Well, the Missouri weather as of late did not disappoint for the holiday weekend; much of our time at the lake was spent avoiding the intermittent showers. We did have a great camping experience on Friday night with friends Shana and Damon and their kids, and celebrating Paige, Neil and Damon's birthdays. Dave was the grill king Friday night, with roasted corn, pulled pork (smoked at home on Wednesday before we headed to the lake), baked beans and S'mores, in addition to birthday cake and ice cream.
Shana and Damon tried out their new pop-up camper, and Jace & Neil set up a tent on the campsite. Dave, Paige and I "camped" in our boat, which was right near the campsite. The kids enjoyed the evening, playing whiffle ball and, of course, the S'mores were a huge hit. Saturday morning the kids woke up early, and Dave started our day out with omelets on the griddle and hashbrowns/bacon on the campfire.
The weather was beautiful; the sky was partly cloudy when we woke up, but by 10 AM the clouds had burned off and we were in for a sunny day. We headed down to our dock and got the kids started fishing. Ryan, who is four, had apparently worn out his fishing pole casting off his back deck (sans water) for the past several weeks. He was SO ready to go fishing and catch one, or two, or fifty! Dave let Ryan reel in a couple that he had caught, but then finally Ryan caught one of his own, and boy, was he proud!
The kids fished for awhile but then they were ready for the next activity of the day - swimming. So we fired up Banana Pancakes, piled everyone aboard and headed her out down the lake. Neil was the driver for the day, with Dave's supervision; he just turned 15 and took his test for his learner's permit for the car, but actually already took his test for boating last year. Dave has been teaching him how to drive the boat, and he really is doing a great job. We headed out to a quiet cove, dropped the anchor, and jumped in for a swim. I actually ended up getting in, and it was cold but really not as bad as I thought it would be! Paige had to be at work later that afternoon, so we headed back to the dock mid-afternoon.
Our return trip was timely-- as we pulled into the dock the rain started, and we weathered torrential rains under the cover of the dock for about 30 minutes. At this point, we realized that we had not checked to make sure Neil & Jace had zipped up their tent before heading out for the day. Shana and Damon had similar issues, with a couple of their windows still partially open on their pop-up. The verdict was not a good one, with the tent totally waterlogged inside and a good portion of the pop-up wet as well. We chalked it up to a lesson learned, and we all enjoyed some brats and burgers before they packed up and headed back to Springfield. We agreed that we would find another weekend soon, one with better weather, to get back together and camp/boat again.
Neil and Jace stayed with us on the boat that night, and we enjoyed some tunes with our friends, Dennis and Sarah. The rest of the weekend was relaxing but rainy; Sunday was actually worrisome, as the toilet on the boat had stopped working on Saturday night. Dave spent about three hours getting into the engine compartment and pulling the pump system apart. But he figured it out, got it fixed and we stayed Sunday night as well.
Carl, Dave and CD
We made some new friends with several of our dock neighbors, including Carl and Pam (I have known Carl for years, actually; he is a psychologist in Springfield, but I hadn't seen him in a couple of years, nor had I met his lovely wife) and shared some dinner, stories and of course, wine, with them and others on the dock. CD and Jana came to see us later Sunday night- it was a quiet weekend for them, too, with the rain, and Jana had to work today.
We loaded up the cars mid-morning today and headed back to Springfield. It was a wonderful weekend, but I had probably ten loads of laundry to do, including all the bedding from the boat, so I was glad to have the afternoon at home to take care of it. A busy week awaits me, with work on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and then heading to Nashville, TN Thursday night and on to Gatlinburg on Friday morning for Annie's wedding!