Friday, July 18, 2008

Like Going to Summer Camp With our Kids!

We just got home from a fun trip to Sunriver Oregon.

I've heard of so many people going there over the last several years and touting how much fun it was, that I wanted to find out for myself.

(Nolan, Nita, and Gary)

So...we packed up the FJ to the gills with bicycles, tennis gear, munchies, suitcases, and of course some eager passengers!

(That gold van behind us is full of my sis-in-law Shannon's family)

Six hours later we rolled into town. It's such a interesting place, like nothing I've seen before. First of all, there are 35 miles of paved bicycle paths EVERYWHERE. They did such a great job planning this community because the bicycle paths rarely intersect with the roads. It's beautiful because it's located in a forest full of pine trees and nestled next to a slowly meandering river that is flanked by meadows. Sunriver is much larger than I was expecting... there must be over a thousand homes sprinkled throughout the property. It's easy to get lost on the maze of streets especially when all the homes look similar, but by the end of our trip we had pretty much figured it out!

We went on countless bike rides throughout our stay. Nick and Nolan were perfect ages for this vacation, Nick told me he felt like he was driving his own car while pedaling down the pathways. They couldn't get enough biking!! The only problem was the house we rented came with nicer bikes than the ones we brought and now my boys both think they need new bikes!

(Gary, Jessica, Nolan, and Nicholas in front of the Sunriver nature center)

The home we rented was a perfect retreat for all of us (we shared this house with Shannon's family and our friend Gary). There was plenty of room for all 11 of us to stretch out and relax. The kids had dibs on the loft area/TV room. And the grown-ups were happy to let them have it! We preferred the back deck off the kitchen where there was peace and serenity along with a good drink to cool us off!

(Here was our home away from home..)

When we weren't biking you could find most of us at the local pool. I LOVED just lying on my towel while my boys splashed the day away with their cousins havin' a grand O' time. The water slide was also a huge bonus for them!

(Jay and Nick)

(Nick shootin' off the end of the slide)

(Nolan happy to be at the pool)

One day, Connor, Nick, Nolan, Shannon, Jessica, and myself had quite an adventure. We signed up for a whitewater river trip down the Deshutes river. I have to admit that it was WAY rougher than I thought it was going to be but I LOVED every minute of it. I think it is possible to be petrified and have fun at the same time. At one point during the excursion, our guide, pulled us off to the side of the river to let us get out for a short hike to see what kind of rapids we would soon be going over. HOLY COW! I was shocked and tried hard not to let my boys see my fear. Nolan couldn't wait to hop back in the raft for the craziness that we were about to experience. The first set of rapids was called the "Kenmore" after the washing machine. Yeah---crazy! Well we all survived the wash cycle and came out the end with huge smiles and soaking wet clothes. I'm so glad I made myself do this, it reminded me that I need to break out of my comfort zone more often!!

(Dig in!)

(Nolan's face says it all!)

So with that thought in mind, why not hop on the back of a giant four legged animal? So we and Gary rode our bikes to the stables where they gave horseback rides through the forest along the edge of the river. The meadows, trees and river were so lovely. Luckily, my horse was compliant and didn't give me any problems. However, Nolan's horse "Felix" thought it was snack time pretty much the entire ride. Nolan kept having to pull up on the reins to convince Felix that he wasn't allowed to eat lunch while on Nolan's watch!

(Here we are about to go for our ride, Nick had "Slate", Nolan had "Felix, I had "Carlson", and Connor's horse was named "Rushmore")

Unfortunately, while we were just getting onto our horses, there was a terrible plane crash only about 200 yards from the stables at the little private Sunriver airport. Luckily our horses didn't get spooked by the sirens and go galloping off over the landscape (of course that was the scenario playing in my head). It was surreal being so close to such a tragedy...the pilot didn't survive and apparently many families witnessed the impact because of all the bike paths nearby.

On a brighter note...It's safe to say we had a very nice vacation with days filled with fun in the sun and evenings bubbling away in the hot tub or playing games with our friends. (We even invented our own version of Scattergories that included Shannon having to spit her ice from her drink onto a hand drawn alphabet grid- Yup...our vacation brains had gone into overdrive that evening!)

(Nolan, myself, and Nick...I pretty muched lived in that hat all week!)

(Awhh, how cute. Claude and Connor)

You would have to be a manequin in order to get bored in this place... There is a never ending supply of activites around every corner. While all of them were fun, it was nice to slow down and watch the deer walk by our back patio and watch the sun set over the river too.


***Sadly, I just realized I have no pictures of Shannon or Ben! I'm hoping Shannon will send some my way so I can update my blog soon!!


Aunt Lee said...

I'm glad you loved Sunriver as much as we do. Being the unathletic type I love the bike trails since there are very few hills. It made me realize we need to go back again & take the Schneider & Olson families. There is definitely something there for all ages. Your pictures are wonderful.It is great that you & Shannon have entirely different pictures. We get to see the whole vacation. Thanks Kelli for sharing your family with all of us in your blog. Love Aunt Lee

Anonymous said...

A wonderful blog. This was deja vu for me! We spent many spring breaks at Sun River, although we were mostly there for the skiing at Mt. Bachelor. We split with other families several times and shared many nice homes. I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

Ann Soares

Kelly said...

So nice to hear from you Ann! I thought of you guys many times while we were there knowing you had been there numerous times.

Kelly said...

So nice to hear from you Ann! I thought of you guys many times while we were there knowing you had been there numerous times.

Anonymous said...

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