We just got back from vacation today. We left on Sunday and got back today Friday. Had no Internet service and no cell phones while camping. So we really were AWAY from it all. :) We hit the road with our friends on Sunday and stopped at Jacobs Cave near Gravois Mills, MO. http://www.jacobscave.com/ Then we had lunch and finished driving to Tan-tar-a Resort. We had our own cabin/apartment type thing, it was nice. It had 2 double beds and a fold out couch. We went and watched some fireworks that night and just hung out. Monday (memorial Day) we went to the Timber Falls Waterpark. The kids LOVED it, and so did the adults. The big bucket would dump every 2 minutes and Dominic would say "WOOO" every time it spilled, even when he wasn't under it. Then that night we went to eat at a place called the Happy Fisherman. It was great local place and they served Rock Shrimp. I had never seen or eaten a rock shrimp before. They have a hard shell like a lobster and taste more lobster like than regular shrimp. I love them. Here is a picture of them. http://www.mbl.edu/marine_org/flescher/images/flescher/Hi/568.JPG
Tuesday we went to Lake of the Ozarks state park. It has some really cool trails. We started out on one trail and were having a great time, when we all noticed we were getting covered with ticks. RRRRTTT!!! *hear the tires screeching?* STOP! GO BACK! So we played at the beach instead, the kids got all wet and dirty. It was great fun. Later my friend watched all the kids at the hotel while Hubby and I went on a date! We rode Go-karts, played mini golf and shopped a little.
Wednesday we started our second half of our trip. We went to Bridal Cave, it was neat, but I think we all enjoyed Jacobs Cave more. Jacobs was longer and easier for the kids, plus the tour guide was better. After the cave tour, we went to camp. Our original plan was to camp the entire week, but rain forecast had us change plans to half hotel and half camping. We got to camp and set up. It was perfect and almost no one was there camping. The campground was large and beautiful and there was a little creek with about 12 inches of water in it. It was perfect and clear and cold. The kids played in it for two days! We stayed here Niangua River Oasis Thursday we did a float trip in a raft. A raft does not steer as well as a canoe so we had a bit of trouble with it. However, it was a good choice with all the kids. Dominic cried a bit cause he didn't like his life jacket. We went 7 miles and it was really fun. Lincoln (my friends son) fell out of the boat when we crashed into some brush on the the side of the water. His mama jumped out to get him and he was fine. He did a great job of not panicking and he grabbed a tree branch. His eyes were big as saucers and we were all scared for a minute. The river was not very deep and I don't think it ever was over any of the adults heads (5 foot) at any point.
Then Friday we woke up and busted our butts to pack up in the sprinkling rain so we could come home. I guess here in KC we got like 5 inches of rain. We got a few short showers at the hotel various times and NO rain what-so-ever during our camping, except during packing. So all in all it was fabulous and great fun for our friends to be with us.
We saw so much wildlife! Turtles galore while floating the river and otters and beavers. Then the first night at camp we heard this noise, I thought it was a coon, turns out to be a skunk! I was freaked out. I didn't want it to spray us. So I laid back down in the tent and waited for it to leave. Then about 20 minutes later a raccoon did come and dig in the trash. We scared it off and put the trash away. The second night that damn skunk came back. Making this crazy chittering sound and looking for food. We also saw deer, birds, crawfish in the creek, I caught a big frog tadpole at the river and OH THE BEST!!! Gioia had a leach stuck to her ankle during the float trip! EWWW!! She was calm and my DH removed it.
Whew.... I am tired. Going to bed to rest from my vacation! Pictures later.