Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"Happy Birthday to Us" - #girlscalicamping2014 Day Three

This year, our camping trip happened to overlap our birthday.  Which, quite honestly, is a perfect way to spend a birthday.  The only thing missing was my guys - but, with Brayden's high school camp happening the same week (which is the trend each year), he wouldn't have been around anyway.   

Our camp oven helped us achieve a breakfast very worthy of birthday celebrating...  We had found, at Safeway, Cinnabon's refrigerator rolls - and Cinnabons just happen to be one of my favorite delicacies.  I rarely eat them - just can't justify it - but, hey, calories don't count on your birthday, right?

Just like the normal Pillsbury Rolls, you unroll them, put in pans, but this time, you smother them with the extra cinnamon packet they provide. 

Pop them in our ever-so-faithful oven...

Cover them with the cream cheese frosting...

And, here you go...camping goodness.  I mean, everyday goodness - it tasted just like the real thing, only very fresh and warm. 

We had really put some thought in to how we wanted to spend the day.  Bottom line, happy kids equal happy moms - so we wanted to find something or someplace that would make them very merry.

We had googled activities and swimming locales in the area and came up with "Lake Siskiyou Resort".  It had gotten mixed reviews on TripAdvisor, but it was only about 15 minutes away so we figured it was worth a try.

Sometimes, adventures like this, go south.  (Like the unfortunate decision to drive around the dam last year which was way too windy and sketchy and led to girls throwing up...).  But, sometimes we happen upon a winner - and today that was the case!

 Big 'ol beach, not too crowded, warm, clear water....oh yeah.  This place held promise.

And just enough retro, quaint feel to at all that feels like the kind of place families have been going to for generations.  =)

And, then there's this - the "Splash Zone".  Immediately, the girls declared this was a "go" - and something they wanted to partake in.  The cost wasn't exactly cheap for one hour, but for the 4 hours we ended up paying for, it was quite a deal.  

The girls would take occasional breaks - but, all in all, spent three hours playing on these structures.

 What a cool idea!

The "Splash Zone" hut would announce the time every half hour to let swimmers know when their time was up.  At one point, they came on the intercom to announce the "Linticular Cloud Formation" surrounding Mt. Shasta.  Apparently this sort of ring around the mountain is rather rare.  So, there you go - a special meteorological phenomenon for our birthday too.

This is where we hung out.  We brought our lounge chairs and watched our kids have the time of our lives, as we had the time of our lives reading our Kindles and getting some sunshine.  PERFECT!  Michele thought this would be a perfect time to crack open the "Michelle" Diet Coke we found at Safeway for her....if only they spelled it correctly.

Good times!

It seemed like a fitting place to pose for a picture - this is the restaurant on site.

We checked it out to consider dinner - but eventually went to the store next door for ice cream.  

But, not before getting stopped by the "Talking Tree" -

Which was not to be outdone by the "Talking Bear" in front of the store.  

We gave ourselves some time to consume our ice cream as we drove up the road to "Castle Lake".  It climbed in elevation in a hurry - up to 5100 feet with an amazing view of Shasta.  However, those linticular clouds had moved in and it was very breezy and downright chilly up there - 

An opportunity to pose for pictures and that's about it.  

When we came home, we had some time to kill while the baked beans were cooking and ice cream settling.  So, we bit the bullet and decided to play cards.  This will not come as a shock to those who know me as I'm really not much of a board game or card game enthusiast.  But, as with most things, once I get over my initial attitude, it's a lot of fun.  Especially when I end up kicking butt on the first round of Rummy* that we played.  Hence the unhappy faces....(we turned it in to a practice round and my score didn't even count....and everyone else ended up doing just fine in their skills - I came in fourth place out of five).  ;

The girls ended up loving this game - they have been playing it non-stop since.  =)

We got a little sunlight filtering through the trees - so beautiful - exactly a place I'd want to spend my birthday.

Proof that the girls were loving the card game...

Then, just as the sun was setting and we'd already had dinner - this happened.  I'll let my text to John be the summary of what went down...(I didn't mention the charming Alabama accent on this guy in the text - so when you think of it all, keep that in mind!)  ;)

Seriously, it was like the icing on one of the best cakes I've had in a long time.  Michele and I loved this year's birthday - so many reasons to be not only happy, but ever so thankful!!!

* A special shout-out to our paternal Grandma Alexander that taught us this game (Rummy) when we were little.  Despite the fact that she was legally blind (and worsened each year), we'd play with big numbered cards and enjoy ourselves immensely.  Our relationship with her was definitely strained once we reached middle school as she struggled with the reality of us growing up (and we struggled in response), but prior to that, there were many, many sweet memories of card games, walks to KFC and Fred Meyer, and being given anything and everything we could possibly want from a Grandma...

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