Sunday, September 6, 2009

i heart the natural state

After weeks of searching, we agreed that staycationing was the call for Labor Day.
The Griffins have an aunt that lives in Sims, AR. She has land, horses, and a canoe. She lives a few minutes from the Ouachita. We were invited to spend the day exploring with them, the Tobler's and most of the Hartzell's.

I decided to ignore my head cold and try to be a good sport. I'm always in much better spirits when the car is pulling away from the house. Preparing for a road trip of any sort is extremely stressful for me...somehow all of the planning seems to fall on the mother. Sigh...

So off we went, to Sims. On the way Ty complained of a headache, within minutes his eyes were glassy and skin was on fire. Another bump in the road, another fever. We administered the Motrin. After 2 hours we arrived.

Aunt Terry's country reminded us all of the mountain west, a place we hold near and dear. We emerged from the car, with the road trip daze, to clean air and curious horses. Aunt Terry and Aunt Betty were waiting with smiles. Tyler managed to break his fever and we were able to stay for lunch and fun. The kids wanted little to do with the picnic portion of the afternoon, so we quickly moved on to the horse riding portion. All the kids got to ride "Jack"at least twice, they loved exploring the barn and feeding the horses cookies and apples.

Ryli kept wandering off to have private discussions with the horses. Teriney labeled her a hippie, which proved to be even more true later in the day. After quality time on the farm we decided to hit the water.Before even getting our canoe in the river Ryli was neck her clothes, in the water. She is one feisty little girl. We loaded up the gang and caravan-ed 3 canoes down the Ouachita. The weather was perfect, the water a little chilly. Shane and I were a bit rusty on the paddling and steering but managed our little family from point A to point B. It took us about 40 minutes, and we paddled pretty much the whole way. Ty often complained of getting splashed, Ryli complained about not being able to swim, Cannon just sat and offered to muscle the oars, sweet boy.

The mood on the river was so peaceful, and to sit and enjoy the silence did wonders for my soul. I loved being on vacation from reality, with only my family.

At the pull-out point Ryli was finally free to swim. Which she did...only this time she stripped down to her panties. Tyler chose not to swim, but to brush up on his rock skipping skills. Cannon swam with his friends and practiced picking up the largest rocks and throwing them in the water. While we waited for Aunt Terry to come get us, I sunbathed and contemplated where I could purchase a canoe of my own that late in the day. I have discovered a new hobby.

We loaded up and drove home. Bubba crashed, Ty and Ry enjoyed a dinner drive-thru treat and watched the rest of Star Wars. I made good on my promise for Shane's birthday gift, an X-Box360. Lucky for him Target was right on the way.

Mother Nature held in her moisture and gifted us a lovely day to bask in her beauty. There aren't very many places on this earth that tug at my heartstrings like this Natural State. I am so proud of my children for appreciating it's beauty like I do.


Michelle said...

What a nice day. Glad you still ended up having fun despite the head issues:)

Jen said...

What a lovely day! Looked like so much fun.