Friday, July 18, 2008

More Vacation Fun

Ok, here's the thing, a picture may be worth a thousand words, but it still doesn't quite do justice to how truly lovely Turner Falls is.. umm.. err... are? Are they plural Falls, or is it a singular park? Oh, who cares.. It was vacation.

Turner Falls started out well enough. We drove in , parked the car after exploring for a bit. If you must know, Cody had started the miserable teenage bit first. He was none to happy to see other people there. One would think that he expected us to rent the entire park all to ourselves. But Cody is nothing if not proactive, and he apparently sent his complaints to God, since it was obvious I wasn't going to do anything about them. Just about the time, Dillon got in the water, the pool that the falls emptied into, the skies lets loose with a vengence. Lighting and thunder erupted and everyone was out of the water.. umm, unfortunately that included Dillon who was none too happy.. as this picture I snapped on our way to shelter affirms...
Notice the evil glint in Cody's eye, as he realizes his masterful plan worked. People were leaving the park by the van loads... and we, if we could wait out the storm, would have the whole park to ourselves. Doesn't he just look like he's about to explode with manical laughter... and, Jim.. well, he's trying to give Dillon lessons and smiling through the pain (Did I mention seconds before the storm started, which was seconds after Dillon jumped in, he cut his foot on a rock.) Dillon isn't falling for it.. and it's not working too well for Jim... How will we ever salvage this day?

We waited the storm out by changing in the bathrooms and posing for pictures. Jim even pulled his guitar out and serenaded us on top of the mountain. The boys smiles are coming back...

And then the rain stopped, and we had the park and all it's meandering pools mostly to ourselves. But never one to be without complaints, Cody reached into his bag of nags and made note that the rocks were slippery and the water tasted awful. But I do know that for a few seconds he had carefree fun..

This might be my favorite photo from the whole trip. I caught this image while we were hiking up at the top of the mountains. Please note that I was scared to death that my baby was this close to the edge of this cliff... I realize that he doesn't look much like my baby anymore, and this photo doesn't show how far down the stream is...

In addition to hiking, Jim and Dillon went spelunking. Can you believe they actually crawled in this itty bitty hole?

and came out on the other side... without one bat bite...

One more cool thing about the park... Apparently in the 30's some guy who had more money than he knew what to do with built a castle. My kids love all things medieval, but the flight of steps it took to get to the castle at the end of the day, coupled with the fact the castle was now a nest for millions of daddy long legs seeking knight hood, made it extra special.
We had a great time.. despite the cut foot, storms, slippery rocks, silty water never meant to be drinking water... even with all the eeewww! , there was still plenty of oohh! and aaaahh! and lots of awe as we were able to get away, far from the cell phones and e-mails. We were able to be a family without interruption... and I would do it again in a heart beat.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

It's a Family Vacation

The fearless family sets out on their first ever, every one included, family vacation. Notice how excited the boy and the mom look. The teenager looks like a teenager, complete with ear phones.. and the dad already looks tired. He really needed this vacation.

First Activity: Fishing

These fishermen may not have caught any fish.. but the certainly had fun, while I worried about someone getting hooked during a cast. What? I'm a mom.. worrying about obscure accidents is my job.

Next stop.. Arbuckle Wilderness.

this lovely llama really wanted me to roll down my window. But I wasn't sure if llamas were spitting or biting type creatures.. so the window remained tightly sealed. Until....

straight out of jurassic park... this emu approached my side of the car. Jim was rolling down his window to feed some cute and cuddly creature on his side of the vehicle...but pressed the wrong button.. AND ROLLED MY WINDOW DOWN BRINGING ME FACE TO BEAK WITH THIS LOVELY THING. Jim claims it was accident. I'm not so sure.

All the animals were beautiful.. er, ok.. the emu was in his very own odd way, a handsome bird.

Here are a few of the other friends we made.

Arbuckle wilderness was a huge highlight of the trip. And I think the animals thought we were the tourist attraction. They were all so curious about us. OK, we had food. They could have cared less about us except for the fact that we had large Pepsi cups filled with some kind of generic animal chow, formulated for the needs of donkeys, llamas, emus, ostriches, camels, giraffes, bovines, and the list goes on... And to think my boys think I'm required to make special meals for each of them according to their individual tastes. From now on, they get pellets from a Pepsi cup.

come back tomorrow to see more from our trip!