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Our Vacation 2003
Uploaded on August 9, 2003

So, wondering how it was to camp for seven days in the middle of the woods with two boys 5 and under? It was quite interesting. Here's my account and some pics too.

Saturday, July 19, 2003
I woke at 5am and packed the cooler and got ice. I woke the boys up and we hit the road. The drive was fairly uneventful. I brought along my powerbook to act as a DVD player on the ride, it helped out immensely because they were starting to get at each other’s throats.

We got to the site at 4pm, my mother and sisters were already there. I got the tent setup and helped others out before starting a fire and getting the boys fed. The wood was wet so it didn’t light real well but we got it going eventually.

Sunday, July 20, 2003
We woke and got ready for Mass. It was AWESOME. The parish doesn’t have a resident priest and being run just by lay people it’s just amazing how wonderfully Catholic they are. On the way home we drove through the very cute town of Highlands, NC and got some video. The rest of the day was fairly uneventful. We had a baby shower/birthday party for Paul (my son who turned 4 on the 26th), my nephew Patrick, and my sister Marie who’s pregnant with her first.

Monday, July 21, 2003
Things are kinda hazy here. I know I went to the store to get a couple of things. My lantern was broken, I forgot some supplies. That afternoon we went down to the lake and the boys went fishing. Paul with his new fishing pole. Daniel with his and their cousin Maria using mine. (I didn’t bother since the whole time I’d have to help them.) We didn’t catch anything but sure did lose a bobber, two leaders, and a hook to trees and snags in the water. :-/

That evening it started to rain as I was getting dinner ready. We ran under our canopy and my mom ran to her tent. It rained so hard that it hailed. It hailed so bad that it looked like there was snow on the ground. It was amazing. We got the fire stoked up again it wasn’t completely out (amazingly) but I still ended up cooking Daniel’s noodles on my sister’s propane grill.

That night it was dry, my tent didn’t leak at all.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003
The morning started out with a threat of rain but we got a fire going anyway. I was preparing to make some breakfast when the rain started. I grabbed pop tarts and cereal and herded the boys to the van where we ate our breakfast in the car. I decided to not waste time sitting doing nothing so I took orders for ice and I went into town to get ice.

When I got back I found that my sister, Marie, the one pregnant with her first, slipped on the mud and fell down. She was hurting on her side and, with the urgings of my mother, was taken to the hospital in Highlands. Nobody knew how she was. I started gathering stuff because my other sisters had decided we’re going to go to the Laundry Mat to clean clothes and get stuff dry.

Meanwhile Marie and her husband come back, he was needing to leave Tuesday anyway because he had to be back to work and she wanted to stay the rest of the week but the doc in Highlands said the OB in Franklin (next town over; bigger) wanted to see her since she was having contractions. Wes, the husband stayed to pack up and my mother took my sister to the OB clinic.

We all prayed.

We decided before going to the Laundry Mat we would head to some falls that people were swimming at on the road. I guess they were more rapids than falls but we went. We found people jumping off a high cliff into the water. My brother-in-law was about to do it but then it started raining again, we took off at that time. Here’s a picture me and the boys took before leaving:

You see the trees above me. The cliff jump is above that.

I forgot my wallet (again, third time that trip) so I had to go back and get it from the campsite. When I got there it poured rain so bad it was unbelieveable! Everywhere else it was a light sprinkle.

We did laundry and then decided to go to a pizza place in town for “dinner” at 4:30pm. The pizza was some of the best I’ve ever had. The guy said it was all from scratch.

On the way home I called Holly and she heard from my mom about Marie. She finally at 4:30pm was given drugs to stop the contractions that had started to go into active labor @ 2 mins apart. They waited so long because of her serious reactions to many drugs. She started having palpitations so they had to give her other drugs to help with that. The contractions stopped and so she was ushered to a hotel room and told to rest. They were to leave the next day for home.

No more rain that day or the rest of the trip.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003
In the morning my mother went to say good bye to my sister Marie and they had already left for home.

On this day I went with my mother to “Dry Falls” where I didn’t go on Monday when we were fishing. It was pretty cool, you could walk right under them. The boys thought it was quite loud.

Then we went back to the rapids where we got the picture above. My nephew Steven (14) had already jumped off the cliff about 12 times. My brother-in-law Mark did once and so did my nephew Patrick (12). So, I was under a lot of pressure to jump myself.

I swam across the rapids and it was really tough. The water was so cold that it knocked the wind out of my chest and I was hyper ventilating by the time go to the other side. I sat for a while. Then I climbed up the rock using a rope. It was not as tough as I thought it would be. I got up there and rested for a while. Everyone was cheering me on. My mother was filming with the camera. (Online Movie will be forthcoming.)

Finally I jumped and man, it was fun but very scary, I’m afraid of the Ferris wheel at the fair, jumping 30-40 feet is not that easy to do! I decided to jump a second time so I did.

I swam back across and played with the boys in the water. It was a fun day.

Thursday, July 24, 2003
On this day we went to a fish hatchery, it was really cool. Lots of trout, 300,000 to be exact. The boys liked it but Dan was also moaning about being hungry. The boy is perpetually hungry.

We had lunch there in the parking lot and then went to see a 410 foot waterfall called “Whitewater Falls” it was really cool. We couldn’t get close to it lest we risk death so we stayed at the observation points. Below is a picture.

After the trip on the way back to the campsite I called my sister. She was doing better, no new contractions. Doc’s appt. on Friday.

Friday, July 24, 2003
Packed up, headed out. The drive was MUCH longer than I thought it would be. The boys, this time, hammered through more videos because they were just BORED and tired and were really getting on my nerves. We got home at 9pm. I wanted to be home by 7pm Oh well, I was glad I was home.

More on my sister.
Three weeks later she is doing much better. There was a small episode the Friday after she got back but that was small and there's been no problems ever since. We're geared up for a safe and healthy delivery in October!