Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Weekend with the Girls

Katie, Anna Grace, Abby, and I just returned from a night away in the mountains of Georgia. My parents rented a condo for a week in the little town of Helen, GA. Helen is set up like an alpine village so is very interesting to walk through. The original plan had been for the whole family to go but soccer schedules got in the way. So it turned into a girls weekend only. Grandpa said that was okay. He would enjoy his harem!

We arrived on Saturday and immediately headed out to go tubing in the Chattahoochee River (tubin' the Hooch). I have no pictures from this event as we were, well, in the water. I didn't think my camera would appreciate time in the water. I did take a photo today of other people in the water so you could see what we did.

We chose our tubes and boarded the bus to take us to the drop off point. Basically, you are dropped off and float back to the start point. With the drought in Georgia, the river was low which made it a bit challenging in spots. Nonetheless, we got in our tubes and headed downstream. We tethered the little girls tubes to mine and Katie's so they could not float away. This was a great thing except that at times, they were going one direction while we were going another. Made it easier to get stuck! With the water level low, it was challenging to avoid the rocks. All of us spent much time climbing out of the tube to get unstuck from the rocks or tree limbs.

At one point, Katie climbed out of her tube to get unstuck from an area. She also lost her shoe at the same time. Well, technically it was my shoe which I had said to not lose as I needed to wear them today! So while she is trying to fix her shoe, she let go of the tube thinking it would stay put. After all, she and Anna Grace were stuck. Next thing we know, Anna Grace is floating downstream by herself giggling the whole time. Katie stood there in the river a bit dumbfounded as to how this happened. She also dropped the shoe which started to float away as well. So she tries to catch the shoe and tube but misses both. The rocks on the bottom of the river are slippery so she is making very little progress toward fixing her problem.

In the meantime, AG got hung up again so we thought we would have time to grab her. Anna Grace saw my shoe floating past and grabbed it. Yeah for AG! We have the shoe but no Anna. Abby and I are paddling like mad to get caught up to Anna Grace but to no avail. AG broke loose again and kept floating further away. Katie was struggling to walk on the rocks to catch up. Abby and I came up behind her and literally knocked her into Abby's tube. I couldn't avoid it! But at least she could make more progress riding with us.

We looked ahead and realized we were heading for a small drop off. Well, if we were heading there so was AG and she would get there first. Yikes! Luckily, a father was in that same area with his son and asked if he should stop her. Yes! So he grabbed ahold of her tube so she could not float away. He held her there until Katie arrived. Whew. I'm sure Anna Grace would have been okay because the river goes through spells where it's pretty quiet. But it still made me nervous! Anna Grace loved it though. She would wave at us, laugh, and continue floating away.

Anna Grace begged me later to untie her tube from mine. "I promise I won't float away Mommy!" Uh, I don't think so! We compromised and let her hang off the edge of the tube so she could drag her hands through the water. It bothered Katie to let her do that so she and I traded girls.

I think we all had fun tubing but it was hard at times to avoid obstacles. My parents were stuck more often than us and had a harder time breaking free. They were both worn out last night! Mom also jammed her finger at one point when she flipped out accidentally. It was still pretty swollen today. Hopefully it heals quickly.

Amazingly enough, a huge group of drunk college kids were there the same time we were. :-) But they were harmless. In fact, when Katie and I floated by with the little ones, I heard them say amongst each other, "Wow. We've messed up those little kids experience and turned it into an R rated trip." But they really didn't. There was nothing the little ones saw that would have changed their trip. But it made Katie and I chuckle to watch them.

(Katie and I did say that this would be a fun place to come with a bunch of friends. The little ones said they want Catlan to come next time!)

After this, we headed back to the condo for a quick swim before dinner. Grandpa took advantage of the quiet and had a quick nap. Grandma took time to soak in the hot tub before coming to the pool. We swam, went back to change, and enjoyed tacos for dinner. We put the girls to bed in the loft area but, believe it or not, they wouldn't go to sleep. I know, you are shocked! I finally went upstairs around 9:45 so they would settle down. I thought we had a good night since they went to sleep and stayed in bed until 7am.

But at 7, they were up and quietly reading stories to each other. Katie didn't think they were very quiet and said she would pay them to be quiet. Neither one fell for that trick. So Katie resorted to this:

Yes, she is in that bed. She put the pillow and covers over her head to block the noise. I would have smothered under all that! I took the girls downstairs around 7:30 to eat; Katie followed about 45 minutes later not looking too pleased to be awake.

The plan for the morning was to hit the playground, go miniature golfing, and walk around Helen a bit. So, we went down for a quick time at the playground. The girls played on the swings, climbed, and had fun. Katie really did have fun playing with them but didn't want to cooperate for a picture.

After this, we loaded into Grandpa's car and headed for mini golf. We let the girls ride in the backseat of his car with no car seat. I know, not a great idea but we were only going 35 mph for a mile or so. So we took the chance. The girls loved it! After our short drive, we arrived at Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf.

The girls like to play golf although all they really do is whack the ball to death. Then they carry the ball closer to the hole and push it in. They've only played mini golf a few times now. Once with Grandpa when we were in VA, once at Gulf Shores in April, and today. It's a trip to watch them!

Both would listen when Grandma, Katie, or I would tell Grandpa our score. Typically the answer was "3" or something like this. Well, they would pipe up with "Grandpa, I got a 55!".

As part of our charge for the golf, we got free ice cream at the end. Yes, it was 11am and we had not eaten lunch yet, but oh well! Oh, and see how cooperative Katie was yet again for pictures!

Check out our cute pirates!

Here is Grandpa with his number one granddaughter-

And a picture of my parents-----

We left golf and walked around Helen for a little bit. Katie picked up a couple of souvenirs for her friends. We also bought homemade fudge and chocolate covered pretzels. Yummy! We got the girls gummy bears to eat in hopes they would be quiet on the drive home. (note: it worked!)

After a quick lunch at the condo, we got back on the road home. A good time was had by all. I am glad we made the trip up even if it was for a quick visit. I know my parents enjoyed seeing the girls but will enjoy the peace and quiet now that we're gone! Katie is now at powderpuff football practice, Alex is preparing to mow someone's yard, I am doing laundry, and Dave is getting ready to grill steak for dinner. In other words, life is back to normal!

(PS: A HUGE thanks to Katie for coming along and being my wing-man. She had fun visiting, golfing, and tubing. Having a chance to visit grandparents is always fun. But a weekend alone with the girls can get to be rather stressful---believe it or not!)


Michelle said...

That sounds like a wonderful trip, Kristin!! The tubing must have been fun! AG is very brave, I think my 2 would have flipped if they were floating away from me like that.

That was nice of Katie to go along..Chels goes with me lots of places that she would probably rather not go and is always such a help to me!

Julie said...

Love the north GA mountains! Wish we had been there too!


Ashley and Mike said...

I love the pictures, but the one with Katie and your mom eating ice cream is my favorite. katie's face is hilarious----can I just tell you how many pictures I have with that same expression!!!!

We need to get together soon!!!!

Denise said...

The girls look adorable with their pirate hats!

I think I would be a bit freaked out to take my troup tubing. You win the Mom of the Year Award!