Yes, the prince did get his kiss. But only after promising that the spider was smashed to smithereens.
The boys actually slept in, which was a HUGE surprise, and quite the welcome change. We got up and Darren started preparing breakfast. We had bought the Bisquick Shaker stuff thinking it was perfect for camping... and it probably would have been if we had remembered the cooking spray. Oh well, we made it through kinda soupy and kinda burnt pancakes (truly I don't think the boys noticed one bit) and headed out for a hike. There were two trails and the original plan was we would take the short trail today and then return to the campsite for lunch and then go out on the paddle boats until dinnertime and then hang out at the site until bedtime. Then Saturday after breakfast and packing up we'd hit the long trail before heading to the water park.
The trail however had different plans for us. We STARTED on the short trail but somehow ended up on the long trail. So, what was supposed to be less then a 1 mile trail turned into a nearly 3 mile hike. The boys did exceptionally well considering, especially Aidan who in general is not the "outdoorsy type. He walked the whole way and I don't remember hearing him complain once, I was so proud of the little guy! Asher made it until somewhere past halfway, or at least what felt like halfway, seeing as how we didn't have a watch on us. From there Darren and I took turns carrying him until eventually he finished up the journey riding on his daddy's shoulders.
Fun/ny things to note: As we were just beginning our trail/hike, whatever you want to call it both boys needed, uh.... attitude adjustments, so in one of the pictures you'll see Aidan next to a tree, yep he was in time-out. After that though, fun was had by all. There was a bridge just past the start of the trail which kept the boys occupied for quite sometime. They've always loved to find rocks, twigs and pine cones to through into the water. During the hike until about the halfway point there were spots along the way that allowed you to walk to the lakes edge, so our pockets were full of pine-cones collected along the way. Eventually all of our pockets were overflowing and Aidan graciously volunteered to use his shirt as a "basket" so Asher could continue gathering his treasure trove of pine-cones. He is such a sweet-tender hearted kid... most of the time. ;)
When we finally made it back to the campsite we had lunch. Salmon patties, another favorite! Yummy. Then chocolate and marshmallow's - gave up on the idea of S'mores since the boys don't like 'em.
After lunch I hung out in the back of the van and enjoyed just watching the boys play with their daddy. They miss him so much, so I didn't mind sitting back and playing second fiddle. Plus, this camping experience taught me something... I'm a girl. Shocked? Well, I was. Nah... what I really learned was that camping isn't the ideal family outing for a germaphobic, perfectionistic neat freak. In fact, to keep myself from scolding the boys for eating with dirty hands and getting dirty in general I made up a song. Yes, I sing. A lot, you'll have to get used to it. Funny thing was the song was pretty catchy and so Aidan has been singing it ever since. "He's a boy, he's a boy, he's a boy boy boy, they're boys, they're boys, they're both boys boys boys, He's a boy, he's a boy, he's a boy boy, boys boys boys boys!!"
During our hike the boys and Darren had found great big walking sticks so after lunch Darren used his Boy Scout skills to turn the walking sticks into bows for the boys. Aidan thought this was just about the coolest thing ever! And they spent a great deal of time playing with their bows and arrows, of course the privilege of these new weapons came my stern warning not to shoot them at each other. Surprisingly they didn't!
After a while we headed to the boat house to inquire about renting one of the paddle boats. For me this was the highlight of our camping trip! Aidan says it was his favorite part too. The lake and scenery were so beautiful, we saw some kind of bird, don't know what, and two deer from the boat. I was originally a little worried how the boys would do because, well Asher is NEVER still for very long... EVER. We had the boat for an hour, so the first 30 minutes, maybe a little more Asher sat up front between Darren and I and Aidan sat in the back. Then I moved to the back with Asher so Aidan could set up front and try to pedal, poor guy really wanted to but his legs just couldn't reach. So he moved back to the back with Asher, and I moved back to the front with Darren. Don't worry I had a hand on Asher the whole time. And I tell ya, them paddle boats - they give you one heck of a leg workout!
Several times over the course of the weekend I felt the sting of V not being there. Seeing the kind and gentle way Aidan can be with Asher, looking after him as only an elder brother can do, and he's proud to do it. Yet, he's acutely aware that he's the middle child in our family, and I know he longs for his big brother to do the same for him. Every time the boys would run to me excited about the newest rock, twig or pine cone they'd found my mind would wander and I'd try to imagine if V's ever given a caretaker a boy's childhood treasure, and did she accept it? On the boat I'd turn to watch the boys taking it all in, enjoying the beauty and being out in the sun - it made my heart happy, yet it crushed me knowing V's never been on a boat, never seen a lake, or even a lily pad for that matter. All things Aidan and Asher take for granted. It's obvious to the 4 of us that a member of our family is missing. There are constant reminders, sometimes they shout, sometimes they whisper, but they're always there.
Yet... he's so much a part of us. V is a constant topic of conversation and never far from our thoughts. We may be a thousand miles apart but when I really stop and think about it... it's almost like he's already here. ALMOST.
We finished with the boat about 3:30 and headed back to the campsite. Darren and I had decided earlier that if we wanted to make it to the Water Park the next day it would probably be wise to pack up and just head home after dinner. And I'm glad we had come to that conclusion because when we got back to our site, it was no longer just us, but about 10 new neighbors we were there to "party" over the long weekend. Nice.
So we had dinner, more barbecue muffins followed by jiffy pop! The boys played, we cleaned up and headed home. Yes, I did make the boys take a bath immediately upon entering the house, and yes as soon as they were clean I was in the shower! Ah, nothing like feeling clean! ;)
Enjoy the slide show from our second day!
Ps. Judy, we saw the Coast Guard warning thingy and thought of you guys... so that's there for you! =)