This summer, we were finally able to all go back to the Lake of the Ozarks together for vacation. This is typically an annual vacation where we go and stay at my parents lake home. Last year, however, was an exception as we just could not fit it in with our trip to South Carolina. This year, we had one week only that we could squeeze in a trip with Chris' crazy work/travel schedule, so we squeezed it in!
We left last Thursday morning to a car packed with goodies and kids. We met up with my parents at the first rest stop after Bellevue's amazing (aka stupid) $1 toll bridge (you know, the one that is completely falling apart). Asher rode with Grandma and Grandpa and Kota (their Lab) until lunch time. He was quiet, reportedly, watching movies. We stopped at our favorite park in Warrensburg, MO, for a picnic lunch, before setting off the rest of the way to the Lake of the Ozarks and my parents' home in Sunrise Beach on the 25 mile marker of the Lake.
We arrived, unloaded the cars, and the kids were ready to jump right in! It was hot, 100 degrees (much like at home). We swam, took jet ski rides, canoe ride, and took a little boat ride...all during the first afternoon! Fun time! We love it at the lake! It is so relaxing yet so much work. :)
Each day was much of the same, swimming, going down the slide 100 times an hour (or more), swimming, jet ski rides, canoe rides, etc, etc. Each day we did throw in something different. On the first day, Asher went down the slide for the first time with Chris on his lap. He did this over and over again. By day 2, Asher thought he could go down himself with Chris catching him. Success! By the end of day 2, he would go down the slide as long as Chris was in the water some where. By the third day, Asher was going down the slide as long as we were on the dock watching. So funny. He kept saying, "Get out of my way, here I come!" Addison, well, she went up the latter 100 times at least. I sat in the water and turned into a prune waiting at least a half hour while she contemplated going down the slide. Seriously, she is an analytical thinker much like her Dad. We were not sure what was running through her head as she sat on top of the slide, but it must have made her think she was better off just jumping off the dock. So, she stuck to swimming and jumping and was perfectly happy with that. She decided that she was not even sure she would go down the slide into the 26 foot water never year. We will see about that. Alivia, who had already spent a week at the Lake with my parents in June, was really comfortable in the water. It is nice to finally get to the point where we can playfully tip her over off of the tube and hear her laugh instead of cry.
The weekends are busy at the Lake, so we kept close to home and to the water (still 100 degrees) until Monday. On Monday, we hit the Osage Beach Outlets finding a few things for all of us. Then, we of course, had to hit Grandma's Candy store. This place has the best taffy and gummy bears around! There is a junk store next door to the candy store that I swear we will never go into again. The kids want all of this junk. I am okay with souvenirs but am opposed to wasteful spending on junk. But, Asher got a jet airplane, Addison selected her millionth dog and Alivia got her millionth kitten. Once at home, Addison decided she wanted the kitten and was beside herself wanting to return the puppy she played with all day for the cat. So, Monday night, Chris and I took a date night to go back to Osage Beach and get Addison her cat to go along with her dog. Our date night was going to Panera to use their WIFI while eating dinner so Chris could catch up on work. So romantic, right?!
Oh yeah, there is no internet at the lake unless you count my Dad's smart phone. I am okay with that, but Chris could not access his work account on Dad's phone. So, Panera to the rescue! Thankfully, Chris and I usually end up at Panera for date night anyway because the kids do not like Panera, we love Panera, and Panera is typically quiet. We can not beat good food in a quiet spot. I read my spam, aka email, too, while Chris worked.
Also, forgot to mention, we got our oil changed before we left by Jensen Tire in Papillion. The guy called us after changing the oil saying they did something and had to put a temporary fix on something until they could really fix whatever they broke that would cost US $300 at least. What?! Chris talked to the guy and he said this fix should hold, never mind that they broke something. Anyway, when we were pulling out of the garage from home on day one, I noticed oil in the garage (the oil had been changed 2 weeks ago). Um, not a good thing to see as you are going 6 hours down the road! Jensen Tire, of course, said, ooops. And, our car got repaired while at the lake Tuesday for $350. Let's just say we will NEVER return to Jensen Tire. Well, we will return one more time on Monday to yell at them and maybe get a part of our money back for what they did to our van. Come on. But, I am getting off subject.
Monday, Chris and I water skied. We had not skied in 2 years, and we both got up quickly. Yeah! Chris skied on one and I on 2. Fun times. We also got the tube out. Asher, Alivia, Daddy and I all tubed. I liked it the first day. By the second day, I decided my tubing days are over. I felt my neck crack as I came falling from the sky after going over a wave. I was done. I have had neck problems since high school and do not want to limit my mobility during a few minutes of tubing fun. Asher and Alivia loved it though. Hopefully Chris will be up to going with them until they can go together. Again, Addison enjoyed laughing at them tubing from the boat. :)
During our stay, we ate at Larry's On the Lake for lunch. Great lake view with average food, maybe a 6 out of 10 (we like Paradise better). On the last night, we ate pizza at Papa Chubby's, which is found on the 26 MM of the lake (my parents are on the 25 MM, so really close!). We had pizza. This was not the best pizza, either. The kids LOVED swimming their as they have a little rocky beach. So, it is fun for kids. And, if you are really hungry, you may not notice how bad the food is. :) We don't really care about the food because we are at the lake! Who cares about anything, right?!
Alivia: Swimming, jet ski rides, swimming, candy store, sleeping (which our kids did little of), bubble baths playing with grandma's bath toys, the candy store, tubing and eating at Papa Chubby's.
Addison: Swimming, taking baths, playing with Kota, eating snacks, boat rides
Asher: Going down the slide all by himself, swimming, boat rides, tubing, jet ski rides going fast with Grandpa, canoe rides finding cat fish, snacks, bubble baths, candy and sleeping in Mommy's room.
Chris: Not working most of the time, swimming, boating, jet ski rides, eating out on the lake and the quiet canoe rides.
Me: Swimming, water skiing, jet ski rides, boating, running almost every morning with Chris. One day we saw 4 deer in the morning and 8 in one day! We saw birds, deer, an owl and a turtle on our early morning runs. It was amazing, beautiful and nice to run with Chris. I never run with anyone...so that was nice. I loved the time together as a family making memories, but I could do without the lack of sleep from the kids. Lessons learned, put them to bed in separate rooms and move them to the same room once asleep. Worked wonderful!
My parents are so generous to allow us to take over their home for a week, help us with the kids, take us to new places to eat, and really show us a great time. We can not thank them enough. Thank you Grandma and Grandpa!!