Friday, April 15, 2011

24 Hours

We went to the mountains to visit my dad and his wife (and Buttons and Casper). We had been trying to make this visit work since February, but illness and the weather kept getting in the way. So, this time since we were all healthy, we were a little less picky about the weather and just went for it. Besides, the weather reporters were wrong on more than one occasion in the past two months, leading us to cancel for no good reason.


We left on a rainy day.....but it was expected to clear up. It did clear up at a very appropriate time. Right as we entered the woods for a hike, the rain just seemed to stop. We went on a hike through the forest, with my dad leading the way, the girls following right behind him, and Evan and I bringing up the rear. It was a little slow going with Evan, trying to avoid jaggar bushes and branches in our faces and many, many piles of, shall we say, "deer droppings", but we made out ok. My dad pointed out deer markings on trees, deer tracks in the mud and rocky cliffs. I was not a fan of getting close to those cliffs.

Nopety nope.

But Evan practically ran right off one. As my dad pointed out the, "look how far up we are", Evan bolted for it. And with the leaves under our feet being completely soaked, it was rather slippery, so I made a quick grab for the back of his jacket and stopped him before he got too close.

That boy is fearless and gives me little "mini heart attacks" on a regular basis.

But it was all good, and we kept on our way ducking branches, stepping over fallen trees and other "things" we didn't want to step in etc. We stopped occasionally to take a drink or a picture and take in our beautiful surroundings. Eventually, we made the neighbor's house. (If I had to make that treck to get to my neighbor's house, well, we'd hafta settle with being pen pals)


I was very impressed with how well my dad knew these woods. He was born and raised in the area, so I guess it just comes naturally to him, but wow.

At one point, as we were deep in the woods, with just trees in every direction, he suggested we play hide-n-seek....he would hide and we'd have to find him. thanks, dad.

Yes, he's a funny, funny man. :)


We were happy to meet the neighbors.

They are very friendly, kind people that enjoy children very much. They provided some wonderful fun for the kids. I know this little 4x4 RTV made for an exciting ride for a bunch of hike-weary kids. What a blast! They each got a turn to drive, too. The kids and I thanked them profusely before heading back to my dad's (in his truck, thank goodness! Linda came and gave us a lift back).


The weather was getting chillier as the day wore on, so by the time we got back to my dad's place we were damp, cold and tired. The kids played in the yard for a little bit, then it was time for the hot tub! We were almost giddy with how soothing that water felt on our chilled bones. But after about 30 minutes, we actually started to get too hot and got out a short time later. We got snug in our jammies, had a bite to eat and then settled in for some Animal Planet.

Everyone slept well that night.

Our second day was off to an early start, as are all visits to my dad and Linda's house. :) It was a sunnier day, too, that was destined to be warmer.

We started out with some "down time" just playing around in the yard. The kids love this swing. A bit later, we went to town to get some things at the store for my grandmother, then we were off to my grandma's house. But my dad had a little something else in mind first....

A surprise that was just. plain. awesome.

One of his friends has an unusual pet. He took this pet in when he was just a little guy, with no mother to be found.

So he is domesticated and just the sweetest thing. He's big, powerful and very graceful. But also playful, gentle and so friendly.

What a cool experience. We were just sorry Sky had to miss it. She had gone to my grandmother's a little early, with my dad's wife. And I know Taylor would have enjoyed this, too. But she couldn't come on this trip because she's very busy with school. :(

We then continued on the way to my grandma's house, but along the road I saw these guys! What a sight! They are amazing looking creatures. They seem kind of intimidating, but at the same time, I can't help but think they look a little silly and need their bangs trimmed. :) Either way, I'm glad I had my camera ready as we drove by.

At my grandma's house we saw this. I loved the color of his feathers. It's hard to tell in the photo, but they were shiny black and a very vivid reddish brown.
My grandma looked well and was sweet as ever. So glad to see her, although we don't get to see her as often as I'd like.

We had a pizza lunch with her while we watched The Price is Right, then we said our goodbyes and headed back to VA.

We spent just 24 hours in PA, but it was a fast, busy and very enjoyable 24 hours. And the kids and I took away some amazing memories.

That makes me very, very happy.

Now we are looking forward to May, when we will be going back. As an added bonus, I'll also get to meet up with my siblings and their families on that visit. Woohoo!

Have a fantastic weekend, everyone! Make it special!



1 comment:

Grandma Jo said...

Glad you had a great time at your Dad's. Those animals were amazing - esp that little tame deer! More power to you for the hike you took. You packed a lot into that 24 hrs. I loved the close up of Sky (she was to one side of the picture) and the one of you and your Dad. The kids all looked like they were having a great time! (Glad you didn't lose Evan over the edge!) Thanks for sharing the pics and your story. LYAB!