Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Cold, but Nice Day at French Creek!

No hurry to get up for it was only 43 degrees.  Half of our group ate outside, but Martins and us decided to eat indoors.  So hard to keep the food warm when it is so chilly!

After breakfast we all decided to take the long walk down to the Hopewell Lake.  Quite a hike from the CG with numerous hills.  But, part way to the Lake we discovered a trail through the woods that would take us to the dam breast at the lake and be very close to Hopewell Furnace Historic Site.  It was a great trail and the steepness was less severe than walking on the road.  We did end up at Hopewell Furnace and then took a different trail back to the CG.  It was about a 4 mile hike and was enjoyed by all.

Nice walk through the woods!

Hopewell Lake!

The trail was alittle wet from all the heavy rain on
Friday evening!

The old dam breast!

We decided to build a campfire and enjoy some hot dogs for lunch.  A fire was a good idea, since it still was rather chilly and what is better than roasting hot dogs over a fire!!!!!

The group spent the afternoon playing 3 games of Kubb, but Ken and I left to attend the Birthday Party of our 2 year old granddaughter, Katelyn.  Fortunately, it was only a 20 minute drive to their house.  So good to spend time with all of our children, son-in-laws, and granddaughters! 

Our daughter, Lanie, and our youngest
granddaughter, Katelyn!

Mommy, Katelyn, and Samantha!

Our 4 granddaughters enjoying pizza at Katelyn's 2 year old
birthday party!

Candle blowing time on the Minnie Mouse theme cake!

Our own little Minnie Mouse!!!!

We were back to the CG by 7:45.  The group had just finished eating so it was time for "snakes".  We had a wonderful campfire and enjoyed just chatting and sharing.  It was cold, but the wind had stopped and the fire kept us warm.  Called it a day around 11:00.

Snake making time!  Snakes seem to be a hit over
the famous s'mores!

It was a cold night so occasionally we had to warm
our posteriors!!!
We were up a little late on Sunday to a very cold morning - only 32 degrees.  But, 6 of us ate breakfast outside!  After some cleaning and a little packing the 8 of us got together to play a game of Kubb and a game of Bocce.  Ken and I had learned some new rules for Bocce so we gave them a try.  We all decided it was a more challenging and probably more fair way to play the game.  Lots of fun.  Ken and I left the CG at 3:45, but had a slight delay at the dumping station.  Only 1 of the 4 areas were functioning, so we had to wait our turn.  Arrived home around 4 and the marathon of unloading and putting everything away began.  By 6 we were at our small group Bible Study.  Needless to say, we were tired when we got back home at 8:30, but what a great time we had!!!

We needed lots of layers and our hoods to be warm while
playing Kubb!

Same clothes required when playing Bocce on the Host
Site that was all lightly cindered.  A perfect Bocce Court!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday at French Creek

Ken and I only got up around 7:45 and it was raining lightly!  We also turned on TV to the news that the one "bomber" at the Boston Marathon had been killed and his brother was on the run!  The Boston area was on "lock down".  Just an unreal situation. 

The 6 of us decided to eat breakfast in our own rigs and see what would happen with the weather.  By 10:30 Kreiders arrived and the rain had stopped.  So, Ken, Kathy, Sam and I went for a short walk while they got set-up.  Sam and Kathy left the CG around 11:30 for a luncheon in the Reading area.  They planned to return by mid to late afternoon.  So, the 6 of us took a drive to Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site that is only a few miles from French Creek State Park.  What a great place to visit and it is Free!  By then it was about 72 degrees with a few periods of sunshine, so it was a very enjoyable afternoon.  We learned quite a bit about the iron industry during the 1800's and the community that was started so the industry could be successful!  It is only a "stone's throw" from Hopewell Lake that runs through the State Park.

The buildings and ironmaster's home at Hopewell Furnace! 

An anthracite furnace that didn't work very well.  Thought
it would be better than using charcoal.

The huge waterwheel's water power was
 used to blow air into the furnace!

Hopewell Lake in French Creek State Park adjacent
to Hopewell Furnace!

Happy Hour has begun!

Back to the CG to enjoy Happy Hour around the campfire.  Sam and Kathy were back to enjoy our time together.  Ken and I had to leave at 5:15 to head to Ephrata (about an hour away) to attend the dance recital for our 2 granddaughters, Bria and Cali.  They did such a good job - Bria with her tap and ballet and Cali doing her tap routine.  Lots of different "acts" so we only got back to the CG at 10:15.  Lanie was there with Sam too!  It was pouring when we returned, so we went inside Willie and stayed there!

Sam enjoyed watching her cousins dance!

Bria is in the middle for her tap dance!

She does so well and takes it very seriously!

The perfect outfit for Cali and her tap dance!

Bria had the lead in her ballet performance group!

