I had intended to share some of these photos a little earlier than this entry is finding its way to the public, but I’ve been swamped with newborn sessions since returning home! I’m not complaining. :) I *am*, however, taking some time this holiday weekend to veg with the kids as they get ready for their first day of school on Tuesday (BIG post coming that day – come back for it). They had one final marshmallow roast and sleepover at my Mom & Dad’s on Thursday night and they have been swimming all weekend and soaking up every last bit of sunshine. Sometimes they’ll ask for a “sleepout” at home which is code for “Can we sleep in the living room and watch tv until way past our usual bedtime.” If I don’t have any sessions scheduled for the following morning, I usually say yes. Since my hubby was working an all-nighter last night, I figured it could be one last hoorah before the school schedule will be forced to be implemented. So while they made duck tape crafts (Emily made me a leopard print iPhone case with my initial on it!) and watched their Disney shows, I decided I would take some time for me and played in Photoshop with my own projects instead of client photos. Sometimes my creative brain just needs a tiny break to do what it wants and not necessarily what I’m telling it to do. ;) I caught up nicely on some more PL pages and as soon as I have all of August complete, I’ll post those. Arranging my vacation pictures made me want to share them here to so here we go!
Lake George as you now know is our annual Summer vacation with my parents. After returning home from our camping trip in June, we loved the experience so much that my husband and I decided to see if a yurt was available at the camp ground near Lake George. It was so we tacked two nights onto our trip. We decided to head up before my parents, camp with the kids for two nights in the yurt and then drive over to our usual hotel and stay the additional three nights with them. HERE are some pictures of yurt camping. Think of a tent material but with a wooden frame, so you actually have a floor, door and ceiling. It was super-fun and we would recommend staying in them to anyone who asks! The campground we stayed at only had three yurts on the property! They were brand new for 2012 and you could tell. They were really clean inside.
Here’s a peek at our yurt hidden amongst the trees:
Now, it didn’t look like this upon arrival. We drove up in some gray skies and by time we reached the campground, the skies opened. The dirt in front of our yurt (hey that rhymes) flooded instantly and we were left with a small lake. Vin still had to unpack the car so the moat that was surrounding us wasn’t really all that welcome. Here’s the best part of this story though: Vin decided to carry each kid from the car to the yurt so they wouldn’t step in all of the water. Nice Dad right? He then came to my side of the car and joked that he was going to carry me. We had a few laughs and made our way inside. We were in there for maybe 5 minutes when he asks me where I put the keys. Um, I wasn’t the one driving so I left them right where I last saw them: hanging in the ignition. A point made all the more awesome because our car automatically locks after a minute, keys inside or not. So now we are stuck inside the yurt while our stuff is locked in our car in a thunderstorm. A few of those extra long marshmallow roasting sticks and two helpful campers aiding my hubby later, our car was open.
Despite all of that, he’s still smiling. Soaked, but smiling.
At least now we could bring our sleeping bags in from the car!
One of the fun parts to our yurt was the ceiling. There was a glass skylight and it was really fun to watch and hear the rain fall down through the trees during the storm (all the while staying nice & dry!)
Inside, there were two sets of bunk beds. The bottom bed was a full or a Queen… I forget but I might lean towards Queen here because they were pretty spacious. The top beds were twins. There was a table & folding chairs, a fridge, a/c unit and probably the best part: a coffee maker! I knew this before hand so I surprised my husband when I pulled out coffee filters and some bags of coffee grinds. Keys to the car? Who the heck knows. Coffee for a morning cup? Check!
A look at the beds (and a crocheted piggy I made for Grace on the drive up):
They had some fun activities inside the campground. Activities such as a jumping pillow…
A gem mining area…
A pool and water bouncers…
There was also a train ride around the campsite but I didn’t bring my camera along.
Of course, part of the draw to camping is just relaxing and making your own fun. There was a tether ball right outside our site. The kids thought it was called “heather ball”.
Andrew also brought along his football and practiced all of his plays with Dad.
We brought a travel CLUE game along that was pretty funny because the pieces were so tiny. My kids always make fun of me when we play CLUE because they know that I like to jot all sorts of notes on my sheet (I keep track of what every player asks another as far as suspects, rooms and weapons go!) and there was no room on these little sheets for me to write. Hmph.
Andrew working on his suspect sheet and making sure none of us are going to see it.
We kept the meals light this time when compared to our June trip. I had two reasons: 1) we were only going to be there for not even two full days and 2) we still had to head over to a hotel for three days after this, so I didn’t want leftovers. We did hamburgers and hot dogs and I couldn’t say no to more camp pizza! Such an easy meal and so tasty when you are hungry!
Andrew requested a picture of this Daddy Long Legs. The only other critters we saw were a bajillion chipmunks and mini squirrels.
Taking a final picture in the trees by our yurt before moving on to the second leg of our trip.
We’ve certainly made some great camping memories this Summer!
On Monday morning, with the camping portion of our trip under our belts, we headed a half hour back down in the direction towards home for our Fort William Henry stay. My parents still had a 4 hour car ride ahead of them so we actually took this day to hit Great Escapes as we waited for them to meet up with us.
