Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Break from Reality

We ran away for the weekend.  We didn't even TAKE the computer or the iPad.  We both took our iPods, but when we got there, we left them in the car for the weekend.  I sent a couple texts on Friday night to tell our parents we'd arrived and that there was a deer so close we could almost touch it...and then put my phone away for the weekend.  Michael's phone was turned to silent after a couple of middle of the night calls on Friday night. Ahhhh, the serenity of a technology free weekend!  (I missed you, though.  I really did.  But I'm SO glad I had the break!)  Sorry I didn't give you a warning, but I don't love the idea of telling everyone in the world that my house will be empty for the next few days, you know?

We spent the weekend camping in Mammoth Cave National Park (or, at least until our tent flooded and we decided to pack up a day early and come home)!  I'd never been in a cave before, and the kids were super excited to share that "first" with me.  We'd anticipated several hikes, but only a couple of very brief ones actually materialized.  We'd have had time for more, but these kids (who went to the bathroom a collective total of seven times yesterday, once we were home) had to potty every 15 minutes while we were there!  If it wasn't one, it was the other!  We had a nice time, though, despite the rain...and a minor banking hishap...and some car trouble...and a couple of bored kids.  (Note to self: next time, don't forget to take things for the kids to do at the campsite!)

And so, without further delay, a photo journey of our much needed family weekend!

All packed up and ready to go!  Oh, wait...that's probably not a certified child safety seat, huh?

We're on our way!  Stinky'd never been "forced" to watch a movie before, so he was fascinated!  He's typically rear-facing, but we turned him around for the trip.  5 hours each was is a long time to look at luggage while your siblings are watching movies!

We had a picnic lunch at a rest stop.  Stinky enjoyed it!  (I have a TON of messy camping face pictures of this guy.  I won't share them all.)

Who needs roller coasters when you have the hills of Kentucky?

Here we are at the park entrance.  (Don't get too close or you'll probably be able to smell us...this was actually the end of the weekend.  It cost $2 for a 10 minute shower, so we were just stinky and gross.)

Setting up camp

The deer at the campsite across from us.  They actually got a bit closer than this, and then later when it came to our site, we could have just about touched it!

Mapping out our trip

BOY did they ever have her number!  Little Lou received a Junior Ranger Handbook from the visitor's center on Friday night, and spent the rest of the time, any time we were at camp, doing worksheets!  She was in over-achiever Heaven!

Because camping just isn't camping without s'mores!

We ran to Walmart for a few things (18 miles each way, by the way), and got sidewalk chalk and bubbles.  Oh, and shoes for Stinky.  What kind of mother brings 2 left shoes for the baby?  Oi.  Note to self: next time, put the baby's shoes on before we leave home!

Bugsy was content to play with sticks and bugs.

We ate well.  :)

This is the knob of the water spigot.  It's about the size of a golf ball.  The tiny pin prick spider?  That guy caused screaming terror and a refusal to get a glass of water until mommy came to the rescue.  Ridiculous!

Our campsite

Waiting for our cave tour

Inside the first cave!  (Sorry, I haven't had time to edit out the red eyes yet.)  They were actually pretty bored in this cave.  It was just limestone walls...a mining operation existed here years ago.  

This, my friends, is camping hair.  Ick.  This is an amazingly sticky combination of sunscreen, bugspray, sweat, and food.  This boy got cleaned up with baby wipes several times a day, and he had a sponge bath with the very cold potable drinking water on Saturday.

Bugsy was SOOO excited...we got to ride a REAL school bus from the visitor center to the second cave tour!  He couldn't believe it!

Here's just a tiny snippet of the inside of the second part of the cave.  Now THAT's more like it!  The kids were in awe of this part!  It was filled with "pretty" things!

We asked a man to take our picture inside the Frozen Niagara part of the cave.  This was his third attempt.  So, Stinky really is there on my back, and there are columns behind us.

A female cave cricket!  The guide didn't point them out to us on the way in, but he did on the way out.  They were EVERYWHERE!  Ewwww!  They were really cool, though.

This, folks, is probably my last choice of cemeteries when I die.  It made me laugh.  This is just inside the park.

And then we were on our way home.  I had to snap this sweet pic.  I know it's a hard habit to break, but I've secretly always wanted a finger sucker.  This little guy knows how to melt mama's heart!  He doesn't do it all the time, but isn't that the sweetest thing ever?

We came home a day early, so we went to Nana and Poppy's and had a bonfire.  We shared some of our hotdogs and s'mores with them.  The big kids both fell asleep by the fire and slept until after 8 in the morning!

Since we had a day left over, we took the kids to an area sprinkler park.  We're pretty sure the day they enjoyed the most was the day we spent "in our own backyard."  Isn't that the way it is, though?  This was Stinky's first time playing at the sprinkler park...but certainly not the last!  He loved it!

The kids had a blast, too.  When you're (basically) 6 and 4, you play a lot differently than when you're almost 5 and 3.  It was fun to see them actually playing together at the sprinkler park!

So, there you have it!  June 2011 Vacation.  We're hoping to take another camping trip in early fall, but we'll remember all the things we forgot this time (hopefully!) and we may stay a little closer to home.  We're back, now...back to reality.  I've got a lot of posting planned for the next two weeks, so be ready!

I hope you enjoyed a little insight into the real family behind the reviews!


Misty said...

Wonderful pictures! You guys sure had a lot of fun. I'm not too far from there, but I've never been. Good to know about the $$ showers!

Elizabeth said...

Misty, if you camp in the park, it's $17 a night! There's no admission to the park, either, and there are TONS of trails to hike! The only thing you pay for (besides the showers, hehe) is cave tours! It was great. We had a nice time!

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