Home. The word evokes so many emotions, memories, and varying levels of giddiness. Cody and I drove home over Labor Day weekend.
We joined cousin Brandi, cousin-in-dog Bean, and boyfriend Vince to explore some old haunts, and discover new ones. First on the list, Paradise Falls, a hidden gem tucked away in the mountains. Use Google and you will come up dry. This is a local secret. And for good reason.
We screamed, splashed, and careened down the natural water slides. The water stole our breath and we had the entire place to ourselves. As the day heated up, visitors trickled in, so we hiked our way out, leaving them to have their own fun without our curious dogs trying to steal their snacks.
We hiked a new trail, enjoyed lunch overlooking a vast meadow, and then drove around searching for a campsite. We claimed one and then decided on an evening hike before dinner.
That night, we ate our body-weights in hot dogs and s’mores. Brandi brought the Nutella, I brought the Reese Cups, and some serious fun was had. As Cody and I hunkered down in our tent, Zara curled up at our feet, we heard exclamations of horror from Brandi and Vince. Our ears alerted to signs of trouble, I made sure I had my bear spray handy. I dissolved into giggles as I heard Brandi exclaim, “Bean! That was disgusting!” Followed directly by Vince’s urgent, “Unzip the windows, open the door!” Nothing like dog farts to enhance the charm of sleeping in the fresh air.
The following morning, we decided to check one more waterfall off our list.
We drove off the mountain with new tan lines, dirt under our nails, and smiles on our faces. Vince and Brandi, thank you for being the most relaxed camping buddies ever. It was just the spontaneous trip we needed, and I am glad you were just as unprepared as we were!
The next two days were spent in the luxury of my mother and sister spoiling me. It was wonderful! Cassie made pumpkin nutella bars, 2 soup recipes (both of which I stole and made upon my return home) and we watched way too many episodes of “Sister, Sister”. It was relaxing, fun, and soooooo incredibly difficult to leave.
Cody spent the time with his little brother Dain, and the two of them had misadventures all day: tried to play wallet, but alas, no one drove by. Tried to make a hover-board scooter, fail. Tried to play Dain’s new video game, needed special access online. Tried to trick the computer into getting special access…fail. Dain told me about his day over Taco John’s (potato ole’s!!!!) and I laughed so hard at his matter-of-fact style and acceptance that nothing went right. Such simple things going awry, I swear is the Kisgen curse. Thankfully, it has not gotten to me yet, even though I married into it. (Georgi is not immune either: face swelling, still the funniest pictures I’ve ever seen, and dropping toast in the lap of her very first customer.) Somehow this turned into a Kisgen roast…how this happens, I don’t know, but it always seems to. My apologies.
Dain also told a joke that got Mark to laughing so hard, he nearly snorted Pepsi from his nose.
“What did the farmer say when he lost his tractor?” (Answer below the final picture).
I miss you dearest family. Who knows where this crazy life will lead us, but I know I will always return home to you.
Farmer after he lost his tractor: “I should probably stop gambling.”