Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Triple T Tour 2011 - Stop 1 - Camp Poppy

We recently got back from our Triple T Tour. (Tour of Texas with a stop in Tennessee) We try and make this trip as often as we can to see our families. We haven't gotten home as much as we would like to since we've been out in Virginia thanks to our busy schedules during the school year and Den's summer deployments.

Our first and last stops are always Den's dad's house in Tennessee. Up until this year he and Den's stepmom Neda have been in Franklin, TN, which is a suburb of Nashville. Last year, they bought a little lakeside cabin in Sparta. It's such a beautiful, peaceful place. It's always a nice stop at the end of a hectic trip.

The cabin literally sits on the banks of a small lake. We were able to go canoeing and fishing, and the girls fattened up an entire flock of ducks while we were there.

We also managed to get in some pool time at the local YMCA.

Going to Hayes and Neda's cabin is like going to camp. Mostly, because it is located on an old summer camp from the 50's. It turned residential, and kind of got a little run down. It is currently going through a rejuvenation process with the hopes of returning it to its glory days. Hayes is heading up the gargantuan task and is getting some results. They have reclaimed a park area and convinced some of the less tidy residents to clean up their properties. They are slowly but surely clearing the lake of the sea of lily pads that have taken it over.

Summer decided that wearing her sunglasses while roasting marshmallows would keep the smoke out of her eyes. Sound logic, I guess.
This is the park that the restoration group has been working on. They have put in sand volleyball and badminton and are hoping to get a soccer field in place as well. They have also cleared out the huge old bonfire ring on the shore of the lake. Hayes made all the signs for the park.

I have quite a few more pictures from Poppy's house that for some reason have not made it onto my computer yet. I will have to track them down and post them later. Right now I have to get my hiney in gear. Summer has an orthodontist appointment in an hour and a half and here I sit still in my pajamas!

Shenandoah Karaoke

Monday, July 25, 2011

Shenandoah Valley Campground

The Shenandoah Valley Campground is one of our absolute favorite places in all of Virginia. It is a great, small, family owned campground. We went last year for their Halloween festivities and plan to return this fall. The best thing about SVC in the summer, however, is that it is up in the mountains, so it is mucho cooler that down here on the Peninsula. Plus, the river is a' flowin! We spent a good bit of time on the river this trip. It was nice and cool and we only saw one or two snakes, who very much wanted nothing to do with us.

I guess we are official RVers now. We bought our first piece of camper yard art. LOL.

One of the best parts of Shenandoah, is that there is plenty of time to relax!

Friday nights are Karaoke Night at Shenandoah and there is a DJ on Saturday nights. These are Summer's favorite part of the campground. Little miss loves some karaoke and line dancing!

This is Al. He made our camper sign and then wouldn't let us pay for it. Al spent 30 something years in the 101st Airborne. (I think) When he heard that Den and Bryan were both in the Air Force, he absolutely refused to take their money. Al is quite the Jack of All Trades at Shenandoah. During the Karaoke and DJ nights, he makes some of the best funnel cakes I have ever eaten AND homemade pork rinds, which the boys can't seem to get enough of. Then on Sunday morning, Al puts on his pancake making apron and serves up all you can eat pancakes.

There is lots more fun to be had at Shenandoah. There is a small miniature golf course, a pool, which, come to think of it, we have never gotten around to using, and of course, a fishing pond that they stock with rainbow trout twice a year. We didn't catch any this time, but when we were there at Halloween, we caught our limit.

One of the kids' favorite things about the campground are the tame free-range bunnies that live there. You can buy a generous bag of food for 50 cents at the camp store and some of them will come right up to you. This one in particular was none too interested in being friends with me, so I just had to play bunny stalker and take his picture from afar.

We had an amazing time here as always. See you in October!

Chocolate Lovers' Weekend

Our first adventure this summer took us to Urbanna, VA and the Beth Page Campground. Beth Page is an extremely family friendly campground with lots to do for the kiddies, including a pretty nice water park. Beware, however if you have teenaged daughters. The local boys come out to play and the place is a veritable teenaged meat market. Since we still have a couple of years before we have to worry about that, I will go on to talk about all the fun we had.

Chocolate Lovers' Weekend at Beth Page is just that. All the planned activities have a chocolate theme. We didn't participate in all of them, since relaxing was high on the adults' plan, but the ones we did were a lot of fun.

The water park has a couple of pools, 3 slides, a baby pool, and a splash park area. When we were there, there were plenty of chairs and some shade, although those spots seemed to fill up the fastest. Kids under 14 have to pass a swim test before they are allowed access to the slides.

For some reason, I did not get a whole lot of pictures of our campsite this time around. There was however, a playground just a couple of sites down from us, which was very nice because we could send the kids to play with Paige in charge of the smaller ones while Kat and I made dinner and the hubbies did whatever hubby stuff needed taking care of.

Oh the chocolatey fun that we had... We got in pretty late on the first day, so we pretty much just got settled in and then went to the water park. Day 2 however was spent soaking up some serious chocolate. First off was the chocolate Slip-N-Slide, which consisted of a big tarp that went down a hill and into the river that was coated in chocolate syrup and then had the water turned on it. The kids LOVED it. To tell the truth, I wouldn't have minded giving it a try myself. LOL. In the end we had 4 sticky, messy kids that we then promptly walked over to the beach and sent straight into the water.

That afternoon came what Paige had been waiting for since we first saw the advertisement - the chocolate eating contest. The girl was psyched! The first round was chocolate ice cream and she seriously hoovered the stuff, placing first in her group and moving on to round 2.

Lulu Bean put in a good showing, but I think she was wearing about half of her serving as a beard!

Round 2 was chocolate donuts. Each kid was given 4 donuts and the first to finish went on to the next round. Paige was chowing along at a pretty good clip until she saw that the kids next to her was almost finished. I don't know how she did it, but that girl got all 4 donuts in her mouth at one time. If she had been able to swallow, she would have had it in the bag. Alas, the donuts got the better of her and she came in 2nd.

A Summer Recap

I really am a bad bad blogger. Unlike my sweet friends Andrea at The Perpetual Tourist and Lauren at Across the Pond, both of whom give me hours of enjoyment keeping up with their sweet families, I can not seem to get my act together. Maybe I'll blame it on how busy I am... or how our ancient (OK, 7 year old) desktop resides upstairs in the kids' playroom... or.... Nope, the fact of the matter is that it simply just slips out of my cross check. I'll make it my Halfway Through The Year's Resolution. Over my next few posts I will recap everyone on what has been going on in Haggisland since the craziness that is summer began.

Also, a note to everyone who I have not managed to tell, we are NOT moving to California this summer as expected. Thanks to some infuriating internal politics that I have only just recently mad emy peace with, our orders have been delayed until after the first of the year. Our tentative plan now is for Dennis to move the girls and I out west at semester break and then he will follow once ACC releases him in February. Stay tuned for more details.....