Let me start on a positive note. We went for a weekend trip to the mountains about two hours away. Rented a cabin (a two bed place with a kitchen) and stayed there on Sat night and drove back on Sunday eve. The trip was absolutely wonderful - just being around nature all the time. We had lunch and went to the animal park before checking into the hotel. Saw black bears, bald eagles, bisons, mountain lions, mule deers, bob cats...all up close. The sad part was a lot of these animals were there only because they had no way to fend for themselves. It was an animal park where they were brought in for recovery and for enabling them to live on despite the issues they had. The bald eagle had a cataract, the mountain lions were all cubs that were left in the den when their mother had been shot dead by a hunter and were raised by the park people and so on. Thankfully it was not blazing hot and so we were able to walk around looking at all these animals. Kids loved being around these birds and animals and reading about them.
Later we went to the cabin and checked in. We turned on the TV for a short while when the kids drank their afternoon milk. They were watching Toy story 1 when suddenly KB exclaimed with nervous excitement "Mamma, my tooth fell out!". We were all so thrilled for him and shouted "Yayyy"! And he just could not contain his excitement, he kept looking at the gap and at the fallen tooth. B said he should bury it like we did as kids. But some of his friends have saved theirs, so he was more used to that idea. Plus he just wanted to examine it up close. So I wrapped it in a paper towel and kept it safely. After having tea, we went to the huge lake area and went for a walk and stood on the bobbing wooden platform on the lake. Kids loved standing there watching all the motor boat riders. Close to dinner time we got back to the cabin, made a quick pasta meal and ate it sitting outside surrounded by tall pine trees.
Next morning we got ready pretty early (for a holiday!) by 9.30 a.m. and checked out of the hotel. We went to the discovery center for a nature walk with a bunch of guided volunteers some of whom were in training. KB was totally into what they were explaining about the local trees and animals and asked them some good questions. KG was very annoyed with me for not giving her one more strawberry wafer (this after she had two chocolate chip cookies and three wafers that morning before we got to the nature walk) right away. I was very irritated at having to deal with that rather than listen to what they were saying. Oh god, some times you just wish someone would take care of your child for just five minutes. B was trying to get her to leave me alone and go to him but she wouldn't leave my side. Later we had lunch on a picnic table very close to the water on the lake. It was wonderful to be surrounded by huge mountains and very tall trees and be next to a huge body of water and have lunch there. I wish I could do that every day! Later we went to a hiking trail close by. My plan was to just step into the trail and hike up a couple of trail points and return. But KB wanted to go deeper. I was feeling nervous though I felt going all the way as well. They said there is a very low probability of mountain lions coming to the trail area but the probability wasn't zero. I never used to be scared of such things but with kids I feel very nervous. We went on anyway and ended up doing the round and completing all the sixteen trail points. It was awesome though - walking with our two kids and seeing them enjoy nature. KB was thrilled to see a tall pine tree filled with holes made by the woodpecker. Fallen logs filled with ants, squirrels nibbling on acorns, pine cones all over the place, humming birds, orioles, woodpeckers...it is just swell walking around with just bird songs to keep us company. I wish I hadn't been so scared of a mountain lion jumping on us. Didn't help that B and KB kept joking that there is a cheetah behind me or a rattle snake crawling close by. After our hike, we went to a nice big coffee shop and kids had their milk and we had coffee and started on our drive home.
I was going to write about our swimming tales but it is kind of late and I need to get KB ready for his swim class. So I shall do that in the next post.