Where to start... so many activities, pictures, events, stories.
I guess I'll start at the beginning.
Saturday we took the kids to the park and tried to get the kids to learn to ride their bikes. Bikes didn't work out so much (Ethan was crabby), but they had fun at the park. Unfortunately, all I came away with were Gwennie pics (she was the more willing subject)
Her "Movie Star" sunglasses
This pic is blurry, but I love how my legs are at the bottom and hers are at the top.
Sunning on Mr. Frog
It looks like she's riding the bike, but she still doesn't have the leg motion down.
Sunday we had a goodbye party for Michelle, who leaves with her boyfriend Peter and 3 other male friends to live in Boston. She plans to establish residency there and then start her graduate studies at Boston University.
Chelan, oh Chelan. This year, the trip was definitely worth it. Last time we went, Gwen was a baby and it was NOT worth all the work.
It started off very early Wednesday morning, when we arrived at my parents house at 7:30. We were driving my Grammy's Suburban (to tow the boat) and my Dad's truck (to tow the jet ski). We couldn't get the lights to work on boat trailer, and thought our trip might be over before it started, but my ingenious Dad found a solution.
So we're off (quite late)... but its not long before more drama hits. Not 10 minutes after leaving the Suburban (which my Dad was driving) starts smoking like mad at a stop sign. The brakes. We drive very very slowly into Monroe to the Les Schwab where they tell us the calipers are going bad and they will do nothing less than a full brake job, costing many dollars and many hours. My Dad declines, buys his own calipers and we head up the pass, prepared to stop at any point to change the calipers ourselves if need be.
Now get this. My Dad drove down the pass without ONCE using the brakes. That is amazing! He drove very smart, down shifted and kept all pressure off those dang brakes. Not only on the pass, but also on the Navarre-Coulee Road, which we take to 25 Mile Creek to launch. That is VERY steep and he only used the brakes once. It would have made my Grandpa so proud. I could just see him slapping my Dad on the back and getting a good chuckle of how my Dad worked it out.
We finally arrived to launch our boat at around 4:30. Our original plan was to arrive around noon, so we were very late. Becki had been at the cabin since 10am, having taken the Lady of the Lake. She was quite worried that we would never arrive! Due to some delays at the dock caused by the Domke Lake fire, the last load was finally taken over to the cabin around 6pm. What a LONG day.
Thursday we didn't do much. Swam, rested, got things in order. Most of the days were pretty smoky. More smoky than we'd had in previous years, even when the fire was so close that we were under a Level 3 evacuation! Most of the sunsets were a strange orange color from the smoke. My first set of sunset pics, you can clearly see that eerie glow.
Friday dawned fairly clear (thanks to winds shifting uplake) and we were all excited to have Mike and Ben join us, via the Lady. I decided to take the jet ski for a spin and, because I'm a klutz I fell while I was getting on (check out the pics, you'll see) and busted my little finger. Its STILL swollen. Once out on the choppy waves I got entirely and dreadfully soaked, but it was all good fun. The boys arrived soon after on the Lady. Its so cool to see this huge boat pull right up to the shore and lower a gangplank.
Saturday, our jet ski died so Jason and the boys rented one from 25 Mile Creek. WOW. That thing was powerful and fast (Michael topped out at 60MPH). Jason rode it over and picked me up for the inaugural ride. We traveled a bit uplake, then he tried out the turning radius since the guy had said that some people had been complaining about it. Indeed, we could see why as it flopped us neatly right in the the lake! We both had life jackets on though and came up laughing. You know, I am not very comfortable around water and have always wondered how well life jackets work. They work darn good! I popped straight up to the surface and didn't have to try at all to stay afloat. After we climbed back on the jet ski and tried to regain some of our dignity, we drove back to the cabin and everyone got a good laugh out it.
Later in the day, another funny incident occurred when we noticed a boat that had been drifting in front of the cabin for a few hours. We could see no one in the boat. So, Aaron jumped on the jet ski to drive out and see what was up. Just as he was leaving, those of us on shore saw a completely nude man stand up and start peeing off the boat... right in front of our cabin! Aaron at this point was right up at the boat, but swerved away quickly to avoid seeing anything he wouldn't want to see :) Good times.
Sunday was rainy and cold. We had boat troubles, but all was resolved in time and we made the long slog home.
What a fun time we had. Chelan is not quite the restful retreat it was in my youth and before children, but it is a place where one can really relax and enjoy family and the outdoors. Everyone who has gone there has loved it, has wanted to go back. Its hard to explain my connection to the place. The best I can describe it is how Scarlett O'Hara loved Tara. It was in her blood, it was her land, it was part of her. This is how I feel about our Chelan. Its so connected to my childhood, to good memories and now, part of my heart rests there with my Grandpa's ashes. I hope beyond all hope that this wonderful and unique place can be the haven to my children as it was to me.