Here are a whole bunch of park pictures. After spending about two hours in the sun riding most of the rides in the kiddie section which we still assumed were fun enough for the older two, Andrew came up to me as said “Mom, why are we doing all of these rides for Grace? Lets go on something else. Great Escapes? Psh. More like Toddler Escapes!“ LMAO! I wish you could have heard him say this. Such a nut job, my son is… Vin took Grace on a few more things and I took the older kids on the bumper cars and big-kid/adult swings. As a family, we all went on the water tube that seats 6. No pictures but that was a lot of fun!
Andrew is in the red car on the right. Emily is stuck in that pile-up.
At Fort William Henry, we kind of follow the same itinerary each year: relax, go swimming, walk down Canada Street, play in the game room, go horseback riding, tour the fort, eat in our favorite restaurants… We did change it up a bit this year tried three new places. We went to Mama Riso’s for dinner which is an Italian place we haven’t eaten in since my childhood. It was really good and we decided we would definitely add it to our plans for next year.
We also tried The Moose Tooth Grill. Two thumbs up! The kids were excited to drink “Moose Wiz” (root bear) and the adults loved the super-sized glass mugs it was served in. It was decorated like a smaller-scale Rainforest Cafe inside.
There was also a 50’s diner right by our hotel (the name escapes me now) that was fun. We called it Grease since they had a big Grease sign on the wall but as for the official name, I have to think on that. We ordered a few pizzas after riding in the horse-drawn buggies one night. They had a jukebox that was free so I showed the kids how to play a few songs.
We do lots & lots of walking (and shopping!) There’s one place that overlooks the lake and makes a great spot to take a picture (it’s where I was standing when I captured the lake in my first shot posted above).
The lake view from our hotel room:
Every year we take the tour of the Fort. Andrew was kinda-sorta obsessed this year. It was very cute. He walked around in costume for 3 full days. LOL!
haha! The above shot makes me laugh… I think Papa sent him on a mission to get Grandma to stop spending money.
Here is everyone at the top of the fort taking a peek out into the lake.
Andrew locked Grandpa up in the old dungeon down below! Love this shot. It was nearly pitch black down there. I had my ISO cranked all the way to 25600 (!) to get this shot. (Obviously, no flash on my camera).
Watching the army fire a canon.
Probably one of my top three favorite photos from our time away: my kids joining the British Army! How adorable is Grace? They signed enlistment papers and were each paid one wooden coin for their services.
I just love Grace’s sassy pose in the left shot here! And everyone looks extra cute in the shot on the right. :)
The kids always look forward to riding the horses. We go to Saddle Up Stables every year. This year, Grace rode PeeWee which is (I believe) the littlest pony in the stable. My kids have been riding him since Emily was 1. Emily and Andrew rode a horse named Gal this year. I think they liked being a little higher up.
That’s PeeWee’s adorable head of hair. :)
This year while walking down Canada Street, we saw a man playing an upright piano. Actually, a man and his dog.
His sign says 45 cities but he told us this was his 52nd. He was in Canada the day before. I love his sign on the left.
The kids left him a few bucks.
Giant shaved ice!
Emily and Andrew shared that while Grace was back at the room sleeping with my parents and I was in my favorite LG shop: The Christmas Store! I got 6 ornaments for our tree this year: a firefighting one for Vin, he stopped in and picked out a camera for me, a football one for Andrew, a ballerina for Grace, a dance bag that Em picked out herself and a camping one to remember our very first year as a family that camps!
This next picture makes me laugh. My Mom and I sit outside at night after the kids (and usually the men) go to bed. She reads while I crochet. We were sitting out here tonight (Tuesday) and we kept seeing some serious flashes of lightning over the lake. We would look at each other and laugh because it was so big and bright. With little to no warning at all, around midnight, the skies OPENED and it started pouring buckets. There were people walking the strip and all you heard was “AHHH!” screaming as they got caught in the downpour. We were cracking up!
(Those are the pool lights off in the distance and then the lake is right beyond that).
New to the strip this year were bumper boats and a carousel. They were actually right at the bottom of the stone steps leading from our hotel. The kids loved these.
My newest favorite picture of me and the kids, right in front of the carousel. (Wet hair from bumper boat wars!)
We had some leftover camping snacks in the car so between horseback riding, shopping and waiting to cash our tickets in at the game room, we had PB&Js for lunch. My parents took an afternoon trip to Saratoga to bet on some horses.
The kids collected their game room tickets for three nights and had a joint total of 3300+! They each had something like 1108 to spend.
On our last night, a local fair had opened a short walk from our hotel. My Dad treated the kids to a book of over 50 tickets so they could go on any & every ride they wanted. Emily and Andrew wanted to go on the biiiiig pirate ship. Even though they had the height, my Dad and Vin thought someone should go with them. Somehow I was nominated. All of the ride operators were laughing at us after we got off. Apparently, my face showed the sheer panic on it I was feeling inside. LOL! The kids made us sit in the second-to-last seat and the boat was nearly perpendicular to the dirt ground at it’s highest point. I may or may not have screamed an obscenity and grabbed my kids for dear life. I used to be the biggest ride person. Somewhere along the way, I apparently got old.
When we got off, I looked Andrew in the face and said “Toddler Escapes, psh!” ha! He wanted a thrill ride, he got one!
Here are our final two pictures after breakfast before coming home.
I give two big thumbs-up to this new pose of Grace’s. Love the tiny little stick leg sticking wayyy out.
“Thanks for another fun year of Lake George memories Grandma & Papa!”
Thanks for peeking in on The Miller Family’s Lake George Scrapbook, 2012 edition!