The Ristows have returned from our camping holiday. We had so much fun camping with our friends up at Twin Lakes which is above Mammoth. The best part about it was the fact that we got to relax and hang out and have nothing on our agenda. We pulled up on Friday and never got back in our car until we left on Thursday. I love that. I love when I don’t have to drag the kids here and there. I love that Tatum and Brian took 20 minutes to walk to our friends’ site 200 feet away because Tatum was throwing rocks into puddles the whole way. I love that we got to see blue jays, chipmunks, squirrels, bears and deer everyday. I love that we got to have nightly campfires and make s’mores. I love that we fell asleep to the sound of the raging waterfall every night. Fun times and good memories.
The campsite was gorgeous and it was so nice to be in nature. Piper went fishing for the first time which she was very excited about. She and her friend Ruby, were manhandling these dead fish like rag dolls. In fact, that is exactly what they were doing, playing dolls. The fish had names and were their babies…until they were gutted and filleted. Don’t worry, it was not a traumatic event for either of the girls. Piper is the child who picks out whole fish at the market and asks every time if she can eat the eyeball. On the weekend, they had live music and the kids danced and played on the grass while we drank wine and listened to good ol’ country music. The singer, Bob Gulley, was a dude you would expect to see riding a Harley. He had the long beard down to his belly button and a bandana on his head. But still somehow, listening to him sing, Kenny Roger’s The Gambler, put a tear in my eye. I can’t hear that song without remembering my dad, and just the whole atmosphere of the lake and campground reminded me of the types of vacations we took as a kid. Perhaps we even went to Twin Lakes when I was little. A dude with a massive beard and a Kenny Rogers song doesn’t that just bring a tear to your eye too? Really, I hope not, but you would have to have known my dad. He doesn’t fit the mold. Anyway, it was great to be there and to see the girls just get to enjoy being kids.
I almost forgot to share something exciting that happened. On our third night there we were awoken by the neighbors banging some pots and pans. I figured it was to scare away the bears. I am guessing it worked, because they shooed them out of their site right into ours. We watched from the safety of our van as the mama bear ate everything in our cooler and fed her 2 cubs butter and cheese. I was bummed out about losing our food, but I had never seen anything like that. Pretty cool.
We left Twin Lakes and drove through Yosemite on our way to visit some other friends who live just outside of the park. We got to see some amazing waterfalls in Yosemite and stayed up too late reminiscing about college and eating popcorn with our friends. Their six-year-old told Piper the morning we were leaving, “You are going to be sad when you leave.” And Piper said, “No I am not, because we are getting our puppy!”
And so the ride home really was just something else to look forward to. We picked up little Frankie (short for Frankfurt) and he is just such a little roly poly. He looks like Biltmore, which may sound weird, but honestly, I don’t think all Boston’s look alike, but I see Biltmore in his profile. Do I sound crazy? I probably sound the crazy dog lady right about now. He has been so much fun, and a lot of work too. He wants to bite and chews on anything and everything, so I have to be watching carefully when I have him running around the house. But I know that this phase is short, so I am just trying to enjoy the cute little ball that fits in my hands because I know it won’t last long.