Sunday, July 23, 2017

Wanner/Hall Summer Vacation 2017 Part I

We had barely finished laundry and resting from our Spartan trip when it was time to load up the car for our summer adventure. Jeremy always says "it's only an adventure if something goes wrong." Luckily we didn't have anything major go wrong but we cut it close with our gas a few times. The bikes and extra gear created a lot of drag and burned through our fuel. Twice on this trip we made it down to 0 miles left in our gas tank and somehow miraculously coasted into a gas station and were able to fill up without any problems. At least we had the bikes so if we did run out of gas, Jeremy could get to a station pretty quickly. Yikes!
We arrived in the afternoon at Camp Coeur d'Alene. We had only reserved one spot for us and the Wanners. It was too crowded, so Puna and Papa decided to take the site next to us. The extra room was nice. It gave the kids more space to play. The campground was very full so we were lucky to have the spot next to us open.
The kids were so excited to do some real camping in the woods. Tommy and Joey were happy to jump on Puna and Papa's air mattress. We set up camp and made our way into town to buy our groceries. The kids were so cranky in the store. Mommy couldn't keep track of everyone and check off the list at the same time. We forgot about 1/4 of the things we went to town for. Boy was it a relief to get back to camp and get some dinner in our tummies. Until......the rain started! It's not a camping trip with the Wanners unless it rains.
We huddled under trees and tried to make the best of it. We cooked dinner and ate quickly under umbrella cover.
We got a little  break from the rain and lit a fire - because toasting marshmallows on your first night camping is a MUST, no matter the weather.
But soon the weather picked up and the rains poured down. We hurried to our tents and stayed there the rest of the night. The thunder and lightning were directly above us for a while. The storm lasted well into the early morning hours. So much for a perfect camping trip. At least it was memorable.
After a long wet night we were happy to wake up to sunshine and clear skies the next morning. We stayed dry all night - the Wanners took on a little water. The warmth and sunshine were a blessing the next morning.
Puna slept in after a rough night. It had been a while since she spent the night in a tent. Annie got to choose our breakfast for the first morning. She asked for all of her favorites - powdered sugar doughnuts, sausage, orange juice, and eggs.
 With wet ground and mud everywhere we borrowed the porch of a cabin next to our camp site. The kids and Mommy got to play a few rounds of Slapzi while Daddy and Papa started to plan our day.
The boys were cold and climbed back into bed after finishing breakfast. Don't they look like happy campers?
The porch swing at the cabin quickly became a favorite hang out.
The kids loved the fire pit. They would round up as many pine cones as they could to help us start the fires. Tommy kept calling the pine cones - coconuts. He would find big ones and lower them into the fire with a roasting stick. Then he'd stand guard and move them around until they were burned. What is it about kids and fire?
Finally we made it into town for day one of bike riding. We still didn't have a route planned out and the Wanners needed to pick up their tandem at the rental shop. On the way into downtown, we spotted Annie Avenue. We made a quick u-turn and had Annie get out to take a picture. The rest of the kids kept searching for their names on a street sign - no luck.
It took a long time to get all the gear unloaded, assembled, packed, kids dressed, potty breaks taken, and sunscreen applied. Mommy was tired before we even started.
The kids were busting to get out on the trail.
Before long we spotted a little beach and decided to stop. It was a tiny beach that doesn't have parking so the only people who use it walk or bike in. There wasn't a large crowd and we had plenty of room to play.
The kids got lessons in skipping rocks from Daddy and Papa.
Lily didn't want to get wet so she rested with Puna.
Joey was immediately in the water and ended up stripped down to nothing.
Annie, Tommy and Joey tried jumping the waves.
There was still a lot of trail to see, so we reluctantly got back on the bikes to keep going.
Puna and Papa looked so cute on their tandem.
We didn't get far before the kids were ready for a break again. Lily did all her pedaling herself on a bike without gears. She was tuckered out by the afternoon.
 We found a nice park overlooking the water with plenty of grass and shady trees.

