Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Weekend: A Day At The Lake

I was quite hopeful for a road trip to Dyersville this past weekend, but the hubs and kiddos vetoed that quickly. I know we wouldn't have lasted another hour staying at home Saturday morning, so we packed up the kids, the van, and headed down to Lake Ahquabi. Lake Ahquabi sits just south of Indianola and is a small, well kept state park. We went down for a quick hike and swim, but we wound up staying most of the day on Saturday!

In the car selfie! We got a bit of a later start than we planned (so very typical) so the kids brought their lunch along to have a picnic lunch....but they wound up eating their lunch on the ride south to the lake. At 10:00 a.m.
Such a very typical pose for our minis.
First up, we took a hike. We tried to talk the kids into walking the trail that goes all around the lake (only 4 miles), but they didn't want to. So we settled on a brisk 1 mile hike that took us to a monument.
Elizabeth picking her nose and being held by Daddy. This is how Elizabeth spent the first half of the hike in Dad's arms and then decided to run the rest of the trail.

We stopped to take selfies by the Lake but they didn't turn out so well.

Elizabeth was quite enthusiastic to learn about the monument.
The boys took a break on the bench to whine "when are we going to the beeeeeaaaccchhh????"
Now in mom's arms because the tall grass was itching her legs.
Harrison found "the perfect hiking stick!" Until it broke in half, then they became swords.
Elizabeth had to get a stick too when she realized H grabbed one.

This was Matt's favorite part of the trail: a large tree branch had fallen and vines overgrew, holding the tree branch in place.

Max found a blue jay feather. Unfortunately it didn't make it home because I failed to remember that I had it in my pocket when we went swimming. Oops, that was a fun one to explain to him.
Finally the beach! The beach area was small (as was the entire lake), but did have a boat rental and snack shop right on the beach. Big bonus points for a super clean beach area and clean water (for a lake).
Max jumped up in the air and threw himself backwards over and over and over again.
Elizabeth wasn't a fan of the cold water. She preferred the sand instead.

Max's favorite part: me picking him up, throwing him in the air, and splashing in the water. He could have done this all day!
H preferred splashing in the shallow water. We also went to the North side of the lake and took a look at the campground, played at the playground, and saw a beautiful bridge (the kids were exhausted and didn't want to walk across).
When we left Lake Ahquabi, we fully expected our tired mini's to crash in the car. Instead they looked over State Park brochures and talked about where we should go next.
Since the minis ate their lunch at 10 a.m. they were ready for dinner at 3 p.m. Naturally, we went to our fave Mexican restaurant: El Rodeo. H got his favorite "white salsa" (cheese dip), Elizabeth got her rice, Max ordered an adult portion, and I got my always wonderful strawberry margarita. I had my drink while Elizabeth and Max danced in the booth to the mariachi music (hence while the pic is blurry).

After dinner, we stopped by Target to get items for our Make Your Own Sundae Bar. 
Max made a very unique sundae: sherbert on one side and vanilla on the other, all covered with chocolate sauce, strawberry sauce, and cherries.
Harrison isn't a big ice cream fan so he drank his chocolate milk (a big treat in this house). Kitty Doc was quite jealous.

Since we were gone all day Saturday, Sunday was our weekly errand/lounging/laundry/cleaning/baking/grilling/playing at home day. Matt grilled meat for the week and the kids ran around the backyard. I got stuck with the cleaning, laundry, and baking deal.

My little cheeser.

The kids have requested putting Lake Ahquabi on our "usual parks" list they enjoyed it so much. I liked that it was small and not crowded. We're debating on our next Sunday Family Fun Day: the Iowa State Fair or a visit to the Freedom Rock in Menlo, Iowa. We'll see where our next weekend adventures take us!