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From Longview To Kansas And Arkansas And Back Again

(Tue Jun 22 10:30:05 2010)

Ah, vacation... how I will miss thee...

Vacation, it seems, is over. It was great while it lasted, though; I swam, played with my kids, hiked, went caving... it was awesome. Since only a few people actually know what I did, I will, for your amusement and envy, type out a brief itinerary.

Wednesday, June 9th: packed almost everything into the car over lunch, then left work a few minutes early and began the drive to Kansas. It was a very, very long drive.
Thursday: Arrived, about 5am. Slept. After lunch, we talked, and generally relaxed.
Friday: Chris arrived (yay!), and we all went to the River Fest. I had an amazing time, catching up and looking at crafts and playing with Legos. On the downside, though, Xan wandered off and got lost... we found him not long afterward at the Lost-and-found campers, unharmed and full of grapes (the lost-and-found lady said she's found it's impossible for children to cry when they eat grapes). After a wonderful day, we all went out to eat at La Hacienda.
Saturday: More River Festival, including yummy food; I bought a few pictures, and found some art that I'd really like to buy once I'm independently wealthy. Chris left in the afternoon, but with the promise to visit more than once every eight years. For supper, we stopped at Bogey's for some shakes (mmmm...), then headed home to pack up.
Sunday: Most years, this is when we leave and go home - but not this year! In pouring rain, we began our trek to Arkansas, along with the rest of the Metzgers (well, most of them). After a not-quite-as-long drive, we arrived at our (I keep wanting to call it campground, but it wasn't; Lindsay calls it a condo) resort location (ah, that works). Most of the drive was wet; part of the drive was smooth; the rest of the drive was up-and-down-and-round-and-round. Blarg. I'm not usually one to get carsick, but those hills and curves... ugh. I could never live in Arkansas. Anyway, we got unpacked, wandered around a bit, and then settled in for the night.
Monday: Lots of resting. We swam a bit, and bought groceries for the rest of the week, along with some pool toys and a box fan. To test my GPS, my boots, and my general walking capability, my brother Nathan and I walked from our "little house" (as Xan called it) to Mom's - a distance of approximately 2 miles, one way. We then picked up my brother Chris and walked back. I'm usually fine for long walks, but it was hot, and there were quite a few up-and-down hills. Plus I basically just started from the back of the house and walked straight through the underbrush... fun, though! Swimming that evening ensured that I was completely wiped out, and slept really well.
Tuesday: another restful day, though this time with a cookout with the rest of the clan. I wasn't really planning on swimming, but when a few flying ants decided I looked like a meal, I chose water over pain. Ouch.
Wednesday: Cave day! After an hour of stomach-churning hills and curves, we (meaning me, Lindsay, Chris, Nathan, Harold, and my new brother-in-law, Jed) arrived at... um... well, I forget the name of the cave. Anyway, after soaking our boots in alcohol and gearing up with all sorts of fancy stuff (jumpsuit, boots, backpack, gloves, hard hat, and headlight), we walked into the cave. It was the most awesome caving experience I've ever had; our group (us, plus two guides and another family) went off-trail, exploring all sorts of stuff. I really wish I had brought our camera, because I didn't want to expose our brand-new phones to those conditions. They probably would have been fine, but better safe than sorry, I guess. Suffice to say, it was great. At the end, I was drop-dead tired; after another hour of further stomach-churning, we got back to our home-away-from-home. That evening, I spent quite a bit of time in the Jacuzzi, let me tell you (oh, I did mention we had a Jacuzzi in our bathroom, right?). Boy, was I sore...
Thursday: Still sore. Ow. We watched a movie that we had rented from the library, hung out, had some good food, and generally enjoyed ourselves. We went to a nice restaurant, just Lindsay and I, which was really nice. Relaxing, being away from the kids... ahhh.
Friday: Hiking! We stomped about a bit, took some pictures, and Xan peed in a small cave. Hey, it was exciting for him, anyway. He still hasn't gotten over the fact that bats use the bathroom in caves...
Saturday: Some packing, and grilling of steaks. Mmm, steaks... after a final swim, and a bit of Rovio-jousting, our week was finally over; we might not have been able to ride horses, or hike as much as we wanted, but it was still a lot of fun. I could get used to that kind of vacation...
Sunday: we left for home. It was only 7 hour trip back (5 hours and 18 minutes of actual moving), so I wasn't nearly so tired upon arrival.

It might not seem like I did a whole lot, but for me, that was kinda the point. I've not gotten much time off in the last few years, between work and kids; a week of vacation is fine, but it's really only enough to begin to unwind, not to actually relax - especially when two or three days of it are spent driving. This was a full week of no driving (not all at once, obviously) - heaven! It's not going to happen again for quite a few years, but it was so very much worth it. I've never stayed at a resort before, not have I really gone caving (apart from on-the-trail stuff). It's an awesome experience, let me tell you. Now, don't get me wrong - I love camping. It's just nice to be able to stay somewhere air conditioned, where you don't have to pay for all that nice cool air; somewhere within walking distance of a pool, and within a short drive of food and other such stuff. I mean, they even had a library for us to check out books and movies; how cool is that?

But now, I'm back home, back to work. I need to mow the lawn and sweep my computer room. All good things must come to an end, they say - but I hope I can keep this rested feeling going for a while!

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This blag is tagged: Family, Riverfest, Vacation, All