Monday, February 18, 2008

Escape to Massanutten

Last year in late December, we drove to Charlottesville VA with the Robles Family to visit the Bleakleys. We had such a good time that we wanted to repeat the experience this year. However, Jenny, who always has great ideas, thought of upping the ante. She suggested that we get a condo somewhere nearby and hang out there and ask the Bleakleys to come there spend some time with us: a get-away for everyone. That's how we ended up spending this week at Massanutten. We didn't waste any time, either. The day after we arrived (Feb. 12), we hit the waterpark. Here's Koji in the kiddie pool.
Jenny and Calli
The bummer thing at the waterpark is that I was such a wuss. They had some really fun tube slides, which I should have tried first to get myself pumped up. Instead, I skulked around, shivering, dipping my toes in the kiddie pool and catching Izumi at the bottom of the kiddie slide, while trying to fend off Koji and his pleas for me to go and play with him at the play structure in the middle. When I finally dragged myself over there with him, I couldn't enjoy it because I was too preoccupied with being cold. Note to self: next time, climb the stairs to the tube slides a few times, get nice and warm, and then get out there and play with your son!
This isn't a wonderful picture of the kids, but I can't not show how they ate every meal while we were at the condo. It was super convenient to be able to line them up in a row and then stand on the other side of the counter in the kitchen and dole out food. A feature to look for in a future house, perhaps?
On Tuesday, we went tubing because it was half price day. Rich and I took Calli and Koji out there while Jenny stayed back with Mari and Izumi, who were napping. Unfortunately, this was the happiest moment Calli had through the whole experience. Once we got to the top of the hill, she wanted to go down by herself without tying up her tube to Rich's. Well, that wasn't allowed, and even if it would have been I think we would have told her it wasn't! Rich had to give up trying to persuade her to tie up and walk her back down the hill. I'm still a little sad about it because Koji and I had SO much fun, and he kept asking why Calli wasn't with us. Better luck next year?
Koji on the conveyor up; we don't have any pics of us going down since we didn't have anyone to take them for us.
The day was pretty cold and the ice was fast. On our final trip down, we even hit the wall at the bottom of the hill! But the best thing about the place was this conveyor belt; at the Autobahn in Oregon, which is the only other place I've been snow tubing, you can hook up to a sketchy tow rope, or you can just hike up the hill. I guess the Autobahn is better exercise...
The next day we took it easy, just made a couple of trips to the rec center nearby. The kids were getting a little stir crazy in the house, so Jenny had the idea (I told you she has all the good ideas~) of going to the rec center, borrowing some balls and throwing them, us and all the kids into a racquetball court. It was really fun! Except when Koji got super-competitive. I need to read a book about how to foster a healthy spirit of competition because the extreme pouting and tantrums in cases where he doesn't win are starting to wear on me! Here's Megan with Joshua and Izumi in the court.
A HUGE highlight of the trip was spending Valentine's Day morning out on the slopes with Megan. It's been six years since I last got on a snowboard, so I didn't know if I would be able to ride or not. I think Megan had her doubts too, at first. But finally I got the hang of it, and we had a GREAT time. Thanks Meg! I did get an enormous bruise on my rear end that made sitting an uncomfortable prospect for a couple of days. No problem, it was totally worth it.
Jenny (if it's starting to sound like my life would be a great expanse of boredom without Jenny, well, that's what I'm beginning to think too) had the foresight to buy some Valentine cupcakes for the kids. Izumi, daughter of mine, attacked hers promptly and made quick work of it.
On the other hand, Mari picked her sprinkles off and ate them one by one and then walked away!
On Friday the 15th, we went back to the rec center to get some kids some more time in the kiddie pool.
Izumi playing with "Ditch". That's what she calls Rich. It's SO cute and funny!
Rich and Jim after a tough day of playing with the kids.
Calli loved the set of Dora tracing plates that Jenny bought her. They reminded me of when I was a kid, I used to love those too!
Izumi and Mari, having one last sit at the counter for a quick breakfast on Sunday morning.
We drove off to Charlotteville to catch the Sunday morning service at Jim and Meg's church before getting to Richmond to catch our plane home. I am so thankful we got to experience their newly-launched Sunday morning service; it was encouraging to see them and the team that God's given them in action.

Seventeen pictures and a few quick captions don't do the trip justice. The only thing I would change for next year (God willing, we'll do it again, same approximate time and same location) is to have Aogu with us instead of out on a business trip. Thanks very much to Rich, Jenny, Jim, Megan and kids for spending time with us; it was a wonderful blessing!

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