Tuesday 01 August 2006

Misery: Day Three

Today was boating day. Mom had reserved a pontoon boat from 9 to 5. We decided before we left that 8 hours would be enough for everyone to be tired of the boat. Along with the boat we got a fabric covered inner tube rigged for towing with some hand holds. We spent most of the time on the boat towing the inner tube float.

For the first run, we tried having just Dawson on the float, but he was too light and the front end would dig in to the water and swamp him (not that he would let go, even to avoid drowning under a wall of water). After that we put on two kids at a time. That worked out much better because of a better weight distribution and because the kids had turns more often. The kids thought this activity was intensely fun and were eager for more until near the end of the day when every one was getting very tired. Gwyneth was so eager that even after she barely made it back to boat with a life jacket she wanted another run (I had to downcheck her to avoid arguments about who drowned who).

We took a break for lunch because Dad got a very bad case of heat stroke from the sun, the extertion of being on the float, and chugging too much water when he got back on the boat. I stayed back at the house with Alice (who had tired of the boat) while the rest of the crew headed back out. Even Charles, who had basically just sat in the boat the entire morning, wanted some more boat time.

The remaining crew (including all the moms) tubed for a while but came back to the house around 3 for fishing and swimming (the kids wanted to swim out in the more open water). They fished off one side and swam off the other. Charles was eager to fish but the older kids found the swimming sufficiently refreshing that they decided to go out again for a last round of tubing after only a short break. Charles was crushed and in near tears went back to the house to mope. Alice, however, came back out on the boat and hung with us until the end. Even I went back out for another turn on the tube. After a bit of that it was time to take the boat back in.

To end the day, we towed Ashlyn and Corwin back to the house on the float. Then we dropped off everyone and everything from the boat except the crew for the final run. For that, Uncle Craig and I towed Cousin Ashlyn and Dawson all the way back to the marina on the float. They thought it was a wonderful trip.

Dawson was the champion rider of the day, having not fallen off all day (the only one of the kids to make that claim and the only one who rode more than once to not fall). Aunt Linda got the best air. She fell off, but only after her float bounced 1-2 feet in the air and then came down, bouncing Aunt Linda right off the float like a trampoline. She was literally flying in the air while the float zoomed out from under her. Radically cool to watch, perhaps not so fun to experience. Still, the kids thought it was an excellent experience.

I think the timing worked out well, as the children were almost tired of riding the tube. The kids were mostly tired enough that we were able to put the children to bed early. I think a 6 hour expedition might be a bit better, though.

While Uncle Craig and I were taking the boat back, everyone else was getting cleaned up. Corwin was the first to try the jacuzzi1. He freaked out because the door was open and someone out on the lake could have looked in through the trees, across the upper deck, in the master bedroom window, and through the bathroom door to see the top half of a naked Corwin. This from the boy who has to be reminded to close the door when he’s using the toilet.

Charles tried going out and casting his fishing rod again and had another meltdown because it wouldn’t work for him. At least this time I was able to teach him well enough that he got in a few good casts before it was time for supper. So at least for one brief moment all was right in Charles’ world.

We went out to a local restaurant that has a Tuesday special on chicken wings. We sat outside and the heat had broken enough that it was pleasant (much better than a 30 minute wait for an inside table — seating for 15 can be a bit challenging). It was a nice dinner. There was even a small clear area next to our table where Alice performed her “Dance of the Two Napkins” for us. Although we teased the waitress, she brought out gummi worms for the kids as an after dinner treat, making it all worthwhile for them.

1 Alice had wanted to try it until she heard me turn on the water, at which pointed she started yelling at me to turn it off. I ended up dragging her in to the shower to get her clean. Alice did not like that at all, but it beat having her hysterical the entire time the jacuzzi was filling up.

Posted by Dad about Family at 21:39 | Ping URL
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