As you know, Giuseppe Zangara, because of the fire in my belly, I did NOT go to BlogHer. I was actually 42% fine with my decision until early last week when people began writing their “I’m packing for BlogHer!” posts. Then my 42% swooped down into the teens. I immediately called Jeff and told him that we need to go “camping.” (I added those quotation marks for you, Coffee Lady! My definition of camping really IS very loose. No television, people in the dining hall are wearing swimsuits, and I didn’t even pack eyeliner? Camping!) When I saw on the news that Trout Lodge’s adjoining camp had to evacuate because of an E. Coli scare, reducing the entire camp’s population by one half? Well, I turned that scar into a star! (I don’t handle crowds very well. You’re a pal, E. Coli!)
We arrived at Trout Lodge on Sunday afternoon, and immediately hit the ground running. When you check in, you’re handed a fairly hefty list of options and times so you can fill your schedule with as many (or as few) activities as you want. I’m still a bit amazed at all of the things we crammed into a 48 hour period of time.
On Monday morning, we went on a fishing trip with Robinson from Colombia. As he pulled the boat away from the dock, he talked a big talk about how we were going to catch a huge fish. We fished for an hour and caught nothing. As Robinson prepared to lift the anchor and take us back to the boat house, Meredith caught a fish. Robinson actually squealed and confessed that he has been taking families out on fishing trips all summer, and NO ONE has caught a fish. Meredith was a hero. (And, seriously. Wouldn’t it suck a bit to fly out to Missouri from South America and spend three months taking families on unsuccessful fishing trips? It almost smells like some sort of punishment! Anyway, because of Meredith, I’m almost positive that Robinson now whistles The Star Spangled Banner as he pulls the fishing boat away from the dock!)
On Monday afternoon, the girls rode ponies. This goes down as their favorite part of the trip. (It was super hot outside, yet all of the ranch employees were wearing Wranglers, long sleeved shirts, and hats. I was actually walking around in a bikini fashioned out of frozen bottles of Gatorade, and these guys were dressed for November. God Bless the Cowboys.)
On Monday night, the girls tie-dyed shirts. And everything about that was great, except for the family of seven that shared the activity with us. They spent nearly half of the evening speaking in fake British accents, and the other half was spent taking cheap shots at the presidential candidate for whom they clearly did not vote. Later in the evening, I noticed that instead of leaving their shirts wrapped in plastic (as we were instructed) to allow the dye to set, the Annoyingtons hung their unwrapped shirts out on their balcony. Confession: When I saw this, I secretly hoped their shirts would lose more than a bit of vibrance. I know. I’m the devil.
On Tuesday morning, we fed gigantic fish. And many of the fish had huge goiteresque humps growing out of their sides. We determined that the goiter fish were the pregnant ladies, and we soon found ourselves aiming the food at them. Can you help me out, fish people? When carp get pregnant do they sort of look like they’ve swallowed a human skull? (Actually, I sort of like the skull theory. It’s possible that I don’t really want to know the truth.)
We also went on a hay ride, the girls swam (several times) in the lake, we walked (and walked some more), we saw a pretty crappy puppet show, we ate ice cream (and biscuits and gravy!), we made body spray (?!?!), and best of all, the girls had crazy giddy fun and no one suffered symptoms of E. Coli. (The entire photo set may be viewed here.)
Okay. This is the part of the post that no one reads because it falls below the final photograph. This part is just between you and me. At night, after Jeff and the girls were asleep, I would sneak out to the boat house and dance with Robinson. Penny, his normal dance partner, was confined to bed due to a botched abortion, and Robinson desperately needed someone to dance with him at the nearby resort’s annual show. When Robinson was accused of stealing a wallet and I covered for him by telling the Trout Lodge authorities about our clandestine (and somewhat dirty) dance sessions, Jeff and the other Trout Lodge campers let their tempers flare. Luckily, everything worked out in the end, and we all ended up having the time of our lives. (Yes, I swear. It’s the truth.)