This past weekend we went away for my favorite fall tradition- some good old fashioned time in the woods at French Creek! For 16 years my family and friends have been coming here over Columbus Day weekend and staying in the cabins. I have so many amazing memories from French Creek, and couldn’t wait to make more! We weren’t able to go the year Kevin was born because he was only 2 weeks old, but we went last year and had a great time. I knew this year would be even more fun and also challenging because he’s mobile now! I was right, but he had a blast!
Our long weekend started on Thursday after work. We packed the car in the morning and left for Pennsylvania as soon as we got off. We couldn’t wait to get away and disconnect from the world (no cell phone service there!).
We got there a little past 9 and our friend D.J. showed up a few minutes later. My dad and sister and some other family and friends were already there in their cabins. Like last year, we shared a cabin with my best friends from home, but only D.J. came on Thursday night. We hung out for a while and then we all went to bed since we were exhausted.
The next morning little Kev was up bright and early at 5:20 a.m. Yeah… vacations aren’t really “vacations” with a toddler! He doesn’t normally wake up that early but he was in an unfamiliar place and had gone to bed late the night before, so his routine was all thrown off. Kevin was full of energy and being loud while D.J. was still sleeping, so we decided to head out to the grocery store to get him out of the house. While we were out we saw a beautiful sunrise- the only perk of having a toddler who wakes up way too early!
Once we got back from the store D.J. had woken up and we all laid around and relaxed. Eventually I went for a run, hoping to do 8-10 miles. But I was soooo unbelievably tired from my rough night of sleep and early wakeup that I was dragging. I decided I didn’t have it in me and stopped after 4 miles. The beautiful scenery helped distract me, but I knew it wasn’t my day for a long run!
After running, showering and nap time for little Kev, we went for a walk with my sister and enjoyed the nice weather before the storms were forecasted to roll in.
We also started a fire and made some s’mores! Because dessert before dinner is always a good idea 🙂 Kevin tried his first s’more and was in love.
He walked around with marshmallow all over his face and asked for more. It was really funny 🙂
Later that evening we had more friends arrive. My sister’s friend Whitney came and my best friend Christy did too! I love having Christy at French Creek because she is the one who has come with me ever since we were in elementary school. It’s pretty amazing to think that we’ve been coming here for almost 20 years! We put little Kev to bed and started the party. (Thank God for Kevin’s sound machine that kept him asleep all night!)
However, when you have a toddler who wakes up in the 5 a.m. hour party time isn’t as much fun! Again, I tried to keep him quiet but in a small cabin with thin walls it was kind of a lost cause. Luckily we have very understanding friends! We ate some breakfast and I was going to take Kevin for a walk but it was raining pretty hard outside. So instead we enjoyed some indoor playtime and waited for the others to wake up. Once they did we lazed around some more (have I mentioned how good it felt to relax???) and my husband practiced his swaddling skills on the adults. He’s the best swaddler ever! It put my friends right to sleep 🙂
Eventually I headed out for another run. I figured since it was raining I wouldn’t feel like doing much and told my husband I’d be back in about 30 minutes. But once I was out there I felt amazing! I went back to the cabin to tell him I wanted to run more since I didn’t bring my phone, and ended up running 10 miles. Woo hoo!
I was starving when I got home and luckily Christy had been making delicious veggie soup in the crockpot and it was just about ready. Our last visitors also arrived around this time- my other best friend Sandy and her husband Brian. I took a quick shower then we all ate. Around the time the rain stopped (yay!) so we all went outside for a walk.
Every year since 2002 Christy and I have carved into our special tree. We went back to add ’14 for this year and the boys decided to carve into their own tree too.
We even saw a turtle in the woods! Kevin was so excited!
After our tree carving we walked over to the trail that goes around the lake. We found “our rock” and took our yearly picture on it. I love traditions like this!
Once we started getting hungry again we headed back to the cabin. The boys started a fire and I laid down for a bit with little Kev. He had already taken a nap but was sleepy from his early wake up call.
After our resting time we went over to my dad’s cabin to visit with him and his girlfriend for a little while, and then started cooking dinner. We had burgers (black bean for me) and hotdogs and fries, veggies and hummus, chips and salsa, etc.- so yummy!
Eventually we put little Kev to bed and the games began again! Apparently they went on for quite a while too, but I didn’t make it that long. I was in bed by 11 🙂
Once again, our little cutie was up at 5 a.m. We started making breakfast for everyone as they slowly woke up, then had to start packing up to leave.
It was an amazing, disconnected, and relaxing weekend that went by way too fast. I can’t wait to see how much Kevin has grown when we come back next year!