I'm not sure we could have kicked June off any better than we did this past weekend. It all started with a text message from Cody at 1:30 Friday afternoon, in the middle of a conference call... "Do you want to go to Ponderosa tomorrow?" Well, he didn't have to ask me twice and plans immediately got under way for the boys' first real boating experience on the lake. Cody's friend purchased a cabin on the lake earlier this winter and invited us down to experience it for the first time ourselves. The spontaneity of it added to the excitement, as I couldn't wait to share the news with the boys when I picked them up from daycare on Friday afternoon. Though they really had no idea what they were headed to, they are always eager to go along with anything that I say is going to be fun. My little adventurers, always.
But before Saturday, there was Friday night and the first Live to 9 of the season. We packed up our picnic blanket and headed downtown for some live music under shade trees, some "walking maid-rites" from a food truck and a sunset walk along the river for good measure. It was a beautiful night out and we were in good moods as we anticipated the weekend ahead of us...
I woke up early Saturday morning... too excited to go back to sleep. I packed our swimming bag with suits and sun block, filled the back of the van with fishing poles and life jackets, and we hit the road first thing for an easy hour and a half drive to Greg's cabin.
I grew up on the water, boating on Clear Lake most weekends and living for feeling of our speed boat zipping over the waves as fast as my dad could make it go. I was excited for the boys to have a taste of those same experiences, and the day did not disappoint. It was so random, so unplanned from hour to hour, and just the family day we needed.
We weren't there 10 minutes before we had the fishing poles out. And I'm now convinced that the end of Greg's dock is probably the best place to cast a line.
It didn't take long. The boys, with their measly Batman and Spiderman fishing poles, hooked the first bites. Jaden caught the first catch of his life - a cute little blue gill. And before we could fully appreciate its excitement, not one minute later, Brandon started screaming that his line was tugging...
We knew it was a big one right away, as he reeled it in as much as he could but it quickly became too heavy for him. And when we pulled it out of the water, and he saw the ugly catfish on the end of the pole, he broke out into a dead sprint up the dock to get as far away as he could. It took some coaxing, but I finally got him to come close enough to at least take one picture with the fish we affectionately named "Big Nasty." ;) I couldn't let the milestone pass without one!
After some more fishing, and some sandwiches for lunch, the boys and I ventured out for a exploration walk around Greg's side of the lake until Daddy called and said it was time to take a boat ride.
Having never been on a boat quite like it, the boys were both excited but a bit apprehensive, too. They said they didn't want to go too fast, but I secretly whispered to the captain to go fast... but to ease into it. ;) As soon as he opened it up, they were squealing and giggling and shouting, "This is awesome!!"
Jaden quickly caught onto boating culture, waving and saying hi to every boat party we passed.
Brandon quickly picked up the boating vibe, too. Little buddy knows how to chill. ;)
While out on the water we met some people who invited us to join them for a swim and some lily pad jumping in party cove. We drove the boat back to the cabin, changed into our suits, lathered up on the sunblock, and experienced our first dip in Ponderosa. Okay, full disclosure... the boys dipped. I sunbathed from the back of the boat. ;)
By the time we were done swimming it was almost supper time so we headed back to the cabin to fire up the grill and ate our dinner while over-looking the water. While the men watched the meat, the boys and I sat on the dock and dangled our toes in the water, talking about what we liked best about the day. We watched the jet skiers turn tricks, watched a serious water jet-packer fly through the sky (that guy was crazy!) and skipped a few rocks before heading up to join our crew.
We ended our trip with free soft serve ice cream from a random person's makeshift frost bar in his garage. This guy was no joke. He has created a full-option bar right there in his oversized garage, complete with a soft serve ice cream machine, table-top bar games, a large flat screen TV and plenty of bar signs to spruce the place up. Being a guy who just loves to entertain, it's ALL free and open to everyone. He accepts tips only -- and company.
We drove home in the dark of night, thankful to know we'll head back sometime soon. It was such a fun day, filled with so many memories and fun people. A few more pictures. I love adventuring with these three...
We rounded out our eventful weekend with an extra sudsy late Sunday morning bath in efforts to get rid of all that lake water, a Vacation Bible School kickoff service and a full and long afternoon at the pool. Ivy joined us for a bit to do some splashing, Jaden did the water slides again for the first time this year, and Brandon discovered that all those inches he's grown since last summer allow him to touch the bottom in the "big kids" pool now. He now loves jumping off the side of the bigger pool into deeper water, and I had to coax them home for supper. My little fishies.
Summer... we are big, big fans around here.