Friday, July 24, 2015

On The Road Again...

Long ago, Mason and I decided that there is a huge difference between a vacation and a family trip. Traveling to Arizona with a nearly-two-year-old: Family Trip.  Just the two of us going to Bed Bath & Beyond: Vacation.  (Well, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration but you get my point.)  At any rate, we both fully acknowledge that traveling with kids in tow is a lot of work.  Some might even venture to say that the hassle makes the travel not worth it.  But for me, leaving home to provide my kids with the opportunity to see and experience new things and interact with people we don't see everyday is completely worth it.  This explains why our summer is usually packed to the brim with travel: day trips, weekend trips, mini-road trips, we travel our summer away.  And honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Last week, we returned from our annual St. Louis getaway (I'll post the pics when I can find time to catch up!) and about ten minutes after I finished the laundry that was waiting for me, I packed up the kids and the suitcases, loaded the minivan, locked the front door, and hit the highway again.

This time, we headed just down the road to Holiday Lake, where some good friends recently built a house and have left a standing invitation to "come any time!".  (Now, perhaps they are just being cordial but we take them at their word and try to do just that.  I figure Dee Dee will let me know when we begin to wear out our welcome.)

We arrived on Monday afternoon and were greeted by perfect sunny weather.  The temperature was in the 80's with a little breeze to keep us cool, and the water had been warmed up by the previous scorchers--making it super inviting to our little fishies.

This one enjoyed the water, but definitely enjoyed the sand more than anything.  I finally gave up trying to prevent her from eating it-- and just let her feast on the stuff.  

The boys loved using the paddleboard as a platform to jump from

Deidra got a good paddlboard workout with Max chillin' on the front of the board and towing Ellody behind. 
Somehow, we talked our husbands into taking Tuesday off so they all came down Monday evening and hung out Tuesday.  It was like old times, I tell you.  Well, old times in that they drank beer and played wiffle ball, new times in that they changed diapers and filled sippy cups and cut the pizza into tiny pieces.  But I think they enjoyed themselves, too.  I'd venture to say that we all had a pretty dang good time.  

Charlie would have tubed all-day-long if given the chance.  He was having a blast.  

And Little Sister seemed to love the boat ride--too bad her mom held onto her hat-- she really loved the breeze blowing through the few hairs on her head. 

I couldn't resist the invitation to go tubing...

She loved the shade... and the water table.  

And she might have eaten a flower or two while I wasn't looking...

No selfie-stick needed
The cutest little navigator we ever did see. 
I recently talked with someone who sighed and said, "I just don't know how you do it.  I think being on the go that much would drive me crazy-- I'm too much of a homebody to do that!" At first, I didn't know how to take the comment, but I understand where they were coming from.  What's funny is that I consider myself to be the ultimate homebody.  I love being at home and spending downtime right here in Spahnville.  I love sleeping in and watching TV and playing at parks.  I love grilling out on our deck, drinking Summer Shandies, and catching the lightning bugs that litter our backyard like glowing confetti.  But I also love my friends, and unfortunately, I don't get to see them very often during the school year.  If I had it my way, we would all live on one big happy cult-de-sac....but we don't.  However, we do live within driving distance and we do have time during the summer to drive.  So in summer, I pack and load and buckle in and travel and do it all over again.  And if there's one thing I've realized during this crazy travel-season, it's that being away really does make coming home to the Shandies and the lightning bugs that much more sweet.

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