Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Vacation was AWESOME!!!

Well, I'm back...reluctantly and all that. Vacation was Great. As mentioned in my previous post, it's been YEARS since I've taken an actual "summer" vacation with the family. I've missed out on numerous camping trips and other fun filled summer family outings over the past years. This year, I got to go.

My wife was out on girl's camp the days before hand, so I got to wrangle the kids and keep the house in order for the first part of my vacation. It was actually a lot of fun spending time just hanging out and playing with the kids.

Then, Lynette got back and we packed up the van. We were overjoyed that the construction crew outside our house decided to open up our road the day we were prepping to go...it meant we actually got to pack our van in our driveway instead of having to lug everything around the block (which is what Lynette had to do when packing for girl's camp). Anyway, we got everything packed up and ready to go, then ducked off to bed around 11.

After a quick breakfast and topping off the gas tank, we were on the freeway at 9, just catching the tail end of rush hour traffic as we went a few miles on I-15 south, then I-215, then hopped on I-80 West for the long haul. The kids actually behaved very well for the drive, especially considering the fact that it was ~9 hours in the car. We brought many books and a few toys for them and didn't break out the TV/videos until a little more than halfway.

At about 6 o'clock Tahoe time, we pulled on into our campground and checked in. We had a "walk-in campsite" which meant we had to hike up a big hill to get to our site. Fortunately, they had a little 2x4 pickup truck to help carry the stuff up there for us. Our Nevada-living cousins (who we had come to visit) were already there with their stuff all set up and the kids were super excited to see them. While I worked on getting the tent set up and Lynette organized our gear, the kids ran around, playing in rocks and on fallen logs and having a ball. A bit later, a fire was roaring and everybody was chatting and catching up. The sun was still up, but everybody was tired after the long drive, so we hit the sack just before sunset and everybody was quickly sleeping.

The next morning was quite chilly. I worked on cooking some pancakes and getting a fire going. After breakfast, we gathered together our water stuff and walked down to the lake. The day was gorgeous...a few whispy clouds in a beautiful blue sky. A soft breeze blew in off the lake. The sand was cool...rocky and thick, being a mountain lake, but still smooth and nice. The water was awesome...clear and cool.

We spent most of the day at the beach, doing sandwiches and chips when people got hungry and just relaxing on the sand or playing in the water. The cousins ditched out a bit before us as they were meeting some other family back at their house in Dayton. We did dinner in the lodge restaraunt. A bit pricey, but alright.

Andrew (my 4 year old) started complaining of an awful stomach ache near the end of dinner. He just wanted to go back to camp and lie down...even turning down the ice cream that the rest of the kids were stopping for. So I walked back to the tent with him and we just lay around relaxing. He was soon feeling better. After a bit more playing and running around camp, a small fire, and a little "Go Fish", we went to bed.

Clouds had been rolling in and distant thunder was booming as we settled in. The wind was picking up and rattling our tent. We were just hoping to get the kids asleep before the storm reached us in case it scared them. Jason (my 6 year old) was asleep as the rain started falling, but Julia (2 year old) and Andrew were still awake. Neither of them were especially scared though. So, with the rain falling and the wind blowing, we all went to sleep. Jason was snoring lightly, and apparently I sawed some major logs later that night.

The next day, we woke to find Grandma and a couple of other cousins there. They had arrived during the night. We had a quick breakfast with them and then packed up our tents and gear before heading down to the lake for more fun. We played at the lake until just past lunchtime and then drove out to Dayton. The cousins were out showing some other family some nearby sites in Virginia City, so we all rushed their bathtrooms for some nice warm baths and showers to get us all cleaned up for the baptism.

We had just gotten cleaned up and into our Sunday clothes when the "man of honor" arrived and the rest of the fam got set to go see him get baptized. As we were almost ready, Jason got an odd look on his face and then puked down the side of the couch. We cleaned him and the couch up and got some new clothes on him. He said he felt fine and after a few sips of water, we headed for the church.

I was in charge of the talk on baptism and gave Ethan some heartfelt words as he prepped to go under. After my talk, his grandpa Bay got up to talk on the Holy Ghost. About this time, Jason tugged my sleeve and said he needed to throw up again. We raced into the hall and rounded the corner for the bathroom...he yakked across the bathroom doorway. I led him towards a toilet to finish puking and then pulled out some paper towels to clean up the doorway. Once everything was neat and tidy again, we walked back to the main room, passing Ethan and his dad on their way to the bathroom to walk into the side entrance to the font...Ethan's baptism went without a hitch and his confirmation followed close behind. After a few refreshments, we drove back to their house...Jason puking again in the car on the way home.

At that point, we decided that instead of staying all the next day (Sunday) like we had planned, we would leave Sunday morning. However, Jason still adamantly wanted to go to Virginia City that evening. And (despite wanting to keep him laying low), I wanted to check it out as well. So, we hopped in the van, gave him a bag to puke in, and drove off. Naturally, he puked on the way. :(

Virginia City is pretty cool. It's an old mining town filled with tons of saloons and fun little shops. Most of the shops were closed for the night (it was about 7 PM), but some were open and all of the bars/casinos were open...more exciting, the bars/casinos were open but not busy at all...which meant we could wander inside and check out their "unique" draws. It seemed like every saloon in town had some sort of "check this out" item to draw in guests. Because there weren't many patrons, we were able to wander in, kids and all, and check out all of the unusual attractions...from the "Face in the Bar Room Floor" to the "Silver Dress" to the "Suicide Table" and on and on. All of the items had a cool story to go with them. It was very interesting stuff.

After wandering up and down the main drag of Virginia City, we headed back to get some sleep. All the kids wanted to sleep on the trampoline. Lynette and I were set to join them. After about an hour, Lynette offered to go inside with the kids that wanted to go back in...which turned out to be all of them. I ended up on the tramp alone. It was a pretty night...a little cold wind blowing at first, but that let up and the night was great after that.

Sunday morning, the rest of the family prepped to go to church. We wished everyone well and said our goodbyes and left a few minutes later for the long drive home. We got home along about bedtime and after unloading the van, we tucked the kids into bed and collapsed. Monday was spent organizing the house again and catching up on laundry, etc.

Our digital camera died shortly before the trip, so I don't have any digitized pictures. We developed our pictures (except for the roll still in the camera). I might scan in some of the good shots...I'll let you know.

Anyway, this was definitely a long post and likely boring to most folks...but I just wanted to let the world know that I WENT ON SUMMER VACATION AND IT WAS GOOD. ;)

Thank you for your attention...you may now return to your lives.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Just think, if you were still at Indie you wouldn't have been able to do this. And, Jason would have a half dozen less vomitcomets in his life.
Count your blessings eh?