Sunday, January 11, 2015

Summer Vacation Kick-Off

One of these days we're going to look back and this is going to all feel like a dream. Just looking at these pictures it's hard to believe that this is our life. Okay, but I have to admit that looking at the pictures is a little more enjoyable than being there because what you don't see are the five million and twenty two sandflies eating us alive. On our way to the beach house we decided to take a detour at Nelson Lakes for a few nights. The property manager suggested that we bring bug spray on our stay, but she should have told us to bring full body armor to protect us from the infestation. We stepped out of the car and it was like moths to a flame, or more like hungry sandflies to our creamy white flesh. We were darting back and forth bringing in the luggage and slamming doors trying to keep them out of the house and car. It was nuts. We were tempted to stay inside, but we would have been left to the mercy of a stack of National Geographic magazines and basic cable with really bad screen color. We decided to bundle up and brave it. I know it looks like we're freezing with our jackets and hoodies on, but it was strictly a preventative measure. It was so hot, but sweaty armpits was a small price to pay to avoid getting eaten alive. It was an adventure trying to get this canoe to the lake, Jason thought we could just pop the seats down in the back of the car and stick it in there, it was pretty comical when only the front third of the boat fit in. We found these wheels in the garage but it was still quite a struggle, that thing was heavy! But the views on that lake made all the tears, blisters and aching backs {almost} worth it.

Ryder was an early riser the next morning, and usually I just turn on Netflix and go back to bed, but this morning I was excited for an excuse to get out and explore with my little guy while the rest of the world slept. There was a quiet calm in the air, we found ourselves whispering so as not to disturb it. I loved letting him take the lead while I followed quietly behind as he turned over rocks, searched for the perfect hiking stick and dug holes wherever the ground was bare. It was special, just the two of us.

I think it's like an innate characteristic for little boys to pick flowers for their moms. Each one of mine have done that since they were little and it gets me every single time. Mama's boys for the win.

By the time the rest of the kids rolled out of bed all blurry eyed, a foggy drizzle had moved in. Which meant that we spent the morning sorting through the record collection, playing a few games, watching Robin William's face in an unnatural shade of orange and taking a crack at tackling that National Geographic magazine stack (which I actually find them fascinating, and so did Maddox. He referenced Cleopatra, the Great Barrier Reef and the volcano articles several times throughout the rest of our trip).

When we had our fill of Pictionary and scratched records we decided to bite the bullet and face the swarms. We learned that if you're moving they don't bother you as much, so much to the disappointment of the kids we announced that we were taking a walk. The kids always groan when we say that four letter word, but they always end up having a good time as they explore off the beaten path and are forced to use their imaginations to pass the time.

We ended up having this ongoing game of hide and seek where one person would run ahead up the trail and hide somewhere along the side and see if everyone could pass them without getting spotted. I usually leave these kind of games up to dad, but it was actually really fun.

Jayden wanted to jump off this bridge, but needed a little lucrative courage. I'm a little ashamed to admit that we paid him to do it, but I love seeing the kids challenge themselves and push their limits just a little farther.

The sun came out and we went back to the lake to jump off the dock. If I could capture summer in one photo, this would be it. I don't know what it is, but jumping off docks at the lake is just iconic summer to me. Memories flood back of summer girls camp. High on fun dips and delirious from lack of sleep  Cicadas buzzing in the overgrown trees while swimming in the lake was the only relief from the warm, muggy Georgia summer heat. Then sneaking back at night and daring each other to go skinny dipping, but never being brave enough to actually do it. Glad my kids get to experience this. Minus the skinny dipping. That might be a precarious situation with the sandflies.


Janessa said...

What a great way to kick off your mega trip! Minus the sandflies. That lake and dock are picture perfect, literally and that green lush forest if the perfect backdrop for adventuring and exploring. You just can't beat perfect. I love Maddox's NG fascination. His mama's going to be in there someday. Mark my words.

Jodee said...

That smooth as glass lake makes my skiing heart leap. Not much better than an early morning nature walk with a little man. So sweet. Sand flies are a small price to pay for that beauty. So gorgeous.