This was all planned before our trip to Arizona was put on the calendar. And, as it all worked out, it put us returning from one trip on a Tuesday afternoon and leaving for another on the following Friday morning. Maybe not our best choice.
There were a couple of other things we didn't take into account either. The first was that Traig would fall so in love with his time at Harlow that he would not have a desire to take a week off to spend with us. It was a tough call for Michele as she got his texts regarding this trip and another family beach trip that he was wishing to forgo so he would be able to continue his time and ministry serving at Harlow. Part of her was so very proud of her son and his commitment to give of himself, the other part was frustrated that it set us up for an awkward, already paid for time of a Mother-Son get-away without one of the sons.
Which leads to the other issue. As a family, we'd hit that point where we really didn't need to escape again with just us four. MUCH LESS, I did not need four days entertaining just Brayden. Dear Lord, how I love that kid, but he really is a "lab puppy" these days - sweet and adorable and fun to play with, but a whole lot of work.
So, we made some adjustments. The first was to invite a friend for Brayden to have with him. And, thank God he said, "Yes". Okay - one problem solved - the role of Traig would be played by one of Brayden's BFF's, Solomon Faulkner.
The second was to make a very last minute plea to the White family. Once we found out they didn't have plans for the long weekend either, we thought, "why not?!" - The small house had a capacity of 6, so it would be fine to add them in. They also said yes. What a deal!!
So, here you go....a very fun way to spend the FOURTH OF JULY! =)
Thumbs up on the hot tub - it was usable throughout our whole trip. =)
A nice back deck.
Small, but cozy. No air conditioning though, so it got plenty warm in the afternoons with the temps in the 90's outside.
This was my view Saturday morning - there's just nothing like the smell here - the feel - so glorious.
And, even better with this view.
It didn't take long for me to get some company. The hot tub was running cool, so Steph let Whitley come in and join us.
The big attraction in Sunriver these days is the SHARC. Fortunately, we picked well in our rental house by choosing one that offered free unlimited use passes. This is a very good thing as the day use cost is $25 per person! Sheesh! I think the homeowners are doing their best to recoup the cost of construction of this place as fast as possible.
We arrived right when it opened at 10am, hoping to avoid the crowds. We did get there in time to secure some lounge chairs, but the place filled up in a hurry.
Brayden and Mikayla hurried off to the waterslides like best friends. It warms my heart...
I didn't get any pics of Whitley - but she had a blast. She probably would have been content to stay all day there...
On Sunday, we dropped the girls off at Harlow for their Middle School Camp. They had been hoping and stressing for some time that they would be matched up with "Abby" - aka "Alley Cat" (dressed in the camo shirt) as their counselor. Clearly, the got their wish. They also got put with two other excellent counselors as well - "Bobo" - in the staff t-shirt next to Mikayla and "Scooby" in the center next to Ellie (fitting as she was Ellie's fave).
These days, it's easy to let them go - knowing how much they love this place.
These two pics were sent to me on Monday by Leah - I love getting little text updates and pics from my "informants" who work there!
And, then, a few more pics on Tuesday when Elaina stopped by to see Leah and got a bonus of Mikayla too. I'm jealous as I haven't seen Elaina in forever and miss her smiling face and encouraging heart.
Back to Sunriver with these two on Sunday evening. I just can't tell you enough how impressed we are with Solomon - what a stand-up guy he is. We spent half the drive over the mountains just asking him questions and sharing testimonies. So cool.
Then, we tried to leave him alone so Brayden wouldn't feel like we were monopolizing his buddy. Especially when we went to the SHARC.
We had brought our bikes over - and gosh, I had grand ambitions of using them every day. However, with the temps so high, we really couldn't use them but in the late evenings or early mornings - and let's face it - a hot tub trumps a bike ride on most days of the week!
We did get a chance to ride on Monday night - at least to the store.
Then, this happened on Tuesday. I got Mikayla's bug. At first, I blamed it on the poor choice of ice cream the night before, but as the morning wore on, it quickly became apparent that this was beyond lactose intolerance. It followed Mikayla's symptoms like clockwork for me - some throwing up, mostly because it feels like everything you've eaten has just expanded all the way up to your throat. The worst though, the lethargy. I mean, absolutely sucked of energy. So, you try to sleep it away all day long. I was so glad for the timing as the boys had kind of outdone themselves in the sun at the pool the day before and everyone was content to just lay low.
By about 5pm, I started to rebound. It's a very contagious bug, and hard/fast hitting, but it is quite short-lived.
I was able to step outside for a bit and catch the gorgeous sight of the thunderstorm-laden sunset.
By Wednesday morning, I was almost at 100%. Good news for Ellie - as she was the next victim of this stomach bug. The poor thing - Michele got a call at about 7am from the Camp Harlow nurse notifying us that Ellie had been up since 3:45am with these same symptoms. Oh yuck - reminiscent of Mikayla's bug at the Snow Retreat - what's up with our kids having to leave these fun church events early?
Fortunately, my mom came to the rescue and was able to take care of her until that evening when Michael came down to pick her up. Michele felt so horrible for her little girl all day long - and rather helpless when we were 2 plus hours away. What a blessing that Mom was able to take care of her. and alleviate her guilt.
With the day kind of wasted on Tuesday, we definitely felt the need to get out of dodge on Wednesday. First stop, "Pilot Butte Drive In".
And up to the top of the adjacent "Pilot Butte".
Then, off to the Mill District to browse around the shops.
And, we discovered some fun rental bikes - worth the cost to keep the boys out of our hair for a bit! =)
While the boys biked, Michele and I stopped in the nicely air conditioned Red Robin for some Diet Cokes and R&R.
We were so tempted by this scene, we very nearly replicated it ourselves on Thursday on our way home. But, it seemed like a little too much work to make happen with all of the drop offs and shuttles.
Finally, on the way back to the rental, we drove right by this beauty. I'd felt like I'd been jipped of my wildlife viewing on this trip, so this was gratifying to see right before we had to return to Eugene.
It was certainly a restful time in Sunriver - but, perhaps in hindsight, it could have been even better placed during a less hectic time. =)