Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Em's First "Camping" Trip

Last week was our 10-year wedding anniversary.  We planned an inexpensive week-long visit to the Lake Hill Campground.  We packed up my kayak, our bikes, a tent and our miscellaneous camping gear... propane tanks, pie irons, fishing poles, DVDs, laptops... (what?)

The beginning of the week was a little rainy, but we love sitting on porches and watching and listening to the rain.  It was a perfect beginning to our week.

Emily lost Tooth #2 on Sunday night.  We predicted this might happen and made arrangements for the Tooth Fairy to visit our cabin.  Sorry... for the life of me I could NOT get a picture of her new smile.  She would not cooperate and kept making all kinds of goofy faces.  I managed a couple of good pictures of her tonsils though!

A few days in, we decided to take a road trip to the Cincinnati Zoo.  Our membership to the Columbus Zoo gave us 50% off admission and we enjoyed a great afternoon of walking through the botanical gardens and experiencing "The Cat House" where the big cats are kept.  (The only down-side is that the big cat house smells like a big cat house.)

Emily's favorite part of the zoo was the playground.  There was evidence of some giant creatures on that playground...

The Giant Tortoise

Giant Spiders

...that captured a giant Emily.

Later, back at the campground, Emily got to spend several days playing outside.  She had a little trouble adapting to the uneven ground and unfamiliar territory.  Em hasn't had much opportunity to roam free and trip over tree roots and fall off of porches.  She made up lost time last week.  On day 1, she tripped into the fire ring (empty and unlit!) but still managed to bruise her thighs and scuff up her hands a little.  (It's a wonder she didn't lose more teeth on this fall!)  On day 2, Emily fell off the front edge of porch and landed in the hostas.  She ended up with a little road rash mark on her side and gained a healthy fear of the front edge of the porch.  Other than that, she learned fairly quickly to watch where she was going instead of walking into and tripping over things.

Initially, I thought the cabins were going to be further apart.  They were fairly close, but didn't bother us a bit because we were the only ones there all week except for a few random people at the back of the campground and our friends that joined us on Saturday night and they got to stay right next door to us.

There was a "rail to trail" path just across the road from the campground.  I had good intentions of riding this with Emily but we just went exploring and took a walk on it early in the week.  Because of the hills, I would have had to load our bikes on the SUV and haul them down the hill to the level bike path and then haul them back up the big hill to the cabin afterwards.  It was a little too much work for the timeframe we had... but next time, we WILL do this!

Em loved playing on the playground at Lake Hill.  We met the owners' 7-year old grandson and played with him toward the middle of the week and then didn't see him again after that.  Emily wanted to play on the playground rain or shine, but we agreed on "shine".  I wish she'd have had a playmate most of the time because I just didn't have it in me to chase her all over.  Swinging is my cup of tea.  She climbed a fairly high rock wall all by herself and the only thing I didn't let her do by herself was the rope wall/ladder in the picture below... maybe when she's a bit more coordinated and won't end up hanging by her ankles if left to her own devices.

The campground has its own 5 acre lake which was perfect for kayaking.  I was able to take the kayak out 2 different afternoons while Em napped and Tom stayed back enjoyed catching up on a few TV series on DVD.. rustic style (on his laptop).  On my first kayak trip, I just explored the lake and enjoyed the peace and quiet.  I took my fishing pole with me the second time and though I got a few nibbles, I didn't catch anything.  I did find a couple of downed trees in the water that had become good sunning spots for about a dozen turtles and I found quite a few shells along the beach and some really large ones that I brought back for Emily.

Since the weather has been cool for a while, there weren't too many bugs around the campground except for a few daddy long legs.  While Em was playing on the playground one day, I noticed this little booger.  Not sure what he was, but he was bashful.  It took me about 6 tries to get this picture, he kept walking away from me and scooting around the backside of the playset when the camera would focus on him.  Anybody know what this is?

The cabins were quaint, but comfy and had everything we needed.  We had a full-size bed, bunk beds, and a foldout sofa if we needed it.  We had a bathroom, complete with shower and a small kitchenette with microwave and small fridge.  There was a grill and comfy chairs on the front porch and we brought our own camp chairs for in the cabin and around the fire.

There was even a loft above our bedroom with a mattress up there, but I was afraid I wouldn't be awake enough to climb down from there in the middle of the night without ending up hanging from MY ankles.

 Here's our kitchen.  Isn't it lovely?  Don't judge our eating habits... remember we were on vacation!

Here's a quick pict of our tent which Emily loved playing and napping in, but it was too cold at night to hang out there.

Here's a prize picture... my little princess who doesn't like to get dirty was totally digging in the dirt and burying her hands.  The previous day, she did the same thing... in pants that were on backwards.  She also crawled around on her hands and knees and cleaned the slide off with those backwards pants.  I had to laugh when I did post-vacation laundry the other day and had to work on grass stain on the "back" of her knees and the "front" of her pants.  I loved playing in the dirt as a kid and am happy this kid had a chance to do the same. We might just have to weed out dirt pile out back again so she can play in the dirt this spring!

On Saturday afternoon, our friends came down and joined us for the night.  It was great watching the girls play together and catching up with each other again.  We explored the campground together and had to wind up the weekend when the rain started up.

It was nice to be able to get away and celebrate the last 10 years together.  We have been blessed with a happy, healthy marriage and a great family.  As our friend, Matt, said... "Congratulations.  That's longer than most prison sentences!"   Yes.  Yes, it is.  Congratulations, honey... don't call the parole officer just yet, I'm enjoying this prison sentence.


Anonymous said...

You'll have to watch the porch at TN and Em's tumbling tricks !! Sounds like you had lots of fun !!

from grma g

mlasley1979 said...


I'm so happy that you did not TOUCH that bug! We had a student bring one of those into my class (luckily in a jar), and we did a little research... Check out wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheel_bug

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