Last week was our somewhat-annual family vacation.
Somewhat-Annual Family Vacation: \ noun \ ; what my family does instead of exchange gifts for any holidays or birthdays; a vacation that is supposed to occur annually but periodically gets cancelled for the purposes of birthing babies, during which years nobody gets anything. Except new babies.
Last year, two babies were born, so we skipped. Which means that this year, we went from having three kids to five kids, five and under, all staying in one house, which happened to be hanging off the side of a mountain.
(I know. Some of you have five kids five and under every day. And I highly respect you for that endeavor. An endeavor that I will never experience firsthand. Except on family vacations.)
But despite the whole falling-off-a-mountain risk (which we managed fairly well), the view was the centerpiece of our vacation.
The house we rented in Saluda, North Carolina took every opportunity to take our eyes off the view and onto their garish mountain décor.
Like this exquisite piece of art…
Or this one, which kept us arguing the entire trip.
“I think it’s a path.”
“No, it’s definitely a stream!!”
“Could it be a luge track?”
“No. It’s clearly a road!”
The light fixtures were also… special.
But my personal favorite was the bathroom art. Because who doesn’t love a good bronze profile of a kid peeing?
The owners are lucky that I didn’t steal them.
But despite their fascinating choices in design, they were set up pretty perfectly for a giant group of kids, including high chairs, cribs, kid beds, and a more-than-fully-stocked playroom.
This gave Noah the opportunity to ponder,
But after Tessa awkwardly plopped down next to and intensely stared at one of the making-out couples writhing around in the grass rather grotesquely, the magic was lost and they wandered off, two by two.
Then the kids had a lovely time playing on that in-need-of-Lysol grass,
climbing on annoyed statues,
getting whipped by hair,
and hefting into giant bowls, just begging to be filled with children.
We found an impromptu drum circle, where they joyfully joined in with their dance skills,
which highly complimented the grown man break dancing, I must say.
We were also accosted by a juggling demonstration,
And all oohed and aahed appropriately.
Ali was actually pretty taken with the dude,
But Noah scoffed at his art.
The next day, we took our adventures to the woods, where Ali was quick to find a new friend:
Her finding skills made her quite popular with all of the cousins.
We set off on a hike to find a Pearson Falls, thankful for obliging grandparents.
We enjoyed the fabulous architecture,
and the kids loved the rocks most of all, of course.
And once the falls were discovered,
Only after three rounds of setting up my camera on a rock, yelling for people to hurry up and get in the frame and for kids to look at the camera did we realize that our family completely eclipsed the background of the falls.
Thankfully, a not-making-out couple wandered our way and offered to attempt the shot for us.
…at least the women look happy to be there…we’re the only ones who care what we look like, anyway.
Well, most of us do.
These are memories we’ll all treasure forever, especially the lessons learned from older cousins.
So, in conclusion, WHAT IS IT??
A woodsy road? An out-of-the-way luge?? A lumpy stream?? A pebbly path??