Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Long Weekends are the Best

It's hard to believe that this past weekend was our first camping trip this summer.

It was not for lack of want, rather a summer scheduling roadblock of trips to Italy, work schedules, and the stars not aligning- in general.

Over the past few weeks, I took it upon myself to align the stars and created a long weekend of camping with just the four of us.

And Chewy, of course.

This time we chose Long's Retreat in Latham, Ohio.

This campground boasts 400 acres of camping which includes just about everything to keep kids of all ages entertained.

Seriously, ALL ages.

Here is a list of all the activities available:
  • 20 acre stocked lake
  • water slides (tube, with mats, big, and little)
  • splash pad
  • diving boards
  • beach
  • tennis courts
  • basketball courts
  • go carts for both big and little kids
  • carousel
  • bounce houses
  • mini golf
  • The Oasis- full arcade
  • canoes and paddle boats
  • A fully stocked grocery store.
  • Snack bar with pizza, ice cream, funnel fries, snow cones, etc, etc....
  • and other things I have forgotten- go check out their website, Long's Retreat.
If your kid says, "I'm bored." Call "bullshit". 

Not here you aren't.

We pulled in on a Thursday evening and got right to work setting up camp. We've mastered this plus the boys were itching to try the go carts so I think they worked a little harder than usual.

In this picture, you can see my three boys clearly ignoring all "safety rules and instructions". 

In the wise words of whoever actually said it, "rubbin' is racin'". 

The winner of this race went to Tommy.

But only because Dan and Max were too busy trying to put each other into the wall. The track "officials" were actually pretty lenient on the rules because they:
1. are just sixteen year old kids working a shitty summer job
2. are sixteen year old kids that don't really care or
3. are sixteen year old kids.

And  so when Dan "bumped" Max and Max did a 360 and hit the wall. The officials laughed and gave a halfassed whistle blow.

And my boys thought it was awesome, meanwhile I fished out my insurance card and rolled my eyes.

$5 for 4 minutes of racing. We only dropped a bazillion dollars at this race track and it was totally worth it. 

The only thing this campground was missing was cell service. 

This turned out to be pretty awesome because we all detached from the outside world. Sometimes ignorance is bliss and we had some much needed quality time as a family. 


Tommy dabbing it out. 

Somewhere in that splash is Max. 

And of course Dan, the biggest kid of all. 

Although the boys didn't partake in the splash zone, I feel like it's the best part because you forget it's lake water while cooling off. Not that there is anything wrong with lake water, unless it is polluted with algae, farm chemical wastes, and other bacteria- which is pretty much most lakes in Ohio- then I'd really prefer a pool...which is not on the list of amenities at this campground... Soooo again ignorance is bliss and if it looks like chlorinated pumped water then it's....safer??? ish? 

A view of the beach. Lots of action going on in this lake! Slides, diving boards, and maybe a little grabbing action because you can't see through the water. 

Because it's a lake. 

One thing I'd like to note is that this place is meticulously cared for. Grass all mowed, grounds kept trash-free, beautiful new buildings, super clean shower houses, you can tell the owners take pride in their campground. 

During the nights it's tradition for our family to watch a movie outside. 

London Has Fallen- totally worth the four day late fees. The second night we watched Krampus- I wouldn't recommend it because it's stupid and, please don't hate me Dan and Mark, it reminds me of Army of Darkness. Which is why my boys thought it was hilarious and awesome. 
*insert eye roll*

On our last day we decided for a bit of an adventure and went canoeing. We chose canoeing over paddle boats because we noticed almost everyone left the rental house paddling with their feet but they returned by paddling with their hands. 
Seriously, people bent over and used it like a hand bike. 

As a girl I remember asking for a ten-speed bike. I wanted it so so bad and when Santa finally brought me one I couldn't wait to ride all around town. What I didn't really understand was that changing gears actually made a difference in how hard you  had to pedal. Thinking the lowest gear made me look like I was going really fast, I was the kid that made a hundred revolutions, burning up my chain, while actually only moving slowly along. It was the worst bike ever and I was always tired. 

My point people is that those paddle boats are like my ten-speed in the lowest gear and I know you shouldn't have to work that hard to have a good time. If you have to use your hands to pedal/paddle the boat then just give me a fricking oar thank you very much. 

Work smarter, not harder. 

So there you have it, our first family camping vacation of the summer. It was so needed and couldn't have come at a better time. 

So long, Long's Retreat. We will be back.