We’re home! We survived! I’m tired and sunburned and weary, but I’m not swearing up and down that we’ll never return, so that’s a good sign. We tried a new venue this year and it was so much better, I can hardly compare. The pool was comfortable and clean, the locker rooms an indescribable improvement over the other place, and the staff was friendly and helpful. Plus, we had water slides, a splash park, a sauna, massage, brand new mineral soaking pools, and their restaurant upstairs has decently good food — with great milk shakes and ice cream cones.
Tracy did a ton of work to move us to a new place — I think it’s easier on her and her family to use the old location, but the majority vote won out, and we’re all so grateful to her for making this happen.
Located further south, and not up near the perpetually frozen Teton mountain range, the weather was gorgeous and warm — such a change for us! We actually blew through several canisters and tubes of sunscreen; I think many a pasty white Idahoan went home crispy red. After 8 month winters we’re all, SUNSHINE? HOORAY! And then:
Let’s just say that I am using Burt’s Bees After Sun Soother liberally on my ruby-red thighs. (Thiiigguuughhhss) That lotion is a miracle in a tube, for serious.
My sister came and brought her kids. We tried out a teepee… which… we don’t recommend, though other families seemed to like it. We had kids falling off of the narrow cots all night and found them pretty uncomfortable, but it was kind of a fun thing to try. We had a couple of rotten nights until we all got used to the place, and figured how to prop the kids’ pads up with rolled clothes to keep the kiddos contained.
Our teepee wouldn’t close at the top (it was missing some vital pole) so our tent heater didn’t work well, and we were pretty cold at night, but at least it didn’t rain.
I bought the Watershot waterproof housing for my iPhone 4 (they have them for the newer iPhones, too, I’m just a cheapskate & have an old one to go with a pay-as-you-go plan), and though I was terrified to use it, it ended up being really fun! Test it with a tissue first, and follow all the instructions to get the app working right, and it’s a blast. It’s really hard to see the photo window in a sunny pool, so half the time I didn’t know where I was aiming, but the photos turned out clear the movies were so fun! I can’t wait to do more with it.
I have almost no photos of our older boys; they’d finish lessons and head off into the hills with their friends playing war games and hunting for snakes. They played hard and crashed every night. I think there were multiple games of poker going on as well. My friend Jennifer taught them all her best Texas Hold’Em techniques and J. was so glad he’d brought his chips (they play with their grandpa fairly often, you know for gum or candy).
Manda and I decided to do some more adventuring Friday after lessons were over and our camp was all packed up. We scouted around the area until we found float tubes to purchase and a family-friendly river to float. The tube J. and I were using lasted five seconds before bursting a huge hole and deflating. I’m sure it’s not because of all the snacks I ate at swim camp.
Mandy wanted to pile us into the other tubes, but I could picture my butt popping another tube further down the river and then we’d all have to hike out. So J & I drove the car back down to the pick-up spot and busted out snacks and camp chairs and relaxed in the sun. J. looks bummed in the below pic, but he was just really tired after a week of swimming. Neither of us minded the busted tube (well, other than the wasted expense). We really had a lovely afternoon. Our pool floaters made great impromptu shade thingies (I can’t find them to link to, they are round mesh seats with an inflatable ring, and I liked them a lot for lazing about the pool).
Now we are home and I had the best sleep of my life last night in my own memory foam bed even though the backs of my legs look like this: