Erica Lucke Dean

"Making the world a better place, one book at a time."

can you be home sick for your vacation house?

Finally a sunny day. 

It was our final day of vacation.  And what does one do on the last day of vacation?  Cram everything into the day that we were unable to do on all the rainy days before it. 

The first thing on the agenda? 

The “old time” photo. 

As is our tradition on family vacations, I took the kids to have their portrait done at one of those old fashioned studios with the Old West dress up and sepia prints.  We had to go there first because the girls had done their hair and make-up specifically for this purpose and sometimes it’s just not worth it to argue with teenage girls. 

The lady that ran the shop let the kids go wild in the dress up costumes, and I snapped away with my camera (on the sepia setting) as they tried on clothes, and played with the props.  If this is the first time you’re reading this blog, my “kids” are between the ages of eleven and twenty, and most of them are closer to being adults than kids, but today, they were all kids.  My son brought his girlfriend on the trip, and the older girls brought a friend along, so there were six of them picking through the old west getups.  My son was thrilled to play “cowboy” and he quickly threw on a long black duster with a red bandana.  Of course, by the time we were ready for the actual picture, he had to take it off because he was way too hot.  Luckily I got a lot of great photos before he changed. 

The actual portrait was a distant second to the photos I took, but the trip was well worth the expense.  Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the hour long visit at the old timey studio. 

Next on our full agenda was a ride down the Toccoa River on inner tubes.

I had never gone tubing before.  I wasn’t sure I’d like it.  I was wrong.  It was very relaxing.  Except for the time I got hung up on that really big rock.  Or the time I floated into a downed tree and had to fight my way out of the dried branches and submerged trunk.  Oh, and that other big rock protruding out of a small patch of rapids.  Those times were not relaxing.  They were a little nerve wracking.  But we floated down the river for over an hour, and most of that was very nice.  We saw three live ducks as we floated by, and a big fat frog jumped from the shore into the water in front of us. 

My husband was almost capsized.  Two or three of the kids were capsized.  And I managed to stay almost completely dry in my plump inner tube with no hole in the center.  It was the perfect Mom tube.  And I was dressed perfectly in my swimsuit, a cute little sundress, and my “baby” hat.  The kids told me all week that I looked like a giant baby in my floppy hat, and I had to remind them that the sun is very bad for your skin, and I want mine to look as nice as a new baby, so I wear my baby hat. 

I wish I’d gotten photos as we floated down the Toccoa, but I was too afraid I would drop my camera into the drink, so it stayed safely in the car for the afternoon.  My husband was brave and took his cell phone in a water proof bag, so I think he got a few pictures.  I haven’t had a chance to check them out yet.

I did take the camera out again for our next stop. 

The Amicalola Falls.

My husband was immediately dejected when the rest of us refused to climb the steps to the falls.  I had to remind him that I would surely die instantly if I was forced to climb the six hundred some odd steps to the top of the falls.  The kids didn’t have quite the same excuse as me, but they were just as adamant about not going on foot.  Instead we drove to the top to look over.  The view was amazing, and the falls were beautiful.  My husband talked a few of the kids into taking the steps back down.  Lucky for me, we drove two cars and I had to drive at least one of them to pick them up at the bottom.  My son drove the other car. 

Funny thing about driving the car down the hill, as soon as my husband was out of my sight, I handed my daughter the keys.    

It didn’t take them that long to walk down.  And I explored a little while I waited.  It was beautiful in the park.  I could have stayed all day.  But as it happens, it was already almost night and we hadn’t had dinner yet.  We had to rush back to our cabin away from home to cook steaks on the grill. 

It is now after midnight and the kids are baking brownies as I type my blog.  We have to get up early to check out in the morning, and I’m already sad.  This has really been the best vacation.  I have enjoyed almost every minute of it.  I hope the kids have too.  I know that kids—especially teenagers—rarely appreciate the simple things in life the way adults do, but I really hope they take the wonderful memories from this vacation, and in time, maybe they will think of it as fondly as I do.  Hopefully they will forget the little disagreements, and arguments, and the things we didn’t have time (or dry weather) for, and they will remember the wonderful little moments that make a family vacation what it is.  Magical. 

I would do it all again. 

Until the next time…I’ll be packing to go home.

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