Monday, September 2, 2013

Saying goodbye to summer. . .

We took a little mini vacation this weekend before the kids start school tomorrow.

We decided to head up to Great Falls, 
and we took the kids to the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center.
and they were prepared:
We walked through the trip that the Corps of Discovery made.
The museum is really well done--
interesting for adults,
and engaging for kids.

Our little Corps of Discovery,
Dylan and Kylie modeling what they wore on the way out,
Keilana and Kylie wearing what they had on
by the time they made it home.

The kids were all very impressed by the dugout canoe.
They had to haul these 2,000 pound bad boys
up this grade
for 18 days at a stretch,
mostly bare-chested and wearing moccasins.
They were tough guys.

We went out to the actual falls, 
and enjoyed Ryan Island
(if you're in the Great Falls area, check it out--
its worth the drive out, beautiful)
I can see how these would be a pretty major hindrance
to traveling upstream in a canoe. 
They are really impressive,
even with the dam built on top of them.

After a night at a hotel
(I sometimes forget how terribly exciting
hotels are for kids--
especially kids who rarely stay in them--
and hotels with pools and slides
are the most exciting of all),
we headed up to the highline
to hop over to Glacier.

Keira and Kylie loved the phones
in the visitor's center
that played the audio. 

We made a quick stop at Hungry Horse
on the way out,
and they had a water table outside
that demonstrated how the dam worked.
Everybody thought that was pretty cool.

We headed to Yaya and Papa's house,
where we got to meet little Zayda,
and hold her lots on Sunday afternoon.

 While holding Zayda, 
I spent almost all of Sunday afternoon
just hanging out and chatting
with my mom and my sisters.
Just the four of us.
I honestly don't know when the last time that happened was.

We went up to visit Grandma, too,
of course,
and Keira has become quite fond of Grandma Elda.
Grandma was pretty thrilled that last week,
she got to be with her youngest great-grandbaby
and her oldest grandchild
at the same time.

We've done a few other fun things the last month.
There's been lots of bike riding
(in this case, home from the park)

And heading to Deer Lodge,
for the fair,
where they visited piglets,
critiqued the dairy cow showing,
and cheered on the team ropers.

And of course,
we finished up our summer activities at Grant Kohrs.
Here, Keilana dumps a little hay on Dylan
using a mini-model of the beaver slide.
After trying to work this one by herself, 
she understood why they needed a whole team of draft horses
to work the big one.

Its been a good summer.
Its going to be a busy year.
School starts tomorrow
(well, for these two monkeys, anyway--
I started last week, 
and Kylie starts next week).

Wish us luck.

We'll miss summer.

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