Vacation – 4th of July road trip

July 9, 2013

Early last week Mark mentioned that he was taking Friday off and wanted to figure out what we wanted to do for the 4th of July. Did we want to hang out home and see fireworks downtown or did we want to maybe go on a road trip. Somewhere in Texas or maybe visit his friends in Louisiana. I thought about it briefly and jumped at the chance for a mini vacation. So we scrambled at the last minute to throw together a quick trip. We called our friends in Louisiana and found out that they were moving the weekend of the fourth, but they changed their plans at least for a day and said that they could meet us at their property out in Mount Hermon. Their property out there is 100+ acres of pretty much undeveloped land, that they use as a campsite. They are working on a small building that will eventually be a cabin of sorts, they have 2 campers, some tables and a inflatable pool. I’ve never explored the south so I was eager to see some of it. We loaded up the kids and made the 8 1/2 hour (10 with stops) trek from Austin, Tx to Mount Hermon, La. We arrived just after midnight and tucked the kids in and quickly passed out.

When I heard campsite, what I pictured in my head was a far cry from the adorably quaint campsite that we pulled up to. Pergolas were strung with white lights, and the inflatable pool was huge and had an entry platform. It looked like it was going to be a lot of fun.

Our friends (Byron and Ladawn) had sort of adopted a stray cat, meaning they left it food when they were there, bought it a bed and some toys and in return it was suppose to hunt rats. It recently had kittens, which was the first thing the kids found in the morning.

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Lincoln LOVED the kitties, every chance he could get his little hands on it he was carrying it about. Right side up, upside down, neither he or the cat cared.

( I should probably warn you now, that our 4th of July was incredibly fun and packed full of adventures… I tried my best to edit photos, but um…yeah… there is alot.)

After torturing the cats the guys took the kids out on the 4 wheelers while we waited for breakfast.

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The kids were instantly hooked and wanted to ride the 4 wheelers every chance they got.

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Ladawn, the cats and I waited for them to return so that we could head down the road to Ladawn’s cousin’s house. At one point Ladawn’s family owned most of the property on the road, so she knows just about everyone that lives there. Her cousin had a small farm just down the road from their property and he was nice enough to cook us breakfast (and dinner) and let us play on his property that had horses!

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Yes that is the face that Lincoln made when he first saw the horse headed his way. He eager yelled “yee haw!!” over and over (which is what he calls horses). Lincoln talked more on this trip then I’ve ever heard, and he learned quite a few new words.

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Lincoln loved the horses and climbed up to watch them eat their breakfast.

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Fiona got to actually ride the horse! She was so excited, and didn’t stop smiling the entire time (I doubt she stopped smiling for most of the day).

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After the horse we helped pick some of the fruits and veggies that were ready. Fiona helped pull cucumbers from the vine and happily threw rotten tomatoes. Dwayne (Ladawn’s cousin) cut up a watermelon fresh from the field and the kids dug in.

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It was a delicious watermelon!

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After their snack the kids were off again exploring everything they could find, including farm equipment. Who knew a tractor could be so exciting? The kids loved it!

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Then Ladawn’s uncle took us on a horse and buggy ride. An honest to goodness buggy. Although a modern buggy with things like inflated tired and comfy seats, but still. It was so much fun. Except for the part where I didn’t realize how long it was going to be and I forgot snacks, Lincoln acted like it was the end of the world. Total mom fail. We tried our hardest to keep him distracted by pointing out all the horses, cows and dogs ( Yee-haws, moos, and doggies!).

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The kids and I got dropped off at the campsite at the end of the buggy ride so that I could feed them and put Lincoln down for his nap (yes we did all that before lunch!). I handed the camera off to Mark occasionally so that I could be part of the vacation too. Look snuggling with mama on the buggy.

Lincoln and I spent a few hours napping  while Mark, Fiona and Byron headed off to explore on the 4 wheelers. After an adventurous ride Fiona needed to cool off in the pool.

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It looked like a lot of fun, so I woke Lincoln up and we joined her. Mark was nervous about them being in the pool on their own, so I hopped in (not that I minded at all!) too.

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I handed over my camera and got down to some serious relaxing on the float. However it looked like so much fun that I got kicked off so that the kids could have turns too.

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Once the kids were done swimming we headed back  to Dwayne’s for a 4th of July BBQ. After some fabulous food (including home made pickles from cucumbers grown there) we went on a walk and found Allisa and her cousin fishing in the pond.

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Of course Fiona wanted to try it too!

Then we headed off on a walk around the pond.

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Seriously, how beautiful is this view?

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These are the rest of Dwayn’s horses. They were curious about Lincoln and came within about 10 feet, and as soon as Lincoln turned and saw them he got excited and tried to run over to see them. They were suddenly a whole lot less curious and left. They probably didn’t realize how loud he was from far away.

Then there might have been more 4 wheeling while we were waiting for it to get dark enough for fireworks.

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Lincoln and I had missed most of the fun during nap time, so we took over one of the 4 wheelers while Fiona joined Allisa (Dwayne’s unbelievably sweet daughter) on the other.

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Fiona followed Allisa around like a shadow, and thought she was great (Fiona was right).

Finally it was dark enough and we headed back to the campsite to play with fireworks.

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But first Lincoln had to find the cat…

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The kids got to play with sparklers.

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The joy on his face pretty much sums it up. Can life get any better then a cookie and a sparkler?

After fireworks the kids got to try roasted marshmallows for the first time (Fiona was not a fan, Lincoln was a huge one!), and I even offered to let Fiona have a smore. She was not interested at all. She felt that cooking the marshmallow completely ruined it. Sometimes I wonder how she is my kid.

I think this might have been one of the best fourth of July’s ever. The kids had so much fun, and the adults got to have a great time too. Thanks so much Byron and Ladawn (and their family) for including us in their festivities and letting us explore the country. It won’t be a day my kids forget anytime soon!

And this was only day 1 of our mini vacation 🙂 So many more adventures to be had.

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