As if we needed ANOTHER event on our calendar in July, we joined friends in Ellicottville for the HillTap Festival at Spruce Lake! To be fair, stopping in EVL on our way home from DC after our Cabo trip decreases our drive by one hour, so it made sense 😉
The festival was fantastic and all of us–kids and adults–had a great time. We rode up in chair lifts, which was different and fun for everyone.
They had paddle boards to use, so I took the kids out a few times while Gillian got to try one out for the first time. Ila even practiced standing up on her own board for a bit!
After we hit the food trucks for lunch, the girls–including Maelle–got in line for henna tattoos! I wasn’t quite sure what to think about my three-year-old getting one, but as the skies opened up and we were able to take shelter under the artist’s tent, I was pretty thankful we were there! I think Maelle was intrigued since she knows mommy has a tattoo…
Thankfully, the rain was short-lived and cleared up in a few minutes.
Before we headed back down the mountain, we decided to give Hatchets and Hops a try! I’ve been curious about these hatchet-throwing establishments that have popped up around here. Turns out, I’m pretty good! Gillian’s husband, Tawfiq, and I managed to land most of our throws, and he even hit the bullseye!
As the thunder started up in the distance, we headed down the hill on foot with kids on our backs to beat the rain!
Unfortunately, this is where our story takes a strange and upsetting turn. Shortly after we got back to our friends’ condo, one of their dogs went missing. Lola is a tiny, mostly deaf and blind Boston Terrier who is getting up there in years. It’s highly unusual for her to wander off, and she can’t go anywhere fast, so to not be able to find her quickly was very strange. Three of us immediately began to search, and Andrew stayed behind to watch the kids, and this continued late into the night.
To make a very long story short, Lola was found alive (praise God!) the following day, after many hours spent searching. Her disappearance was very curious, and our friends–sadly–suspect she was taken and dropped off about two miles away the next day.
During Lola’s absence, Andrew and I took point watching the kiddos so our friends could search, and we simply could not leave the following morning as planned. We were sad to miss our annual boating trip at Uncle Al’s, but knew we were right where we were supposed to be.