to thunder.
So we had 2 make ups.
One happened to be on a Friday when we would be out of town.
So we were graciously allowed to have a "private" make up lesson.


Tony Cruz thinks if he sucks his gut in,
he will float.
I wouldn't know...
I never mastered "the float".


Tony Cruz got MUCH better with getting his face wet!
And started kicking his feet,
but never loosened his grip on the instructor.


Just a few quick clips of their progress:


video


video


video

Ms. Priss did phenomenal!
She looks a bit exhausted in this next picture
because she swam the ENTIRE length of the pool
all...
by...
herself!!


Then we went to Raleigh,
for some reason...
can't remember why.
Nor can I remember why we drove the truck...
which we hardly do...
but all 4 passed out on the way home.
And I couldn't resist a picture.



During July,
we also went on an EPIC 
camping trip!
Tent camping...
to Aurora, NC.
With our scouting group.
There were about 40 of us that went.

On the drive out there,
we saw a real, live black bear walk across the road,
less than half an hour from where we would be camping!
Um, no thanks!!

The weather was amazing!
It was a tad drizzly and overcast but nice!
It didn't stop us from enjoying:
fishing,
boating,
kayaking,
paddle boarding,
grilling,
bonfire(ing)
playing
and
just flat having a ball!!

There is another EPIC trip planned this year,
but I will be flying,
well camping,
solo...
if we go.
Not totally excited about the whole
"tent" camping thing...
much less by myself,
without the hubs!