Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Camping, Caves, Geodes and a Birthday!

We've had the first camping trip of the year! (I almost said "summer", but I'm not ready to let go of the springtime quite yet, 80-degree weather be damned.) We drove through Kentucky, stopping first at my aunt and uncle's beautiful spot in the country, where Ani and Dan slept on the ground in the orchard for most of the night, serenaded by the loudest frogs I've ever heard.

I have no photos of our hosts from this trip, save for a long-shot of Ani and Dave walking their awesome and camera-shy lurcher, Rio, one morning.

Oh, and this photo of Dave and his new girlfriend, Lucy, who has claimed him as her own. Really. We watched one morning as she flew alongside his truck as he drove to a neighboring farm.

Anyway, it was a welcoming and nourishing (burgers, apple strudel, baked french toast - Monica is a wonderful cook!) start to our trip! We continued on to Mammoth Cave, to meet Morfar and Grandma Liz.  It was great camping under the tulip poplars, listening to the owls all night; even the night of rain was beautiful to listen to.

fancy camping toaster

Ani was quite proud of her Wisconsin Cheese
the ferry across the Green River

What 9-yr-old wants rocks for her birthday?  Yes, this one. Rocks, minerals, geodes and a rock hammer to wack at them all with...

On the eve of her birthday, Ani, my dad and Dan and I went on a lantern tour in the cave.  It was great - the ambience, the stories, the history.  Apparently part of the cave was used as a TB sanitorium for a year.  This experimental treatment - cold and wet - was not successful.

candle smoke graffiti
 Eliza came down with a stomach bug during the trip and stayed in the tent for a good 24 hours, wrapped in her sleeping bag and listening to a story.  Sadly, it meant that she was not up for the "trog tour" Saturday morning, a tour that is meant for kids only.  I was wondering if Ani would feel like doing it without her, and hoping that she would.  She couldn't think of a better way to spend her birthday morning!  It amazes me how much she has matured this year, how confident and independant she is.

suiting up for the tour: knee pads, coveralls, helmet

So happy. So proud.  So nine.

With one sick girl and thunderstorms passing through, we took a couple non-rainy hours on Saturday to pack up, had a birthday lunch with Morfar and Grandma Liz, and drove home.  A rainbow greeted us in Ohio...seems like an auspicious sign for a new year!


merry said...

Beautiful!! And I'm so glad of your reconnection with Dave and Monica! Hope E is feeling much better, and once again, Happy Birthday AniBanani!!

Kerry said...

Sounds like a pretty great birthday for Anika. I love how she wanted a rock hammer for her birthday: may she never live too far from a cache of geodes!