The first couple weeks we basically didn’t leave Crow Farm besides running furniture or food errands. There was just SO much to do to move in and get settled. It didn’t help that there was a pandemic going on. This was our first weekend as just our family so we took a day to explore some of the wineries around the area. After all, we can’t recommend places to our Airbnb guests if we have never actually been. We also crammed in a trip to a local “beach” to give the girls a quick dip in the water and grill up some dinner. That wasn’t quite how that plan turned out.

Under normal circumstances (pre COVID) we would have treated ourselves with a dinner out in town to aid in our exploring but during the pandemic, it wasn’t worth the risk. Instead, we deemed it safe to check out some of the vineyards in the area since they were outside. There are so many vineyards so close to our house! We chose the closest two to explore; Silvan Ridge & Sweet Cheeks Winery. I curled the girls hair again upon request for our big day out.

The two vineyards were very different for sure though just across the road from one another. Silvan Ridge, which we visited first had super friendly staff, had a comfortable laid back feel and seemed to have a great outdoor music venue space. We didn’t go inside of course but it was lovely with good wine as well. Sweet Cheeks just across the hill had a magnificent view and a large fairly extravagant outdoor area for entertaining. It was lovely but felt very showy and stuffy. It would be a beautiful place for a wedding but a bit too fancy for me and their wine wasn’t as good. Silvan Ridge had such an inviting feeling to it people want to go back.

The day of exploring was fun but hot! The temperature was still rising so we thought it might be a good day for a dip in some water. Our neighbor had recently told us about Zumwalt Park which has a lake that she said rarely has crowds though we’ll see our fair share of dogs and their owners there. It was semi-late in the afternoon so usually we wouldn’t choose to start an adventure so late in the day but because of the heat and us feeling the need to get out, we took the plunge and packed up for the lake. We planned to grill on the “beach” so we wouldn’t be rushing back for dinner.

Well, it was an adventurous trip to the lake, that’s for sure! We were told one of the reasons this park doesn’t draw the crowds like some of the other swimming hole spots around is because you have to walk your things into the park on foot. So, we parked in the designated spots, loaded up our wagon with picnic and swimming supplies. The girls and I started off on foot while Justin finished loading up.

It was about a half mile walk to the park. The park had wonderful huge trees with tons of character. We found so many with tunnels through them, low hanging swinging branches, great climbing trees and even a tree with a fairly large natural flat platform in it.

As we neared the water we could see two owners with their dogs. Our neighbor had been right about the dogs and no crowds. However, as we got closer to the water we noticed that the “beach” was actually mud. Not just your typical mud but stick to your shoes, suck your feet in, clay mud. I thought, “Okay, it’s a little muddy. Not a big deal.” But it was actually pretty gross and it was so sticky that it actually broke our oldest’s sandal! There was no way we were going to swim in that water!

We made the best out of it and put our feet in the warm water and threw different rocks and sticks into the mud to watch it splat. Soon, Justin came bringing the first load of things to the grassy lawn near the beach. We set up a little picnic spot while Justin went for a second load from the van. The whole ordeal of going back and forth to the van was a bit of a timely endeavor so by the time Justin arrived back from his second trip it was just about dinner time. The plan was for me to play on the beach with the girls while Justin grilled up dinner. I got a phone call soon after he had arrived back with the grill. The adapter for the grill to the propane canister must have been left home. No grill equals no dinner. Once again, we packed up our things into the wagon. However, now we were in quite a pickle. With Justin’s second load from the van he had brought both girls bikes and helmets thinking it would be fun and a bit faster for the girls to ride back to the van rather than walk. Good thought but we now had one girl who didn’t have shoes to wear since the mud gobbled it up. We not only had two wagons worth of things to bring back but we also had to carry our oldest AND her bike and helmet! On top of all of that we were all so hungry! Ha! What a disaster.

We figured out a plan. I carried our oldest on my back while pulling the wagon piled high, our little one rode her bike and Justin carried our oldests’ bike and helmet back while the girls munched on carrots. Let me tell you, it wasn’t your typical walk in the park. We learned a lot from this experience and made some new memories. Never a dull moment. 🙂