|Cookie Boy entering the water from via the ladder|
We spent this week in Oklahoma, enjoying the natural beauty there. We did the same thing four years ago, and vowed to go back every year. But, it didn't happen! So this year saw our return to OK, and again we are determined to go back every year.
When you live in the plains of North Central Texas, where else can you drive two hours and be surrounded by forests and rivers! Or drive three hours and be in the midst of rolling hills and cold-springs so frigid that you can barely stand to get in the water, even in the middle of August?
|A view of the Blue River from our dock|
Ahhhhh! Our little cabin was set in the middle of gorgeous woods. The front of the cabin had a lovely yard area that went down to a small dock on the Blue River. There was a rope swing for splashing into the river, a canoe and a flat-bottom boat for paddling around, several picnic tables, a cute bridge that led to a campfire area, and nature, nature, nature!
|A view of the front of the cabin from the dock|
When we first got there, we were walking around. The Mad Toddler was very wary of this strange place without concrete and traffic! Everywhere we stepped, little frogs jumped away. They were cute, but the Mad Toddler was nervous about them. I was carrying him, trying to follow some frogs when a huge insect slammed into my neckline. All I heard was a loud buzzing and felt insect wings and I yelped loudly. (Once, when I was around 11, a wasp got stuck in my hair and I still have nightmares about it!). The Mad Toddler thought I was screaming at the frogs, and it scared the poopy out of him! He clung to me and would not get down, and kept saying, "The fwogs bite you, Momma!". It took several days of me chanting, "The frogs did not bite momma. The frogs are good. A big bug landed on my shirt and scared momma". The Mad Toddler would recite this every time we stepped outside. After a day or 2, he finally agreed to actually walk on the lawn!
|A large moth or butterfly. We also saw frogs, a hummingbird, and tons of flying insects!|
This cabin and this setting were an ideal vacation for my boys - all of them! ArtGuy loved the rope swing and did some crazy jumping on it. I was impressed he could swing so much and not be sore and tired! He has kept in good shape! All the boys suffered mild rope swing injuries at some point. The rope was thick and long and when you take physics into account, there was bound to be some misunderstood force and power in there!
|Waiting for a turn on the rope swing off the dock|
|The Young Adult|
|About to make a big splash!|
We all loved taking the boats out, as well. There were small falls just up stream from our cabin. Cookie Boy and the Young Adult usually took the canoe while the rest of us piled into the boat. I was impressed with my two oldest sons and their ability to handle the canoe. I know they are scouts and this was not new to them, but it is amazing to watch these boys handle a canoe like young men. They were strong and confident and much, much, much better at paddling than their mother!
|The Young Adult and Cookie Boy on their own!|
|The view from our boat|
|reaching one of the little falls along the Blue River|
We also took a day trip to the Chickasaw National Park, one of our favorites! Not only is it beautiful, but the water there comes from cold springs. And when I say cold, what I mean is near freezing! We did not remember the water being as cold as it was this time! The Mad Toddler would do no more than put his feet in, and even the older boys were chattering! But it is an awesome place to play. There are lots of little places to park and get into the water, which really just keeps going in a big network from site to site.There are falls here and there, most of them small and fun to climb on (but slippery).
|braving the cold water at Chickasaw|
|ArtGuy and the Mad Toddler sitting at Bear Falls, Chickasaw|
|My guys outside the Nature Center at Chickasaw National Park|
It was excruciatingly hot. So it was odd to feel the sun almost blistering our backs away but to submerge our bodies in water so cold it took our breath away!
|Relaxing on the front porch|
Other than swimming hours a day, the boys did a lot of playing games. Cards, especially solitaire games, were popular, as was chess. We lounged around, living in our bathing suits, swimming whenever we felt like it, enjoying being far out in nature (so far that when we were driving to get there, we could not get over how "out in nowhere" we were!).
It was a truly lovely week!