By the Grand Finale, Cali was ready to call
it a night!  This outfit really was adorable!

Hopefully the weather will get alittle better for tomorrow.  We will go to Lanie's around 4 for the 2 year birthday party for our youngest granddaughter, Katelyn.  Fortunately they live only 20 minutes from the CG.

First Full Camping Day Since Florida

Today was a rather lazy day, or as I like to refer to it, a relaxing one!  A rather dreary day with some light showers in the morning, so no one was in a hurry to get up.  Fred and Doloris came over to chat and visit before any of us had breakfast.  By the time we each made our breakfast, it was almost time for lunch.  We met in their new rig, Wildcat, and played 2 games of cards - the women won both. 

Sam and Kathy arrived around 2:30.  We enjoyed visiting in the "warm" Wildcat and then when we were all yawning and getting tired, we decided we needed to get outside and take a walk.  Still very dreary and damp, but not too cold - around 57.  That "perked" us up.  But, by the time we returned to our campsites, it was supper time.  So the men started the campfire while the ladies did some prep work for the meal. 

We had a delicious dinner cooked over one of the best campfires the men have ever made.  It was nice to be able to eat outside with our camping friends.  We only finished eating around 8:15 and then spent the rest of the evening sitting around the huge, warm fire.  S'mores were a must with such a bed of red hot coals.  Called it a day at 10:45.  Feels so good to back camping again!

Let the summer camping session begin!!!!!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What a Great Day!

The sun came out around 1:00 and what a beautiful, warm day!  Ken and I headed to the lake and inflated our kayak.  Lanie arrived with Samantha and Katelyn and I stayed on shore and entertained Katelyn while the 3 of them paddled on the lake.  Sam was excited for a "boat" ride!  Then we all had fun on the playground.  Back to Willie at 5:15 to start dinner!

Time for a kayak ride!

Sam took a ride with her mommy and PaPa!  She even
tried to paddle!

Grandma and Katelyn waited on shore!
Katelyn does a great job hanging from the monkey bars!
Sam could hang by herself while we counted to 20!

Sam wanted to put her feet in the "freezing cold water".

Ken started a campfire and we made hot dogs over the fire.  Then it was time for yummy s'mores!  It was so nice to spend an evening with our daughter and her family!  Sam enjoyed playing in the tree near the campfire!  They left around 7:30 - it was soon bedtime for Sam and Katelyn.

Sam wanted to make her own hot dog!

This is the Hickes Family !

Sam loved playing in this tree!  Okay, I may be
prejudiced, but what a cutie!

S'mores are so good, but so messy!!!!

Right before they left, Fred and Doloris pulled into the CG.  What a surprise.  We weren't expecting them till tomorrow.  This is the 1st camping trip in their new rig and they could hardly wait to get here!  There are only 3 more campers in this park tonight, so it is so quiet!  The 4 of us sat by the campfire chatting and enjoying being outside around a campfire again!

We called it a night around 8:30 - they still had some work to do to get set-up and Ken and I were tired.  Looking forward to a fun day tomorrow!

Back to Camping!

We got Willie back from the dealer on Thursday after we finally got the cable on the slide replaced!  They did a good job, but the warranty company wouldn't pay for it.  They claim it wasn't a defective cable, but an alignment problem.  We argued that who knows how or when it got out of alignment, but it did.  So, the slide needed repaired.  They wouldn't budge on their ruling and we were rather frustrated, but life goes on!!!!!

Monday and Tuesday were rather hectic this week getting ready to leave for our 1st camping trip of the season.  Since it was rather cold when we got back from Florida, we took everything out of Willie and winterized.  So, everything had to go back in!!!  Really takes some time and thinking to make certain you have everything you need. 

Also, on Monday evening my sister, her husband, Ken and I took my parents out for dinner - it was my father's 89th birthday!  What a milestone!  We were happy he was able to go because just 6 days before, he tipped his electric wheel chair and he flew off.  Fortunately no broken bones but lots of brush burns, open places on his face where he scrapped along the macadem, and a hand and arm that are totally purple.  He said nothing really hurt, it was just sore!  What a trooper!

This morning we left our home and headed to French Creek State Park, only about an hour down the road!  It is a lovely area with a small lake for kayaking and some rails to trails nearby for great bike riding.  The 3 other couples we camp with in the summer will be joining us tomorrow for a long weekend.  Tonight our daughter, her husband, and 2 little ones will come here for hot dogs over the fire and then some yummy s'mores!  The 2 and 4 year old are looking forward to a kayak ride, even though the water will be freezing!

Feels so good to be back in Willie and camping again.  Hard to imagine how large and spacious it feels now that we can open the slide!  Makes quite a difference!  Looking to a fun-filled weekend with our friends - lots of games, hiking, bike riding, and of course, eating!

Beautiful day to sit outside and do a post!