Sunday, August 21, 2016

Tick-tick-tick the sound of the end of summer vacation approaching

 Oh the fleeting days of summer!  We have had so many great adventures, we sort of feel like we are just getting going with the lazy summer days and are already counting them down.  Although we had a lot of play-dates with Esme, Mom only got the pictures from me and Joaquin having a pretty epic water fight.  This was after a great lunch all together and a date out to the pottery painting place.  J and I made some pretty cool sculls wile the girls painted some sweet critters and the Mom's worked on some much more practical spoon rests.

 Grace has really helped me perfect my water-fighting skills with loads of practice with water-balloons, squirt guns and just plain ol' splashing cups of water on each other this summer.

 Although frankly we are pretty happy just hanging out at home all day long, Mom needs to get out periodically so took us to the Rice Museum for the afternoon.  We were pretty impressed by some of the rocks, but Mom was the most excited of the bunch. There was the largest thunder egg and some amazingly gigantic rohodochrosite (the Alma Rose) that was most impressive!

 We have also baked some pizzas.  In Fact I have been really in a serious baking spree... in the past two weeks I have prepared breakfast for the whole family (My specialties are crepes and pancakes), made zucchini brownies, several batches of fresh squeezed lemonade and a few batches of chocolate chip cookies.
 The most awesome part of this week was our annual (plus) camping trip with Joaquin, Esme and crew!  This time we headed inland to Clear Lake up near Sisters.  We had some nice campgrounds just upland from the lake.
 with a path right down to the lake itself. Grace found her perfect spot on an old stump overlooking the lake and spent lots of time there.
 Even though Dad brought his kayak, we also rented a boat so we all could be out on the water.
 and every body got a turn rowing.
 Grace and Esme, when they could coordinate did fantastically well together.  Those gals are strong!
 Although both Joaquin and I got to spend some time fishing with Dad, nobody caught any fish.  We suspect the lake is so darned clear that the fish knew something was up when a big yellow banana dropped a worm down on top of them (it was so clear you could see the fish ignoring you!).
 row your boat!  Clear lake is a fairly young (3k years) lake that was created when a lava flow blocked the outflow of a spring in the area. It is pretty cool, you could see all the way to the bottom in most places and even some 3,000 year old trees submerged and standing underwater.
 I am a powerful and powerfully splashy rower.... but when you want to make it across the lake in a hurry... I"m your guy!
 The afternoon on the lake was growing hot, so we headed to Sisters for some ice-cream
 and coffee for the adults.
 and hair salon days.
 In addition to being beautifully clear, the lake is also seriously cold... like too cold to safely swim in (about 43degF), which was tantalizing and frustrating on such a hot weekend.  Rowing was a pretty good way to sort of drag your feet and hands until they were numb
 but after a few hot days with no showers, Joaqun, Ray and I braved a quick dip.
 J and R were pretty brave and made a few good dips before I finally got my courage all the way (past my knees)

 and even I took the plunge!  I hopped out pretty quick but it was refreshing!  Otherwise we spent our time rocking wildly in the hammock, walking down to stand in the cold waters, admire the lava flows, and even a bit of slack-lining.
 Our favorite activity though really is preparing the campfire.  J and I have perfected the flint-and-steel fire starting techniques and got most of our fires going.  Grace and Esme were great at negotiating appropriate wood stacking technique and everyone loves cooking over a smoldering fire.

Thank you for another super camping trip folks!  We feel so grateful that in spite of heat, restless nights (whether kid induced or mom and dad's mattress popping), that perfect combo of raw and burnt that defined some of our meals, that we have such wonderful, fun and patient friends to spend a weekend with and beautiful places to visit, listen to the birds, float on crystaline waters, and get grubby.  I just realized we don't have a picture of J and E"s new pup... Leon... this was his first camping trip, and I think that he can Scooter can coexist (Scooter really isn't looking for a play-mate, but he could totally hang out with leon!), and overall he did really well!  Welcome to camping Leon!  Both dogs did great in the boats and hanging out at the campsites.

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