Final post on Table Rock 2009 Trip

I couldn’t think of a better picture to end this set of posts on. This vacation is by far and away our favorite for Jen and I. We spend six day together 24/7 as a family and we never get tired of each other. Every day is new adventure and a new learning experience. Jen and I get to enjoy time outside, read a bit, and spend time w/ two awesome kids.
If you follow this post, I’d leave you with these two closing thoughts… First, if you don’t carry a small camera with you every day, or better yet a Flip video camera, and USE IT, you will regret it! We all have these awesome experiences but in the hectic race of life we often forget these magical moments. Take pictures, save them somewhere, and share them with your friends and family. Everyone gets joy from this.
My closing thought (and this is much to me as to everyone else…). Don’t live life on the sidelines. Recently I have had the opportunity to see how short life either can be or potentially could be and it was a great kick in the pants to ensure that we don’t take any day for granted.
Hope you have an awesome day/week/month/year and may your next 20+ years be even more memorable and special than your last.

Mara water skiing for the FIRST TIME!!!!

Mara staging to get up on ‘regular’ skis. She says she is ‘nervous but ready!’.

We have lift off! After less than a three attempts on day 4 she is up and she is NOT going back down!
A very proud and happy little girl. Not sure who was smiling bigger… Mara or mom and dad back in the boat.
Max of course was looking on with a quizical look. Of course he believes that anything big sister can do, he should be able to do better. We still have a lot of summer left so… we’ll see.
We are proud of you Mara!

Another Adventure & Signs lie!

Max and Mara on another adventure. This time down the trail that goes around the lake. I can’t tell if Max is tired or purposely hunching over in direct attempt to become a hunch back as he gets older.

Btw, I walked/ran this trail a couple of days later in 100 degree heat. Those distances listed are a LIE. Each section is at TWICE that length. I am sure this is a dirty trick that the park folks do just to laugh at the visitors.

What’s a hike without a BIG rock to climb up on and pose?

Who knew we had cactus in Missouri? Back to my earlier comment… I think it is cool that kids see all the small ‘special’ things that so many of us as adults look right past.

Time for Poker or are we ‘outta here’?

Max and mara post breakfast in the RV. Ready for another adventure on the lake or likely trying to talk mom and dad into another game of poker or blackjack. Not sure if anyone is buying it but I justify our card games and penny betting as a great way to practice math and logic in a ‘fun’ way.

Seems to work great until they go to school and want to play cards for money. For some reason the school does not think this is such a great idea….

Our daily lunch stop

Every afternoon included a stop at Danna’s Boathouse for lunch. Can you tell that we have been on the water for almost a week now? If you are ever in the Branson, MO or Table Rock area, check out Danna’s BBQ. Really good food backed by great service at reasonable prices.

As you can see by our ‘white’ faces, all of us were doing our best to keep a fresh coat of suntan lotion on. Each day was ~ 100 degrees and sun (awesome!) but that required frequent re-application of 50 SPF to keep from frying.

This is the carp feeding spot at the Marina. Who knew fish liked ‘spit’ so well. Max was proud of how far he could spit and was up to challenging anyone around to show them he could spit farther.

Max & Mara on one of their countless adventures

Max and Mara on one of their ‘secret’ trails they found around the campground. Each evening included a couple of ‘adventures’ where new special rocks were found, sticks were gathered for the fire, or unique animals were spotted.
Wouldn’t it be cool if we as adults slowed down a bit more to ‘see’ these cool things that come so naturually to children?

Mara & Max riding together

One of Mara’s last runs on the ski trainer. It was fun to watch her and Max go back and forth trying to splash each other!
This was also the first year that Mara adventured outside the wake. Her proud grin couldn’t be missed!

Max and me out on the water

Max and me out taking a ride. Back when Mara and Max were both three years old we set up the rig shown here so I could be out in the water with them to help them get up. As you will see in future pics, Mara has moved past needing dad out there with her but Max still kind of likes the company.

Max of course is being his usual ham self.

For those who might have kids that are yet to learn to ski, I would highly suggest one of the ski trainers (can be bought at Overtons, Barts, eBay, etc. for ~ $ 100). They are a full proof way to get kids up quick and get the acquanted with the water. Special thanks for Brian Finzen giving me the heads up on this concept years ago!