Always Crazy, Always Fun, Always Love

Ray Romano once compared life with twins to living in a frat house. As he put it, "no one sleeps, there is a lot of noise and a lot of throwing up." I find this very true with 4 young children, including twins. However, though things are always crazy, we always try to have fun and, most certainly, always love each other.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Perfect Weekend in Hocking Hills

This weekend, Aaron and I went on a trip ALONE to celebrate our 10th anniversary (which was last Tuesday, the 5th). The weekend was absolutely perfect- a much needed retreat. My parents were so wonderful to stay with our kids the entire weekend. My dad was asleep on the couch when we got back- a sign of their busy weekend with our 4 little busy bodies. But, they did great! Thank you Mom and Dad!!!! We did quite a bit and took a lot of pictures, so I grouped them into collages to make it easier to look at. You should be able to see pictures better and read the captions by clicking on the collage itself. The weather was perfect. Not typical Ohio August (which is 90's and sticky humid). It was low 80's, not humid, with nights in the 50's.

We went to Hocking Hills and stayed in a special cabin made for two. Hocking Hills is a beautiful place full of nature and geological history, with lots of fun things to do-located in southeast Ohio. There are many many cabins in the area and this particular company and specific cabin were recommended by my brother, Randy, who stayed there a few years ago with his wife and loved it. It did not disappoint- it went beyond our expectations. Here is the story:

Chapter 1: Before departing on the trip-
I had specifically told Aaron to NOT get me an anniversary gift because the trip was already expensive (though not bad, really) and that was our gift for each other. As you can see, he listened well....

On our anniversary, he surprised me with having the flowers delivered to me at home and then gave me the ring when he got home. It is beautiful and I can't wait to show everyone who lives close to me when I see you next. On the way to our cabin on Friday, we were looking for a nice place to stop for dinner. I usually pick a chain I am familiar with because I know it will be good. Aaron really wanted to go somewhere different and "Billy Crickets" was a place we passed that looked interesting to him. I was nervous but agreed to give it a shot. It was a nice place- not crowded at all- and I actually liked my dinner more than he liked his!

Chapter 2: The Cabin..... Amazing!!!!!!
This place was so nice- we could have just stayed there and been happy. We ate out Friday, as described above, but then took food for snacks, and meals on Saturday and breakfast Sunday.
The hot tub was to die for..... Oh how I would love to own one!

Chapter 3: Activities

When we got there Friday night, we took advantage of the fire pit and roasted marshmallows for s'mores.

We took a trip to visit some of the beautiful natural scenery on Saturday. The nature is amazing- to think that nature (under God's direction, of course...) did all of this. Here is Cedar Falls:

And Old Man's cave:

I was surprised to find it was actually named for an old man who was a recluse and made the caves his home in the 1800's! Did you see the sphinx head? That was just just a few yards to the west of the cave. Amazing!

We also enjoyed canoeing:
Aaron had never done it and I had only gone a couple of times. Well worth the five mile trip. So fun to work together to figure out how to get the canoe to go where it needs to go. So peaceful to float along the river and enjoy the beautiful weather.

Even with all of these activities, we found time to relax, enjoy the hot tub, take a nap, read, watch movies that we took along with us, eat out on the porch of the cabin and just enjoy each other and reflect on the last 10 years while imagining the next 10 (and beyond). This weekend was the perfect blend of relaxing and getting out there and enjoying the world. There was a guest book in the cabin where previous guests told their stories of who they were, why they were there and things they did while there. It was fun to read their stories and add our own. I would recommend this to anyone. We came home today (Sunday) and we felt rejuvenated and ready to resume our lives. It was just the break we needed. I enjoyed every second of it, but also missed my babies and was grateful to get home and hug all 4 of them!

Chapter 4: Beware of the Killer Moths!!!
One final story I had to share. This won't compare to Lauri's story about scorpions, or Randy's about Mexican cockroaches, but for us anyway, it was big at the time. Friday night, I had fallen asleep and woke to this sound of "flappita flappita flappita" going on in the cabin- the other side of it. It sounded like a large winged bug hitting up against something and I tried to ignore it. After a while, when it didn't stop, I finally got up to check it out. I turned on the light and caught a glimpse of what I thought was a moth flying into hiding. It was on the other side of the cabin and I thought, oh, it's just a moth. I turned off the light and went back to bed. It wasn't long before the noise stopped and I fell asleep, sleeping well the rest of the night and sleeping in Saturday morning (wonderful!!!!). I didn't think anything more about it. Saturday, I was having trouble falling asleep, but finally began to dose as I hear the "flappita flappita flappita" begin again. "Great," I think. I again try to ignore it, knowing it had stopped the night before- it was just a moth- and on the other side of the cabin. But, it kept going. My imagination began working overtime as I begin to question whether or not it was a moth after all- I couldn't be sure. I could actually hear the wings flapping! What if it was a small bird...or......a.....bat??? But, then I thought, it couldn't be because it had been in the cabin since the night before- I would think there would be droppings, or it would make noise, which it didn't. Still, that fear grew within me, gluing me to the bed-at least it was staying on the other side. Finally, at 3 am, I had hardly slept and could take it no more. I had to deal with it. I turned on the light, and yes it was a moth- but a bigger one than I had ever seen! And, the light attracted it into the bedroom. AAA! Now there was no way I could go to bed with it there. It...was....huge!! It flew into the ceiling fan, which stunned it and knocked it on the bed. As Aaron went to get it, it flew onto the ceiling. Aaron grabbed my shoe and hit it ( I couldn't look). He carried it outside and it was gone. Yay! Peace and Quiet! The next morning, Aaron went out to look if it was still there and it was- he had only injured it- it was still alive but couldn't fly. So, he took a picture of it, with a Quarter to show the scale:

So, that stupid huge moth is what kept me from a good nights sleep last night, but everything else about the trip was beyond perfect. We want to make it a point to do something like this every few years. (minus the killer moth!)


Suzanne said...

That sounds like an amazing weekend. I can't wait to check that place out someday!

I think it's very healthy to take a kid-less trip occasionally. We've done it a few times and although it's hard to leave my kids behind and I miss them while I'm away it's so great having alone time with my husband.

My first thought was a bat too. I am fearful of those cratures. But I have to admit that moth is just as bad. Yuck!

Katie said...

What a relaxing weekend. A private cabin sounds like the way to go. All that and Jewelry. What a husband!

Even as I was reading this story, I kept's just a moth. Bbut when I saw the picture, YIKES. It's HUGE!

Kelly said...

What a fun weekend!! I am so jealous of that time alone you got with your hubby! I can't wait to see the ring- it looks beautiful!! I love the flowers too!
That moth is so large- so disgusting!

Autumn said...

Amanda what a fun retreat!!! I'm so giddy for you. It does not surprise me at all that Aaron went nuts on gifts. How sweet! A ring?! That's way above the "no gifts" guideline. What great surprises. I can't wait to see it.

Kristin said...

This entry got my creative juices flowing about what to do when our 10th comes up - and I hope it's something like this! You guys realy deserved a great weekend, and hocking hills is just the place for it, huh?