On President's Day we decided to go the "whole group activity" direction. It was a beautiful day for a hike.
Shorts and t-shirts in February--still shaking my head over the concept. Holding Henry on the front of me the whole time helped to make me sweaty even. IN FEBRUARY! The way up was short and steep. Our view from the top was in all directions. No forest to block the view like we have at home. No hours of switch backs full of moss while we search for the elusive sunshine. And no mud puddles. Just acres of dust. It's fun to take a hike that is so different from what we do around these parts! We found this remembrance garden while exploring up top.
The boys didn't stay up top for long--they walked as far away from the sound of our voices as they could and then got as close to the edge of steep inclines as they could--all with the design of giving their mothers heart failure, I'm sure. My camera zoom was able to find them.
I'm glad the girls are still content to stay with their Mamas. Maybe that was because one of the Mamas was carrying trail mix.
Down in the dirt of the hills below we saw "PROM?" written in the dust. I wonder if he/she said yes or no. If it was the latter, that must have been an interesting hike down to the bottom. There were about 50 different path options--so perhaps they could have gone their own lonely directions.
Since we all loved each other--we decided to each take the same path. Uncle Nathan showed us the path that he had taken down on a mountain bike in the past. I was glad not to be on a mountain bike. I'm not very brave.
These boys ARE brave. And full of energy. They went on several bike rides with the dads during the course of our time there. They always impress me with how far they can go and how much uphill (I hear) they can handle. Weren't they just a two year old and a new born yesterday?????
I found this lovely creature in another "garden" on our way down.
You can't see how steep the hill is from this view...
But with people in the picture, you get an idea. Uncle Nathan said that had he hiked this route before he rode it, he probably wouldn't have wanted to to ride down. I definitely would not have.
When the road got long and the uphill was going to begin again, the dads kindly took the harder, uphill path back to the cars and the moms took the seven (seven?????) kids on the flat path to the local high school where the dads could pick us up. Nothing much sweeter than a bunch of little girls holding hands while they walk. These girls carefully made sure to be matching every. single. day. Mia and Jill loaned my girls clothes when needed since my girls were limited to what was in their suitcases.
We saw several of these signs along the way. I don't like snakes at all and the thought of encountering one on a hike gives me the shivers. My big, brave, mountain biking boy happens to be terrified of them. Just looking at the picture on the sign gives him the shivers. Had we seen one, I think he would have hopped into my arms. I was glad we didn't see any!
Eventually Nora took Aunt Megan up on her offer to be carried. I miss being a four year old.
We waited in the cool shade at the end of the trail, uncertain of how long it would take the Daddys to get to us.
We only had a minute or two before showed up to whisk us off to In n Out. Wouldn't want to deprive ourselves of those calories we had hiked off!
Poor Henry had gotten a bad sunburn on one arm. Thankfully it wasn't all over. Poor guy couldn't have any burgers or shakes. Good thing he doesn't know what he's missing yet.
Tadd wanted to make sure I knew that the chocolate shakes are 590 calories before I ordered one ALL FOR MYSELF--not to share with a kid. Yes, thank you, I am aware. They have more calories than shakes from any other fast food restaurant. That's probably why I occasionally dream about them. It was worth every last calorie. Well, maybe not every last calorie--but at least 400 of them. The burger was as good as ever too. Eating outside after a warm hike in February was priceless.
Before I leave you, I just want to mention a thing or two about the plane trip. Traveling with four children via plane is interesting. It's a blessing, that's for sure, because I did not miss the opportunity to drive 23 hours. So, I'm not complaining, trust me. But when you enter an airport with four children you get stared at. A lot. Most people look at you as an absolute nuisance. In many cases, I can't blame them. I mean, if I'm a business man/woman with only a small brief case to run through security and I get behind a family of 6 with a stroller, diaper bag, purse, 2 back packs, front pack, 3 carry on suit cases, one shoulder bag and a few blankies to put on the conveyer belt....well I would probably be annoyed as well. Other times, I get frustrated. For instance, you don't need to glare at me like I've already ruined your flight just because I have a baby strapped to the front of me--he hasn't started screaming...yet. Praise the Lord--he never really did. This was a big worry of mine. Teething, fatigue, not being able to stand up and be walked are all very real reasons for Henry to start screaming and refuse to be calmed. But he didn't. He was mostly distracted by eating, playing with toys and looking around at all the strangers. He whined now and then on the flight down, but there were several other babies around us also whining, so we didn't stand out. And most people loved him because he was wearing his Seahawks jersey. Even the 49ers fans sitting directly behind me called him "pretty cute...for the enemy". They became my enemy in more ways than one when the woman threw up before the plane even took off. If I could have held my breath for the whole 2.5 hours, I would have. Instead I could only pray that we wouldn't all be throwing up by the next morning. And Praise the Lord, we weren't. That's all I'll say about the actual travel--although someday I'd like to write a short story about traveling with little ones. I think I need to be a bit more removed from this part of my life before that can be done with success, however.
Until the next installment!