Saturday, November 1, 2008

Camping Trip and News

At long last we've gotten around to posting more pictures from our camping trip last week. On the drive up, I saw one of those touristy flyers when we stopped for lunch and realized that Frank Lloyd Wright's most famous design, Falling Water, was only a few miles from our campsite. Both Mom and Dad were very excited. These pictures don't really do the house justice. It's built overtop of a small waterfall and seemed to be integrated right into the landscape. It had multple terraces, glass walls, and staircases leading right to the stream.
Here you can get a view of some of the terraces. What I wouldn't have given for some wine and cheese to enjoy from atop the house.
After leaving Falling Water, we drove into Ohiopyle State Park and set up our campsite. There were very few people camping there and the falling leaves made for a beautiful location.
We weren't sure how Kate would take to crawling around in the leaves (or how Jen would take to letting her) but we had nothing to fear on either account. Kate had lots of fun exploring while we set up the campsite. Thankfully she got one taste of leaves and rocks and decided not to try and eat any more.
She was fascinated by the trees and kept looking up their trunks.
She was not, however, particularly thrilled with all the clothing she needed. Here she is frustrated by the string attaching her gloves to her jacket. All that work to take her gloves off and still she wasn't free!
But even for the most inquisitive 14 month old, sometimes crawling in the leaves just gets to be too much.
Thankfully there are still Mamas to make everything better.
So while the first afternoon was quite enjoyable, the first night was another matter. I would definitely advise caution before considering a camping trip in 30-degree weather with a 14 month old and a wife who's 9 weeks pregnant and deep in the middle of morning sickness...
Yes that's right, Jen is pregnant! She's due in late May. It took us a little while to get pregnant with Kate, but no delays this time around. We're calling the little one Pipsqueak for now, but somehow I think we'll come up with something better for the birth certificate.
... So anyway, we put Kate in about six layers of clothing and blankets and let her sleep in her pack-and-play next to our sleeping bags. She seemed to sleep great, but Mom and Dad both got up once an hour to check and make sure Kate was warm enough and breathing. Needless to say one member of the family woke up more rested and refreshed than the other two.
The weather report the next morning indicated that while the second night would be a little warmer (low 40's instead of low 30's) we were likely to get significant amounts of rain. Cold is one thing, but cold and wet is something else entirely. We went by the ranger station on the off chance that one of the few cabins (which had been completely booked for some time) had a sudden cancellation. Praise God, that's exactly what happened, and we packed up from our campsite and moved into a cozy little cabin about a quarter mile away.
It wasn't much, just a couple of beds and a small table, but most importantly it had a roof and electric heat. As you can see in the photo below, everyone was very happy to be warm and dry inside the cabin that night when the steady downpour started.
The next morning we got up and drove around the area a bit while the remnants of the rain showers blew by. Driving back into a small pocket of civiliazation, Jon's cell phone revealed a voicemail from his office. It's pretty rare for Jon to get a call from work when on leave (especially since he can't talk about his job over a phone anyway). As many of you know, Jon was meeting an Air Force board to decide if, when, and where we would be sent to school for another year of training. Well, the board results had just been released and they were calling to give us the news ...
It turns our we'll be moving to Monterey, CA next summer so Jon can attend the Naval Postgraduate School! He'll be getting a master's degree in security studies (essentially a degree in international relations). We thought that we might be heading to Alabama for school, but had never dared hope we'd get sent to Monterey.
Back to vacation...Ohiopyle State Park is built around a section of the Youghiogheny River famous for its rapids. So after the rain blew over, we set about on several hikes. Throughout our hikes around the park we saw lots of kayakers braving the water and the weather.
The river runs right through the middle of the tiny town of Ohiopyle, where this waterfall poses a little too big a challenge even for the most experience whitewater enthusiasts.
The fall colors were just gorgeous.
Here's Jon and Kate on the last morning before returning to VA. Kate loved the view from her backpack carrier (Jon's Father's Day gift) and jabbered in her own little language most of the time.
All in all it was a great four days. The first night was a little rough, but God was faithful to provide us with some upgraded accommodations and some great news about our pending move. Hope you enjoyed the pictures and info.

