Thursday, May 04, 2017

Family Date Day

Daniel's work schedule has been much improved (especially in regards to family life) since he left Nuclear and started working in Dam Safety last fall, but there are still periods that get a little crazy. Especially if he has any additional training he has to squeeze in.

We are in one of those periods right now. But thankfully he was able to take advantage of his more flexible schedule and take a day off in the middle of the week. So yesterday we embraced the mid-week sunshine and having Daniel home in order to have a family fun day.

First off we asked Jack if he wanted daddy to drop him off. Jack said, "No. I want daddy to drop me off AND pick me up." Silly boy.

After preschool drop off, Daniel came back to pick me and Isaac up and then we headed downtown to grab breakfast at one of our favorite spots, The Bluegrass Grill. They did not disappoint. Plus they brought a whole bucket of toys to keep Isaac occupied.

Once we finished breakfast, we walked back to our car, which happened to be parked next to the Electric Bike Specialists shop. Isaac adores bikes so we couldn't resist popping in to admire the machines. The guys working in the shop immediately offered to let us take a test ride. Then proceeded to get out a cargo bike with baby carrier AND a bike helmet for Isaac. It took a few tries to get the right size for him (our kids have huge heads), but a helmet was found and Daniel and Isaac took a spin around the block. When they returned, I took a turn as well. It was pretty cool. We found out that these expensive bikes can also be rented for $15/hour or $60/day and there is no limit to how far you ride them. We also learned about some trails we had been curious to try mountain biking with the kids and it was exciting to know we might be able to do some of those trips sooner rather than later. I have a feeling we will be back to rent bikes sometime – in a hilly place like Chattanooga, an electric bike could definitely be an asset!

After the bike shop, we headed home to load up our kayaks and then pick up Jack from preschool. The weather was gorgeous. It has rained a lot here lately, so we felt like we needed to take the boys out to a flat water lake to test the newest kayak.

We weren't sure about the current and water levels of local creeks. So we decided to go to Chester Frost Lake since we are familiar with it and it is very kid friendly.

It was a good decision. The water was calm and there was no boat traffic since it was the middle of the week. Daniel started out giving Jack a mini pep talk about how to paddle and then Jack just took off. It was a lot like how he learned how to ride his bike... he just kind of did it.

To be fair, he has been handling his own paddle since last year, so it wasn't a completely new thing. But he had never paddled alone. The kayak we got him for his birthday is really light and very easy to maneuver.

He had no probably making turns and paddling around. He even jumped in a couple of times and was able to pull himself back up.

He was also able to paddle in the shallow water with Isaac riding on the back. I think they both enjoyed this set up.

We piddled around, with Daniel, Isaac and I in the big kayak and Jack paddling solo. Then Jack and I got out of the water and Daniel and Isaac paddled for a bit. Isaac almost fell asleep in his daddy's lap (it was nap time after all).

I tried sitting in Jack's kayak, but the weight limit is 130. I'm a bit more than that 😂 The boat floated, but barely. Let's just say I got plenty wet!

Isaac hung out with me on the shore for a bit while Jack built a sandcastle and snorkeled. I was hoping he would nap, but he was content to snack.

Daniel paddled across the lake to check out an abandoned boat before coming back and trading spots with me. Isaac did nap for him, but only for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile Jack and I paddled around the edge of the lake, about halfway to the abandoned boat.

*The orange circle is Jack and I paddling to the point.

Jack thinks he must be the best 5-year-old paddler ever. I told him *may be* one of the best 5-year-olds we know. He isn't lacking confidence, that's for sure! We also discussed future overnight paddling trips, which I am very excited about.

Isaac also wanted a turn to sit and paddle. He was content to hold the paddle and let me tow him around the shallows. I'm pretty sure he will be up for trying anything Jack does, and we have a feeling it won't be too long before we need to buy another kid's kayak.

It is always exciting when our kids seem to enjoy the hobbies we love. We feel like we are on the brink of doing some really fun stuff. Right now we are still in the teaching stages so it sometimes feels like a lot of piddling, but it won't be long until we can go farther and do even more. And that is very exciting!

I'm so thankful that Daniel was able to take yesterday off. Today it is cold and rainy and I am flying solo. Hopefully the kids will remember these days and not the days when we are busy with the busyness of everyday life.

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