Sunday, August 4, 2013

Family togetherness

Nothing says togetherness like 10 days in a camper with 2 adults, 4 kids, and two dogs. The epitome of togetherness. We have created an enormous amount of memories. The weather had been anything other than typical late July weather. In fact we only had our swimsuits on twice.... and it was really chilly! Getting toasty warm by the fire at night was just perfect though.
{ breakfast on the picnic table outside}
We were staying at a jellystone campground in portage, Indiana outside of Chicago for the first week. We were able to drive less than 60 minutes to get to all of our excursions around the area. On Saturday (because of the chilly weather) we headed to Fair Oak farms to visit cows & pigs.
They had electric powered tractors, a climbing wall, jumping pillow, train rides, bus tours and more. We were kept busy all day.
There were lots of questions while the kids watched birth all day. Rosie had the best line when she exclaimed that "the cow has two tails" while being born.
The piglets were my favorite! Hundreds of little pink piglets running around.
When Sunday rolled around the weather was still to crummy to swim so we packed up the crew and headed out to find some geocaches. Searching for some near by, I came across a few in the William W. Powers recreation area in south Chicago. Not the ritzy part of town, but worth the visit. We discovered that Nike missiles used to be located in this particular park. They had long been decommissioned and the area abandoned but still seeing the history and the area was pretty neat. Daddy asked me to tell the kids about the Cold War.... and I proceeded to tell the kids what I know (or what I thought I knew) daddy interjected to tell me I was wrong about every other sentence. So not only was it a learning experience for them it was for me too! Mr. Gasser would be so disappointed.
{standing in the location of the missile platforms}
{our collection of wildflowers beautifully displayed}
Coordinating meals for 10 days in the camper took a little creativity. I mean there is hotdogs... Cold meat.... and then hot dogs, right? But having been camping for a while now I am getting a wee bit better at our meals. For example we had chicken cordon bleu one night made in the Dutch oven and potatoes with feta cheese in a foil pack. It was scrumptious!!
By the time Monday rolled around the kids had gone three days without swimming. So we, against what daddy thought we should do, headed to the beach (aka. Sand dunes on Lake Michigan) for some swimming. I have to admit the first step in the lake was ice cold, but after a while your body went numb and you couldn't feel your toes no more. No no. It was chilly but the sun was out and it wasn't bad. The kids played and played in the sand and in the water. We buried the kids in the sand and had lunch on the beach. This is what family vacation is all about!!!
{our little mermaid}
{sand angels}

This is just a recap of the first few days.  Even on the days we spent the majority of the time at the campground, we had the best time. The kids met tons of friends at the playground and had a blast staying late til the stars came out twinkling over the camper.
Now reality is setting in and I am listening to the hum of the dryer and staring at the mountain of laundry threatening to topple over. Reliving our vacation through pictures. Gonna save the best for later -- trip into Chicago on our fourth anniversary of gotcha day-- so off to fold the first three loads. I was so scared about spending 10 days in the camper wondering if we would go bonkers, but instead I started dreading going home! If I didn't really love taking long showers and my comfy bed I could see us selling the house and downsizing to the fifth wheel. BUT for now we will just dream of our next trip camping and where in the world we will visit.

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