Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Jester Park Family Campin

Jester Park is a nearly 2000 acre state park just across Saylorville Lake from us. They have an equestrian center where Kenna took horse riding lessons as well as TONS of outdoor activities. They have about 200 camping sites, but I've had my eye on the 4 cabins for quite a while. Early in the year I tried to recruit some other families to rent the other three cabins. The only day we could land on was sleeping Sunday night through Tuesday morning this last weekend. Well - I can say this will definitely be a tradition! The Andersens and Stones came with us and we had a FABULOUS time! 

This is the first time we had ever done something like this - renting cabins with other families, but will definitely be something we do again! The hardest part about an undertaking of this size is coordinating and packing. Luckily we were only like 20 minutes from home - so we did have to back for a few things that were forgotten. I ended up having to pack by myself because Josh and the kids were playing with the California cousins at Gonas. By the time I loaded chairs, scooters, fishing supplies, enough food for an army, board games, helmets, clothes, bedding, and hiking backpacks....the car was nearly full! Josh and the kids met me there at 4pm. 

I could not believe the high quality of these cabins! They were only around 2 years old and the builders thought of everything from remote controlled light switches to a wheeled cart to bring your stuff from car to cabin. We rented cabin #2 equipped with an upstairs master bedroom, full kitchen and gas fireplace. Downstairs had two twin beds and a futon as well as another full bath. There were two picnic tables out back and one up front as well as a fire pit for each cabin and giant one in the center of the cabin area. Chad, Tara, Chloe, Lucy and Simon arrived that night as well. We spent the evening playing in their awesome hammocks, riding scooters to the natural playscape (nursing a scuffed knee from Simon's wipeout) and then eating pulled pork and smores. The adults played a rather inappropriate drawing game and enjoying a few beverages. 

Stones got double booked with a family reunion, so Andrea and Katie and Kevin came around lunch the next day. The morning was spent canoeing, eating breakfast, playing games in the cabin, exploring, doing nature scavenger hunts, reading and just goofing around. Chad helped the kids catch a turtle and the turtle was less than pleased! Tara had to leave for a while to go be with her dad for a medical procedure and Nate came later that night where we all had a greek dinner. Prior to that we took the kids out for the first ever geocaching for many of them. I can see the appeal trying to follow the clues to find the treasure! We carried some small pokemon figurines and the kids loved choosing something to take with them! What a neat idea!

The afternoon was more canoeing and playing. After the greek/pizza feast the kids got a bunch of glowsticks and created a game called "Godzilla." They played that, kick the can, and pretty much just ran until they were exhausted. We had smores again and kids called it quits around 10. My boys slept until after 9 this morning, I had to wake them up so they could eat some donuts and egg casserole that Andrea brought!

We took the kids out for one more canoe trip after Andersens left this morning. Kevin and Kenna did great steering on their own! Andrea and I took turns taking kids around. Its the perfect size for their age, completely calm and full of frogs and the turtle.

This was definitely so much fun. I'm really happy we found a weekend that worked for everyone! Love Jester Park!