We met our family at the college campus Saturday morning. It was dh's oldest sister, her dh, their son Nathan - the graduate, and MIL who flew up for the event. We walked around campus a bit and then had lunch at a buffet there. MIL can no longer walk down stairs in general and the buffet was upstairs so we had to scramble to make a seating area so that she could avoid the stairs. That was a fun arrangement...when having to get food & drinks downstairs for kids. After lunch we walked around some more...it is a lovely place.
We came back to the campground where our crazy kids went swimming in the freezing cold pool. DH and I watched them and I tried to sneak a little sock knitting in. Somewhere between there and our camper, I lost a dpn...a size 3.0 US 3 dpn not your tandard 3.25 US 3. So almost halfway through sock number 2 and I lost a vital tool that can't be found at any of the local craft stores or even LYSs. Grrr!
Dinner was at the Hotel Utica in a meeting room. It was a catered event held in honor of a network of 11 friends, including Nathan. Our kids were fairly well behaved but I was not entirely comfortable there. It seemed liked a lot of the people were monied and we were just plain old camper traveling folks. Kendall, however, was the belle of the ball and she charmed quite a few people with her contagious smile and fancy dress twirling. Ethan kept 'stealing' the fancy graduation toothpicks near the appetizers. He had a stack of 20 of them when I finally caught on and he was quite convinced he was keeping them. Mia felt uncomfortable and after dinner I let her walk around the lobby with Lily.
Sunday was the big day. We arrived on campus an hour early and still had to park very far away. Lily lasted 30 minutes before I had to take her out. Eventually all my kids joined me outside where lots of other children and toddlers were playing. I pulled out my sock and was able to knit a bit while they played. (I had swapped a 3.25 us 3 for the missing dpn because at this point I just want to be done with the damn sock.) On the way to lunch, I discovered that dpn #2 was missing. I had an entire afternoon on a beautiful campus with lots of waiting time and no way to knit. I retraced my steps but didn't find it. The college hosted a catered picnic for all attendees so we participated in that. Once the crowds cleared out, I retraced my steps again and found my dpn stuck in the grassy area close to where the kids were playing earlier. It truly was like finding a needle in a haystack because my dpn matched the little tree triggy things that were all over the grass. I was thrilled to be able to knit again! And yeah, I guess I should give magic loop another try.
We met Nathan's girlfriend and her parents. For whatever reason, I was a bit surprised when I met her....a very beautiful Korean girl named Kate. We have known about Kate since Nathan's freshman year so I have had 3+ years to envison her as someone completely different. She was incredibly nice and tried to convince Nate, as she called him, to take them to a playground across campus. We hitched a ride on a golf cart back to our van while dh pushed Lily in the stroller.
DH and I discovered that we have burned through an insane amount of money and we aren't even halfway through our trip. Yikes! I think we got a little free with the spending since we are on vacation and all. From this point on, we need to buckle down and watch our spending. The main thing we can do is actually eat from our camper vs eating out.
The kids, minus Kendall, went swimming again. Well, if you call standing in the water up to your knees and shivering 'swimming.' We cooked tilapia on our griddle/grill and had cesar salad, apple slices and oreas on our picnic table outside the camper. Afterwards, we took the dishes down to the campground's outdoor dishwashing sink. Once chores were down, we all took a bike ride around the campground and we ended up on a rocky beach along a river. This was seriously one if the best moments of our entire vacation. We let the kids take their shoes off and walk around in the frigid water. Kendall fell on her bottom but she wasn't too upset. Mia tried to get to one of the huge rocks but she just couldn't do it. Lily sat on the edge and tossed little rocks in. I took my shoes off and joined the kids, too. We all did a kind of river rock dance, walking on the rocks, slowly and step by step, and trying not to step on sharp ones. It was dark by the time we biked back. Our neighbor's fire was still going and the kids were hungry so we let them roast hotdogs. It was a lovely way to end our evening.
It's now the start of day 9 and we have plans to add 'diamonds' to our family wealth today. More on that later.