Our small group decided back in the late winter (when we celebrated a year of meeting together/knowing each other/etc.) that we would truly put our friendships to the test this summer by going on a weekend getaway together. So for our first trip together we chose somewhere close-- Hocking Hills. We found a house big enough for five families-- 10 adults and 8 kids-- which Cate called the "everybody house" since everybody was staying there.
The kids enjoyed the wide wrap-around porch. It was perfect to run around, bicycle around, or scooter around. Sometimes it was nice to just sit on the swing.
Our large common room was perfect when everyone was together.
The kitchen was right off of the common room and we spent quite a bit of time in there. Each family was in charge of preparing one meal for the whole group.
And our bonfire pit was another great place to congregate as a group.
Friday night, the kids went on a "snipe" hunt. A few of the adults in our group went on these hunts as children. Legend has it that the "snipe"-- a bird now recognizable to most kids because of the movie Up!-- leaves a decoy (a dressed up watermelon) if it feels you're getting to close to it. The kids followed a trail of feathers and other "snipe" clues before they ended up with the decoy-- which was delicious to eat!
On Saturday we did an easy walk/hike at Ash Cave. It was nice and cool under all of the trees and in the shadow of the cave. Of course the scenery was beautiful for photographing as well.
I'm hoping to get more comfortable with Photoshop Elements this summer so that I can edit these pictures even more than what iPhoto allows...especially that last one.
We spent Saturday afternoon at Lake Logan. Poor Eric picked up some poison ivy/sumac/oak/something (even the urgent care doctors couldn't quite identify it) so he spent most of our lake time at urgent care. He had come home from Montauk last weekend with some poison ivy. But then he dug out some plants in the way back of our yard late last week and walked around the woods by our cabin this weekend with flip flops...so he got it from a little bit of everywhere...I have some on my foot, but not bad enough to warrant the steroids Eric is now on. Oh well-- last time Eric was on steroids for poison ivy four years ago, he couldn't sleep and deep-cleaned our whole house one night. So I may get a clean house out of all this. The price was that I have zero pictures from the lake since my hands were tied up with Cate.
Saturday night the kids made homemade ice cream. We mixed it using different size bags so that the kids could each shake up their own batch. Cate helped Daddy shake it for awhile, but then went off to play until the ice cream was ready.
Wanna make your own ice cream this summer (we'll be doing this again for sure)? Here's what you need to do--
1. In a quart size bag combine 1/2 cup milk, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
2. Put that bag inside another quart size bag to prevent leakage (optional).
3. Fill a freezer bag halfway with ice and with 1/3 cup rock salt/ice cream salt.
4. Put the quart size bag(s) inside the freezer bag, seal, and shake for 10 minutes or until ice cream is firm enough to eat.
Our friend in charge of getting the ice cream stuff together suggested using chocolate milk at home for chocolate ice cream or throwing in candy or cookie bits for extra treats.
We are so blessed to have met this group of friends and to have spent the last 18 months or so getting to know them. We can't wait to welcome Baby B as the newest kid to the group knowing that he/she is already so loved by all of these families. I hope that traveling together (with our without our kids) is something we continue to do for years to come).