16 comments:

Timothy said...

I love it! This entry was my favorite! The pictures are incredible. I love the ones of Kate in the leaves--priceless! I've been checking your blog every day for the big news :) See you Monday!

Brent, Lori and Elli said...

Congratulations! I love all the pics and stories from camping and am ver yexcited about the news. Can't wait to hear what this next Luminati baby will bring!!!

Anonymous said...

WOW!!!! You packed enough in this entry to make my head spin.
Congratulations!
I wish you could get closer to me than across the country.
I too loved fall at Ohiopyle and also remember camping with little ones. Nothing like trying to keep them warm when it was cold outside ant the sleeping bag getting soaking wet with you know what. We ended up getting a pop-up camper. Ha!
Love Aunt Cindy

Beth said...

yeah, holy cow! what an entry! first of all, falling water is beautiful! evan and i just recently went out to Oak Park to tour FLW's home and studio and it was amazing. how cool that you got to see it! and what great camping pictures! how exciting that you got a cabin. that's so awesome, what a relief. you all look so happy in the cabin. and thanks for the news! i knew it all already, but glad to hear it again. i canNOt wait to come see you all in a few weeks! hooray!

Beth and Melinda said...

Love the pics!

Anonymous said...

At last Gram + Pops have arrived home from California, and what a blog was waiting for us!!!! Super, super photos of the FLW house, the State Park, the great campsite and that wonderful cabin! Loved seeing Kate in the leaves and the two of you with her. Great fun was had by ALL!!! We also loved reading your news in print...so thrilled with Pipsqueak AND Jon's new assignment! Loved the wood pile/car photo, too! Hugs + love...G+P

Nana said...

JJand K,
Oh my goodness what great pictures. That Kathryn is one smart cookie. She knows rocks and dirt are not tasty! Way to go. The video of her almost falling asleep in her high chair reminds me of her mother. She used to do that. Sometimes her head would fall right into the food. Like mother like daughter!
What a blessing the indoor cabin was! And the way you pile firewood is interesting, Jon. What a beautiful place! Did the little pumpkin go trick or treating? Love,
Nana

Caitlin L said...

JEn, Whoo hoo!! Congrats on a new baby! You look amazing and we're so happy for you guys! :)

Christina said...

Congrats all around

Angela said...

Congratulations!!! I had a feeling you were expecting...but was afraid to ask. :) Hope the m/s passes soon!

Angela (p.s. check out our blog when you get the chance)

Jenn said...

Yay! I'm so happy about pipsqueak and the CA news! It will be so nice to have some more conservatives on the West Coast! I also loved the camping pics and story.

Julie Rivera Photography said...

When I saw the word "news" I had to keep myself from scanning for the word pregnant. :) Congratulations! And the gig in CA is just one more reason any child of mine will be headed for the Air Force. Can life be any easier for you guys???! (As I stare down the one year mark since Rey left, with three months to go yet...) Sounds like you might just miss Susan and Kyle in Monterey, but they might be able to give you a lead on house hunting. Good luck with all these changes!

Anonymous said...

Wahoo! As if my shrieks into the phone weren't enough, I wanted to let you know how truly ecstatic I am to have you all within driving distance! I told Rachel the news (both items) and she's a little baffled but excited by it. "Miss Jen will live by us?" "Baby Kate is going to be a big sister?" She'll get it soon enough when we're able to SEE you again!

Hope you guys are able to get some rest and Jen is feeling a little better.

Shelly

Elizabeth said...

Love the pictures! What fond memories!! Congratulations on Pipsqueak and Jon's news as well, going to school, even if it's in California!

Erin said...

Okay, first of all, I cannot believe you tucked that AMAZING news in the middle of a post about camping!!!! Congratulations!!! We are so thrilled for you! And congratulations, Jon, on your new school assignment! Patrick lived in Monterey for one year when he attended the DLI years ago and loved it. We visited one time and I have to agree - it is amazing there. What joy! What fun! Love you all!

Erika :-) said...

Congrats on the baby news!! Hope the morning sickness passes quickly!! We just had had number 2and life has gotten just a bit busier :-)