My hubby has worked 8 busy seasons now, and we are all grateful to have them behind us. Each year, LA takes off work the business day after tax day to spend entirely with us. We are so blessed to have him with us for an entire day, and God has been kind to allow us special memories celebrating His provision for us.
This year, the weather was unusually warm but gorgeous for our After Busy Season Family Day. We started the day off as we do for many occasions, eating a tasty breakfast at Dunkin Donuts. I'm happy to say that at least one of my children has now moved on from a donut to the breakfast sandwich, signs that they are indeed growing up! ;)
We made a quick stop at home to pack some lunch and beach gear and headed to a lovely, local park in the Gunpowder State Park, Hammerman Beach. Rather than heading straight to the beach, we surprised the kids with a quick stop at Target where we treated the boys to new Lego sets and Bella to a new sun hat, just like mommy's, and snacks. Of course, we had to have our snacks.
More crowded than we've ever seen the beach this time of year, but still sparse enough to enjoy it, we waded in the water, built legos, read and rolled in the sand. I will never understand why my children like to roll in the sand. I cringe every time I see them do it. Ick.
Only half way done with our day but Bella conked out in the car on the way home from the beach. We made another "pit stop" at home for a potty break and more snacks (yes, we eat a lot all day long). Having the extra time to travel to the top of Harford County, we leisurely drove to another state park listening to an audiobook I recently reserved from the library, "Strawberry Girl." We love listening to audiobooks while driving. It's a great way to expose the kids and myself to vast amounts of good literature and to keep them quiet while on the road. ;)
Apart from the stinky dog poop, the hike to Kilgore Falls, a.k.a Falling Branch, was delightful. Weather was great. Trail was a blend of straight paths, some parts with roots sticking out, and a few rocky climbs. When I reached the falls, I couldn't help but to stop and take it all in: the cool spray of the falls, the steady flow of the water over rocks' edge, the spattering of folks sun bathing or playing fetch with their dogs, the varying textures of God's creation-rocks,trees,ferns and water. It was breathtaking.
I thoroughly enjoy being on a trail somewhere. It clears my mind and makes me feel the nearness of God. I love taking it all in. It is a simple pleasure for me and one I'm grateful my family enjoys, too.
After our hike, we headed to a local restaurant for dinner. That was a rather irritating experience, truthfully, so I won't mention the restaurant here. However, I will say that most of the irritation stemmed from trying to use a restaurant.com coupon. There were too many guidelines on using the coupon, and by the time all was said and done, it not only wasn't much of a deal, it was for food that was lackluster at best. To think that we spent $20 for a ramekin of crab dip which was really just spiced up cream cheese, and a small glass of wine that I chugged due to eating dinner with children (note to self--I will never order alcohol while out to dinner with my children again. I simply could not enjoy it.), rather spoiled the entire experience.
Nevertheless, good ol' Wegmans came to the rescue. We do love our local Wegmans and learned among all the other favorite treats of ours, they also sell soft serve icecream! Did you know that?
LA had his standard vanilla milkshake and the kids had a twist on a cone. I was too full at this point and surprisingly opted out of dessert.
After a long, delightful day we headed home for bath/showers and bed. We were all happily tired and fell into bed early, except for me who waited forever for our computer to upload the pictures from the day, all of which you can enjoy by clicking on the following picture.