Sunday, July 29, 2012

Family Vacation

We are having a very American summer. We went camping for a week, not four like the French, and not in September like homeschoolers, but one week in July, in 100+ degrees. The choice of lieu was easy; near enough to our sailboat which is docked at a lake in Iowa. A cabin sounded like an easier choice than trying to fit everything to do with tent camping into the car. (It was still awfully hard to get everything in the car, if we wanted to bring the kids and the equipment.)

It was a beautiful, serene location. We had a forest for a backyard.
The path through the woods down to the river below began at the foot of the group of four cabins. You are immediately in the woods, with breaks along the way for lookout spots and benches and bridges. The views were magnificent, the walk along the beach invigorating, even though this year's drought has reduced it to a shadow of its former self. The trails were lovely, well-maintained but the steps were made of uneven stone and very steep in some places. The steps would prove the downfall of little Arthur, we renamed them Mordred.

Outside our cabin, in the fire pit, we had a fire going for every meal; we made bacon in the morning over it and brats, vegetables and corn on the cob at other meals. We roasted salmon and cod, and marshmallows for dessert. There was a hot plate in the kitchen for tea and coffee...(and air-conditioning.) The only little surprise was that upon arrival, we discovered that, although the description of the cabin said it "slept 6", there was only one bed and one sofa bed. That left three people to sleep, where? On the floor, we're camping, n'est-ce pas?

On Sunday night (and yes, it is always a weekend night when these things happen), Lily, Arthur and Aragorn took a walk through the woods. It was dusk, and they were not gone longer than 5 minutes when Aragorn came running back, huffing and puffing, to tell us that Arthur had hurt his foot; "He's crying, it really hurts." Pierre took off with him to get Arthur, and carried him all the way back in his arms.  We took care of him at the cabin that night, but called the doctor in the morning. The ER was not an option I wanted to envision for casting a foot.  He had broken his ankle, and now has it in a boot. The rest of the week, Arthur and I read and played the board game "Camp" together. To humor him, I read him an entire Goosebumps book (they make me gag), as well as a bunch of others. He read to me too. 

We all went sailing on Friday, the water felt good on the little broken foot, and went home hot, worn out and perfectly happy. Great vacation.

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