A couple of weeks ago we loaded up our kids and 89% of our personal belongings, hitched up the camper, and took off for the North Shore for a FIVE night vacation away from home. Now, let me just explain something here. The last time we took a vacation THAT long was back in the day when taking our one child on a trip over an hour away caused us to break out in a cold sweat and experience heart palpatations. Typically our camping trips (which are the extent of our "vacations") are two to three nights max. And much closer to home. So this trip was definitely a big deal (read: a LOT of work to prepare for).
Day 1: We actually managed to leave our house when we planned to! Pretty impressive if I do say so myself. After swinging through Starbucks to get my beloved nectar we hit the road. The older kids each popped a Dramamine and watched movies on the laptop (we don't have one of those fancy DVD players in our van). We managed to get by with only TWO pit stops and seven hours after our departure we arrived at our campsite. After getting all set up, we walked down to a nearby pizza place for supper (perhaps not very authentic camping fare, but it did the trick). The rest of the night was filled with exploring the campground. And then it was bedtime. Getting the kids to bed was amazingly not a problem. HOWEVER. At approximately 1AM, Wyatt decided to start coughing. And coughing and coughing and coughing. This, of course, woke him up. Being quite exhausted he didn't want to be awake coughing. And so he started crying. After trying unsuccessfully for about 20 minutes to get him to go back to sleep, I laid down and let him lay on top of me. At which point he coughed again and with that cough came vomit. All over my shirt and in my hair. At 1AM. In an unfamiliar campground. At 1AM. I had no choice but to pass him off to Aaron and take myself down to the creepy shower. Let me tell you. I was fairly convinced that I was going to be attacked by a bear or some crazed axe murderer. I wasn't. Phew. Still, not the start to the trip I was looking for.
Day 2: We met up with my family and went to Temperance River State Park (just a couple of days before the government shutdown). We first went down by the lake and had a picnic.
Elliot was curious about the (freezing cold) lake...
After that little scare, he maintained a safter distance from the killer waves.
Ethan learned how to skip rocks. He may or may not have been a much faster learner than his mother. Ahem.
Wyatt didn't quite catch on to the whole rock skipping technique, but he did have lot of fun throwing the rocks.
After hanging out on the beach for awhile, we crossed the highway and went for a hike. Most of the trail is fairly close to the Temperance River.
The hiking trails we were on were just a little different from the ones we're used to (read: I was afraid my two littles would DIE if they were allowed to walk as there are steep cliffs everywhere) so Wyatt and Elliot always hitched a ride. Sometimes they were each in a baby carrier on my and Aaron's back.
And other times Aaron would carry one on his back and the other on his shoulders. Which put Elliot right where Wyatt wanted him.