Sunday, July 26, 2009

Summer in the City (and the Country)

Back in June we were able to go to Berkeley Springs, WV to spend a weekend with my dad's cousins and their families. My dad's cousin Chris set everything up at these neat old farmhouses (and one barn) for some 25 humans and three dogs. All five of our family slept in one bedroom at at farmhouse where my parents and my aunt Susie were staying. It was just up a dirt road from the house shown above where another six of the family stayed. This is where we did all of our eating and activities-both of which were well received by everyone in attendance. My kids will not soon forget the artfully placed bowls of peanut M&Ms that were found around seemingly every corner!

One of the highlights of the weekend was definitely a "ghost walk" planned by Chris. Sometime after the sun had completely set and darkness covered the surrounding woods, all 25 of us gathered our torches flashlights and glowing bracelets and set off on a 2 mile roundtrip to the cemetery and back. Some of the group dropped out about halfway but we persevered. No ghosts were spotted although several cries of "CAR!" quickened our hearts and had us heading for the ditch. I hadn't realized the impression that it had made on Mator until a few weeks later, when we were in TN with my family and we were out kind of late. We got back to the house after dark and Mator asked, "Are we going to go on that walk to the church now?" All this traveling is getting her confused!

Another highlight was spending time with second cousins and third cousins and whatever! Fun people! We got to swim in a little pool, have a "Christmas in June" birthday party and swim in the "hot" springs (really only 75 degrees but I suppose that felt good to George Washington!). Doodle was really taken by Cheyanne who was so patient and shared her cool hula hoops with the girls. All the kids loved meeting and playing with Kaia and Merek and were fast friends. Isn't that the neat thing about family? I hadn't seen them in about four years but it was so fun and easy to just hang out together.

Here's the pool that Mator, Doodle and Muffin loved with the view of the mountains:Here are the little elves after celebrating Kaia's 6th birthday with a Christmas themed party(top-bottom: Doodle, Mator, Muffin, Merek, Kaia):The spa at the hot springs- The five of us in one tub along with my parents and Aunt Susie. They heated the spring water to about 102 degrees:Outside the spa were the actual "hot" springs including this one where our first President liked to come and bathe:The springs were channeled through these canals for the public to play in. Here the girls were fishing for minnows and craw-dads.
Now I've gone on and on and will have to write another post about where we went when we left West Virginia (hint: it wasn't home!)

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