summer vacation 2020

I don’t think a vacation has ever felt more like an escape from reality than ours did this summer.  OK, perhaps I should take that back.  Our month-long European trips of yesteryear certainly felt like an escape, but I’m not sure we ever NEEDED an escape as much as we did this time.

We literally packed the car to the gills–including golf clubs and a giant running stroller–and even filled a Thule cartop carrier (hello, adulthood!).  We set off for a week at Deep Creek Lake with Andrew’s family, a trip we’d planned almost a year ago and one we’d all been looking forward to for at least that long.  Andrew and his sisters grew up going to a lake in Indiana with their grandparents and cousins, and we are all excited to begin that tradition again for our kids.  Man, does that make me feel old…

The drive was uneventful (loading the car, not so much…) and we made it in time for dinner.  We played board games that evening, anxiously awaiting the dawn of our first full day of vacation.

The lake was pleasantly busy with passing boats and exuberant tubers, and our weather held out all week.  I looked forward to spending time near and on the water, both with my baby and without.

During the week, I managed to be active most days, including a swim ACROSS the lake and back (approximately one mile), paddleboarding, kayaking, and even a yoga session on the dock.  All the (adult) kids went in for a giant trampoline rental, which really served as a place to lounge.

I was thrilled that Maelle seemed to take to the water; she enjoyed walking in the shallow area near the dock and floating with us despite some waves.  She even spent made it out to the trampoline!

We were able to borrow three kayaks to take with us this year; we’re hoping to have a two-person kayak next year so the kids can join in.

The house was perfect–if not a *little* snug–with all THIRTEEN of us inside.  Once Maelle and her cousin, Nora, are too big to share rooms with their parents, we’ll have to get a bigger place!

Andrew’s family is really into games…and it’s no secret I’m not a huge fan.  However, I was appreciative that most nights they opted to play something more my speed, such as Codenames or Blank Slate.  (Although I’m always happy as a clam reading or otherwise entertaining myself alongside their game.)

Andrew’s dad tends to give *interesting* clues during Codenames, so this particular round was especially fun.  Often, Dad Layer relies on his and Andrew’s shared engineering/work history, they all totally discount Ben’s intellect, and Marvin is a wild card with his breadth of knowledge of so many subjects…it’s truly entertaining to watch!

Our time there was spent relaxing inside, taking turns in the hot tub and lounging in the water on floats.  It was truly a getaway from the stress of ones’ own house and schedule. Deep Creek Lake was a home run for our family vacation and we’re all already looking forward to going again next year. We said goodbye a day early and spent a few days at my parents’ house (only three hours away).

My mom went above and beyond preparing for us, including baby-proofing her kitchen, equipping their deck with a play area and water tables, and even making ‘sensory rice‘ for Maelle.  She’d gotten a box from a friend at her birthday party (which we have yet to play with–eek), and she absolutely LOVED it.  Just remember to get out the vacuum, too.

We even had a little belated birthday party for Maelle!  It was so sweet to see my aunts and uncles take time to visit with us while we were in town.  My Bamma gave Maelle this Disney Princess scooter and she got so excited bouncing up and down!

While we were visiting, we spent a day out on the Potomac in my dad’s boat.  Maelle’s not old enough for tubing, but she did enjoy the warm water and walking along the little beach where we stopped to have lunch.


Sadly, all vacations must come to an end.  On the way home, we stopped at Gettysburg to have a picnic lunch at the foot of the statues.  I wish I could say it was great, but between the anxiety I felt about getting back on the road, the strong wind blowing our blanket away and the general craziness of attempting to feed a toddler sans table, it was anything but.

BUT, it was a lovely stop and we look forward to trying it again next year.

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