 Of course we had to take some family pictures with the beautiful view behind us.
 And Tommy had to photobomb Puna and Papa.
We decided to quit while we were ahead. Pushing it too far with four little ones can only end badly. We packed up after a nice break and rode back into town. We found an awesome park with lots of toys to play on and a small splash park. We didn't have the right clothing for the splash park, but we enjoyed the toys and even got some ice cream for the kids to help cool off.
 We only had enough money to get the kids a popsicle. Puna was sad she didn't get any ice cream. And the kids were too hot to share. Poor Puna!
McEuen Park was so neat, the kids were tired and wanted to return to camp, but before leaving they made us promise we would bring them back the next day.
It felt good to climb back into an air conditioned car while Daddy strapped the bikes on the van. We let Lily choose dinner for this night. She wanted to cook hot dogs over a fire.
 Papa made us a fruit cobbler in a dutch oven and the kids took turns cooking their hot dogs over the fire. Honestly the best hot dogs we've ever had. Excellent choice Lily.
 Tommy's face was so filthy. These pictures don't do it justice. Sunscreen, sand, sweat, tears, dirt, dust - they are all there. Poor kid. Where's his mommy to clean his face?
 She's relaxing by the fire with Daddy.
Our campground had free paddle boats available for use. Lily asked us if we could do a family ride. How could we say no to that cute face?
It was a gorgeous night to be on the water. No more thunder storms - HOORAY!
 The boys loved riding in the little boat. Tommy kept standing up and leaning way over the edge. We were worried he would fall out. It wouldn't have been a big deal to get him back in the boat, but the water was stinky and we didn't want a stinky boy in our tent.
 Such a great way to end our day. We had planned to play games and tell stories around the fire, but we were so tired that all we wanted to do was get to bed.
Due to a booking error on the part of the camp, Puna and Papa had to give up their spot next to us. Luckily, the cabin on the other side of our site was available. Puna worked her magic and convinced Papa to rent the cabin so they could have a real bed and electricity. Once the kids found out their grandparents were staying in the cabin, they wanted to sleep in it too. So much for their first real camping experience. I guess the storms on the first night were too traumatic.
 After a snuggle by the fire with Mommy, everyone washed their faces, brushed their teeth, and claimed a bunk bed for the night.
Except for Joey. He just wanted to ride his little Barbie pony around the campsite and stay as dirty as possible.
Puna and Papa shared their cabin with the three older kids while Mommy, Daddy, and Joey had a much quieter night in the tent.
 Everyone got caught up on much needed sleep and woke up ready for another day of fun!
 Tommy kept telling us he was cold but he didn't want a jacket, he only wanted to be near the fire.
 Joey was fearless and loved exploring the campground. We got busy in the morning with preparing breakfast and packing lunches for the day. Before we knew it, Joey was nowhere to be found. After a little bit of panic, we discovered him hiding in the van raiding the bag of candy Mommy had hidden in there for the bike ride. Little stinker!
 Our little weirdos staying warm by the morning fire.
With a better idea of the city and trail in our minds, we made a plan for riding and playing. Then we packed into the van for another day of fun.
We started at the opposite end of the trail and made our way back into town on bikes. The kids wanted a beach and water day so we found Veterans' Memorial Park and Fort Sherman playground. The ride in the morning was fun and went quickly. We loved our day at the beach.
We made a stop to figure out cars and bike transport. Annie must have been cold.
 The boys were not happy about having more time in the trailer. They wanted to get out and play.
Eventually we made it to the park. Mommy said if she ever got the job to design a playground, it would look like this one. There were trees everywhere. There was plenty of shade right in the center of the play structure as well as all around it. The kids loved staying nice and cool while exploring and pretending. Mommy loved having a shady place to watch while Papa, Puna, and Daddy worked on returning the tandem bike and finding parking spots for the cars.
 We had a wonderful lunch in the park and then made our way to the beach! The kids were so excited to get in the water on such a hot day. The sand was so hot, we could hardly stand to walk on it.
 We had a wonderful time at the lake. The kids weren't quite ready to go back to camp, so we made a stop at the playground again.
 Joey was so tired, he refused to walk another step. When Mommy picked him up to carry him, he threw a fit and tried to wiggle out of Mommy's arms. This is what 7 hours in the sun looks like on an almost 2 year old.
Still not quite ready to go back to camp, we scouted out an ice cream parlor and made our way there. Joey was so exhausted that he fell asleep just minutes after getting in the car.
 Papa carried Joey into the ice cream parlor and we couldn't get him to wake up. It wasn't until we had all ordered and sat down to eat that Joey finally woke up.
Thank you Puna and Papa for the yummy ice cream. We tried a whole bunch of new flavors - root beer float, marionberry sorbet, lemon meringue pie, Superman (green Kryptonite flavor with red and blue pop rocks), huckleberry cheesecake, and old fashioned vanilla. Root beer float was the favorite for all of us.
Joey especially loved the root beer flavor.
The sweet shop was so cute. After we filled our tummies and cooled off, it was time to drive back to camp. Joey and Annie didn't want to say good bye to the giant ice cream cone. Mommy got to work on the tin foil dinners once we arrived at camp.
 Papa started a batch of dutch oven brownies and we used the coals on top to cook some extra dinners.
 Joey was a bundle of energy and played and played.
 Almost ready!

 Poor Annie and Tommy were so worn out from our day of fun, they crashed while waiting for dinner to cook. Tommy disappeared into the tent, crawled into Daddy's sleeping bag with a box of crackers, and fell asleep still holding a half eaten cracker.
 We managed to get Annie awake enough to eat. It was nice to have a hearty dinner after a day of biking and playing. We may have even turned Papa into a tin foil dinner lover.
 Since this was our last night camping, Lily asked to do another ride in the paddle boats. Mommy and Puna stayed behind to get the boys to bed. Daddy, Papa, and the girls went out for one last camping adventure. They were rewarded with an eagle sighting and spotted a deer too.
 The paddle boats were all taken, so they tried a canoe instead. Lily and Annie even got to paddle.
Thank you Papa and Daddy for helping the girls have a special night on the water.
 After the canoe ride, Annie had a case of the jitter-bug. She did a crazy dance show for us. Lily decided to move to the tent with Mom, Dad, and Joey for our last night.
It was a beautiful little campground. A little more crowded than we prefer, but it was so nice to have kitchen, bathroom, and laundry facilities. It made camping with kids so much easier. The kids had a great time and want to camp again soon. I guess they weren't too traumatized by the thunder storm after all.