This was Seth's statement the day after we got back from Hot Springs. Yes Seth, vacation is all gone. And we are all a bit sad.
We had a glorious time with three of my best friends from college and their families. We have all been friends for 10 years or more. A week of staying in a beautiful lake house, zero responsibilities besides our kids and occasionally cleaning the kitchen, relaxing, laughing and enjoying community style living for a week with such sweet friends. I get the feeling that this is a little glimpse of what we will live like in heaven. I hope I get to share my mansion with dear friends!
Dave, Jackson and Sarah Parsons; Josh, Amy and Silas Bottomly; Tim and Cindy Crowder; Seth, Courtney, Steve and Caleb Horvath
Two of my girlfriends, Amy and Sarah, have both done a great job of recapping the week on their blogs.
Unfortunately, we forgot to take a picture of the outside of the house while we were there. This is a picture that the owner had sent to me, but it was taken in the dead of winter. A bit different than what we saw...it was so green and lush, as you will see in the pictures of the backyard taken by my husband a little later in this post.
The house was pretty amazing. We got a great deal on it...it worked out to be about $40 per family for each night. And it was beautiful! Steve and I arrived first, and when we walked in I felt like running to all the bedrooms and jumping on the beds. I then promptly called all the girls to tell them how amazing it was and find out how long it would be until they arrived. The cell reception was sketchy up there, and there was "gasp" no internet service. I am pretty sure we all expected there to be, because all of us brought our lap tops. After the initial shock wore off that we would not be able to check our email, news, sports or favorite blog sites for a week, I think we all enjoyed the break from being overly-connected to our world for 7 days.
The Kitchen and gathering place for many rounds of chips and salsa, chips and dip, chips and guacamole....and on and on.
The Living Room, A.K.A. Relaxation Central:
Seriously, if you have a group of 8 adults + kiddos, this is an amazing house. There was seating on leather couches and chairs for at least 10 adults in this room.
The beautiful view from the back deck:
Our room opened out onto the deck, and this is what we got to wake up to in the mornings:
And if you walked down the steps to the lake, you could see this:
Don't let all those noodles laying there fool you...there was not a lot of swimming in the lake. The first morning, the guys were down by the lake fishing and there was a multiple snake sighting. One actually slithered part of the way up those stone steps, and that pretty much sealed the deal that people weren't going to be lounging in the water. Cindy, however, did make a lounge chair out of noodles and braved the water one afternoon for about 30 minutes. She hath no fear.
So instead of swimming in the lake, we found other pools to cool off in. I love this picture, because all the kids are just doing their own thing.
Aunt Cindy (not Sandy, Cindy...) and Uncle Tim brought the kids a cool shark pool to frolic in. Fun times were had by all, including Slias T:
We also frequented the Hot Springs Village community pool. It had a kiddie pool that was fenced in off to the side. Brothers, playing side by side without incident...for about 3 minutes:
This was obviously Seth's first experience with a toy water gun.
The strong, silent man doing his thing:
Uncle Tim giving Seth a ride around the pool:
Dave's idea of catching some rays:
During the week, some of the guys played golf, some hiked, some fished off the dock. We watched movies and ate yummy dinners together around a big table.
But mostly, we just spent time together enjoying each other's company and playing with the kids.
Seth, 4 years and discovering the beauty of Daddy's IPod
Caleb, 23 months and gazing longingly out the window at the big, wide world. More about his love for the outdoors later....
Silas T, 18 months, and getting his cheese on for the camera while he snuggles with his Mommy
Jackson, 8 months and one of the smiliest kids we have ever met!
I have more, but I must pause and post. To be continued....for those of you who haven't heard, stay tuned for details of "Caleb's Great Escape." Yes, it is as bad as it sounds.