We decided to be a bit lazy on our last day, and take our time packing up. Usually we have to be checked out by 1PM, but because this wasn't a group site, and was reserved by my cousin for another week, we had some time.
Colin made some pancakes and we all had a nice relaxing breakfast. The weather was just a tad bit cooler than it had been over the previous several days, which made packing up a teeny more bearable.
My mom had gotten a tip from a fellow camper (my mom can make friends anywhere!) about Mongold Lake, which is just past Detroit Lake. She said they had a great roped off swimming area and the lake had a nice sandy bottom—perfect for kids! So, we decided to make the extra 20 min drive there so we could get one last hurrah, before heading back to civilization (ie: unpacking, dishes, piles & piles of laundry, etc). The drive to the lake was gorgeous, because we were surrounded by mountains on one side and the lake on the other. It was truly amazing!
And, Mongold Lake did not disappoint either. It was a nice day-use site, with lots of people boating and jet skiing. The lake itself was gorgeous and framed by the majestic mountains. And, of course, the water was perfect! By the time we arrived, the air had chilled a bit, but it didn't matter because the water was so warm. Z immediately ran out to chest deep, and we had to drag him back to put on his life jacket. Once outfitted with that, he went back out as far as he could walk, then just let himself float in his lifejacket even further. He is one brave kid! And, of course Avalee loved floating around in the water and also enjoyed watching all the little ducks that seemed to live in the area.
After awhile, we decided we all were starving and decided to head to Stayton to the A&W. Unfortunately, Avalee was starving too and couldn't wait that long. After about 10 min of screaming coming from the backseat and poor Z covering his little ears, we stopped to feed the little monster. We ended up in the parking lot of a little restaurant along Highway 22; The Gingerbread House. Although I've passed this restaurant hundreds of times coming or going through the area, I've never eaten there. Right away, we noticed the delicious smell coming from inside and wondered if we should just make this our dinner stop. After a quick check of the menu, we decided to eat here, only to find out they closed in 20 minutes. My mom went in and talked to the owners, who said to “come on in!”
Well, we did and were very happy we did. The food was excellent and everything was homemade. It's a little known secret that I have tried the chicken strips from most of the restaurants in the Western Hemisphere. It used to be my safety net, as I was a very picky eater. I have since grown up, and although I can still be picky, I have expanded on my food repertoire. However, on this occasion chicken strips just sounded good. And, to be honest, they are also pretty practical when you are dining with a three year old and 7 month old. It's just sometimes easier to have easy, finger-food. Anyway, I've gotten off track...what I wanted to say is that these chicken strips were amazing! They were hand breaded and the chicken was real, not pressed. The fries were even better-also hand cut. Everything was so delicious that we vowed to make the 20 min drive just to eat there again! Of course, it also helped that the staff were 'oohing' & 'aahing' over the kids. One gal even told us we needed to enter Avalee into modeling contests because “she would win, hands down!” Awwww, thanks (and, in case you're wondering, this was said after the tip)!
So, bellies full, we headed back home. As is tradition (yup, that's what I'm calling it), we left half the stuff in the car and the other half was deposited into heaps on the floor. Aaah...home sweet home!
PS I have some great photos to share, of course, but have a really slow connection right now, hindering my photo uploads. We're on vacation in Seaside (no, the irony of updating my blog about our last vacation while on our current vacation does not escape me), and I have my phone tethered to the laptop going through the proxy server. Make sense? If not, don't ask me to explain, because I have no idea how it works! All I know is that my computer-geek hubby tells to me plug this in and push this button, and voila, I'm on the interwebs. Yea, besides being a geek, he's also pretty useful. Anyway, pictures to come. Soon. Yes, before our next vacation.
*As promised, here are the last pictures from our trip*
Not sure why he had the bag of Splenda...
Z didn't want to leave, so he decided to try to re-air up the air mattress
Taking out some time from packing to have some fun
Us at Mongold Lake