Friday, August 17, 2012

The Unofficial End of Summer - Heit's Point

I don’t know that I have ever looked forward to the end of summer like I am this year! I normally love summer – backyard barbecues, playing in the backyard pool and sprinklers, swimming with friends at The Springs, sunset walks, and hours at the park – but this year it has just been too hot to enjoy any of that. Most of our time has been spent indoors, with the kids going stir crazy and me needing an extra glass of wine after bedtime to recover from it all. We have spent some good times with great friends, but still…I’m ready for fall, cooler temps, sweatshirts, and football!

Emily started school on Wednesday, so I guess summer is unofficially over. This year we ended our summer the same way we did last year and the same way I hope we do for years to come – with a trip to Heit’s Point on the Lake of the Ozarks for a wonderful weekend with great friends.  Kevin isn’t big on the outdoors, so we let him take a pass and stay home this time. However, the kids and I do enjoy spending time outside, so we packed up the car Friday afternoon and headed to Lincoln, Missouri to meet up with our friends.

The weather Friday was PERFECT for a road trip! When we finally arrived at Heit’s Point, we picked up our key and headed to Cabin No. 2, our home for the next 24 hours. We stayed in the same cabin last year, and while it’s tiny, it was perfect for our family of four with a beautiful view of the lake off the wrap around deck.

When we got inside, we surveyed the room before heading back out to grab our stuff. As we looked out the sliding glass doors, through the curtains we saw the silhouette of a wasp, which I assumed was outside but we went out to get the wasp spray and fly swatter that I brought, just in case. When we came back in I discovered the wasp was indeed INSIDE the cabin, so we quickly made our exit.

After a quick phone call and a visit from friends to check out the cabin (the wasp was nowhere to be seen, but I know he was there), we decided to move our party into the Spitz Center. While I was kind of sad that we were going to miss the seclusion of our two room cabin, I knew there was no way I was going to be comfortable sleeping in the cabin – fearing that there may be more. The room we ended up in, with its two pull out couches and AMPLE space for the kids to run, was the perfect accommodation and delivered a very peaceful sleep.

Friday night, after eating dinner, we headed to the Lodge to join our friends for homemade ice cream, chocolate cake, and devotions. It was a great evening and a perfect beginning to our Heit’s Point fun!

Saturday morning, after breakfast, we joined some of our friends for a hike and along our walk, stopped at the mini-farm on the property. 

After walking a little while longer, the kids decided they had had enough, so we headed back towards our rooms for lunch. On our way back, we stopped by the lake where the rest of our group was paddleboating and decided to stop by to say hi. Of course, when we got there the kids all decided they wanted ride too, so we stuck around for awhile while they hopped from one boat to the other.

After paddle boating we returned to our room for our corn dogs and Goldfish crackers. After lunch, we returned to the lake for swimming. Emily was all over the place, playing with her friends, while Brendan wouldn’t leave my side and was constantly latched to me. Even with his life jacket on, and even in water he could stand in, he still wouldn’t let me go. After an hour or so in the water, I was finally able to get Brendan to let go by giving him a noodle wrapped under his arm. Pretty soon not only was he floating by himself, but he was “chasing” me through the water, in water too deep for him to stand, and was having a blast! He was as proud of himself as I was of him. It was a big step for my little boy!

And apparently it’s not a King of Kings trip to Heit’s Point unless one child ends up in the emergency room. Last year it was a cracked chin after a slide on the stairs leading to the top of the water slide, and this year it was another child, smacking her knee on the rocks after going down the slide. After a trip to the hospital, she came back with a sprained knee, bruised hip and crutches.

After swimming, we returned to our room for a little bit of relaxation before dinner, and then it was out to meet the gang for archery and BB guns. Brendan had fallen asleep in the room, so he wasn’t very happy with me when I drug him outside. He spent the first part of the activity sitting his chair looking a bit annoyed.

Meanwhile, Pastor Frank assisted Emily on shooting her first BB Gun! She was having a good time and was doing a pretty decent job.
Then it was time for archery. Emily wasn’t quite as into the archery as she was the BB gun, and while I tried to help her, she just wasn’t feeling it. Brendan did have an interest, so the two of us shot several arrows, sometimes missing the target. Okay, mostly missing the target, but we were having a good time.

As the sun began to set, the kids were getting tired and hungry, so we said our goodbyes and headed to our respective homes for the evening.

We decided to just stay one night, but we wanted to stay late enough to participate in all activities. Since home was about 2 ½ hour away, instead of heading all the way there we spent the night at Kevin’s sister’s house in Sedalia, which is only about 40 minutes from Heit’s Point. I think the packing and loading of all of our junk took about as long as a trip all the way home would have, but after showers and loading, we piled into the car and headed home.

Before actually hitting the highway, we stopped by the Lodge to pick up my ketchup and to get some advice on a funky smell coming from my car. After a thorough examination by a couple friends,and a determination that nothing was wrong, we headed out on the dark highway towards our resting place for the night.

We made it to Sedalia safely and all fell asleep not long after our heads hit the pillows. By the time we woke up around 8:00 packed the car up again, and headed for Kansas City. On our way home, we drove through some welcomed rain showers and cooler temps that allowed for me to leave the AC off for the entire ride home.

After unloading and unpacking, I finally sat down to go through the pictures I took and reflect on the brief, busy weekend. While we missed Kevin, the kids and I had a great time, Emily made a new friend in Lillie – whom she knew but had spent such little time with her that she didn’t REALLY know her, Brendan swam by himself, the kids got new experiences (archery/BB guns), we spent quality time with our wonderful friends, and we unofficially ended the summer of 2012 with what is becoming a family tradition.

Can’t wait of Heit’s Point summer of 2013!