Monday, August 12, 2013

No Plans

Wes and I stink at making vacation plans. Seeing a long weekend coming up in August, we started tinkering with ideas of what to do with it some time in July. Mostly this would happen too late at night as one or the other of us fell asleep.

Finally we found ourselves on day one of our four-day weekend with no plans. I woke up with dreams of watching my children splash in a shallow swimming hole only a few hundred feet from a quiet lake house in the mountains. The kitchen counter would, of course, be piled high with foods normally forbidden at home- Lucky Charms, Oreos, and Doritos.

Having a family large enough to necessitate two hotel rooms and ridiculous amounts of food has made renting a vacation home with a kitchen a financially sound option for us. So, we spent most of the day clicking around online and making a bajillion phone calls only to confirm the unavailability of any decent, yet affordable, lake house this side of the Mississippi. Turns out most other families make vacation plans in advance. What?

With everything booked, I came up with an alternate list of fun things to do. Go for a hike? Head to the beach? Camp? Maybe take a ferry ride across Puget Sound? Lots of great options.

But somehow by 3 pm that afternoon, yanking out nature's barbed wire (a.k.a. invasive blackberries) made it to the top of the list of "fun" things to do with day one of our vacation.

I'm all for being productive but my forearms look like I got into a cat fight...and lost.

On day two of our vacation, I woke up with determination to get out of Dodge. Just after breakfast Wes and I agreed on a destination and we piled everyone into our Ford Explorer. This is really getting to be a bit of a tight squeeze and sometimes the noise of five loud children crowded into that small space is anything but a vacation. 

But happily the drive out to Whidbey Island was great. Lyla only spent five minutes making us all miserable until she fell fast asleep. Halle conked out about twenty minutes later, leaving the oldest three children to laugh, sing at the top of their lungs, and duck for cover when their Dad pulled up beside an ill-clad teenager, rolled the windows down, and cranked up the rap music. It could only be worse if their mother were raising the roof in the front seat. Wait, that might have happened. Yep, pretty humiliating for the pride under cover in the back seat, but they're good sports. It can't be all that bad to have such rad parents, right? ...Ahem.

We spent the afternoon at Deception Pass where Beau tried fishing in the swirling current.

The kids dipped their toes in the very cold water. Brrrr... Why on earth did we bring swim suits?

We can't go anywhere without adding to our growing rock collection.

Of course, they played in the sand. Apparently Beau dug quite a hole...

Before he got buried in the sand.

When Halle's lips started turning purple and Lyla had gotten enough sand in her eyes, we called it a day and headed for the ferry terminal.

No lake house. No kitchen counter stocked with contraband food. But a great day spent making lasting memories as a family.

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