While it's certainly true that this year's Labor Day camping closely resembled last year's, some experiences are so rich that they are simply worth repeating. Here are a few photos to help us remember:
Setting up camp. Papa K, Annika, and I drove out to the lake several hours before the rest of the crew so that we could snag our favorite sites and start setting up camp. We quickly discovered that the biggest disadvantage of having a campsite near the water is that you have to haul all your loot quite a distance. While my Dad and I set up most of camp on our own, we left a few key items for Jason to assemble later.
Brooklyn and Annika at the adjacent playgound. Why is it that play structures are always most appealing when there is work to be done?
While the days were a little bit warm, the evenings were absolutely magnificent.
On Saturday, we rented a pontoon boat--just like last year, but better.
Annika's curious about what's so different...
Tubing! Our bigger-is-better rental boat had enough power to give plenty of rides up and down the lake. Here's Brooklyn...
...and Annika. Annie was definitely not a fan. Next year, perhaps.
Daddy's at the helm.
Relaxing's much more fun, especially when you've got so much hair for the wind to blow through.
Looks like Papa K and NomiAnn are relaxing too. So the question is, who's steering?
Meanwhile, Kara and Annika hop on in for a swim. Annie hollered like crazy for the first while, but we finally coaxed her out of the panic stage.
Talia entertained us with her leaps. (Having already run 10 miles earlier in the day, she was going for a biathlon.)
No explanation for this.
And back home again to celebrate another gorgeous sunset (not to mention BYU's miraculous victory over Nebraska with a Hail Mary into the endzone during the final play.)
The next morning we headed to church at a tiny branch in Lenox, Iowa, but not before cooking some pancakes for breakfast. The small congregation definitely remembered us, and made it known in no uncertain terms how much they'd love it if we moved there permanently.
Post-church naps are definitely less restful with grandchildren around.
Look closely in this picture and you'll notice someone's still poking Papa Kay in the ear.
Jason and I finally had mercy on the wiser generation and took the wee ones for a hike. Talia wanted to carry a bucket on her head in memory of last year's ALS ice bucket challenge.
Thinking of you, Uncle Jay! We caught a frog in your honor (sorry, no newts.)
This year, Brooklyn opted to carry her little sister, who generally leaks less than a bucket.
Unlike last year, this time we made it all the way to the dam.
The essence of camping: roasting hot dogs over glowing coals...
...beneath a flaming sky.
All of the other fair-weather tent campers (namely everyone but us) missed this gorgeous sunset because storms were in the forecast.
Personally, I'm glad we stayed. It rained a fair bit, but we awoke to clear skies and sunshine. A yummy breakfast, some frisbee, and Casa de Oro on the way home made the perfect Labor Day camping trip--version 2.0. Thanks Papa Kay and NomiAnn for another great time.