For the first time in a very long time, we had an entire weekend void of any plans (except church on Sunday morning).
When we moved home from Illinois, we had to rip nearly every tree and bush out of our professionally designed, beautifully landscaped – and sorely neglected – yard. Now that the inside of our home is up and running again, we decided it was time to get to work outside. We’ve done lots of planting (mostly fruits and veggies), but the to-do list is still loooooooong. So our initial game plan for Saturday was to keep planting.
But adventure beckoned… and we answered her call 🙂
After some deliberation, we decided to drive into the foothills and visit the tiny old mining town of Columbia. The boys are still pretty young, and don’t understand or appreciate all the history and importance of a place like this, but we figured we could spend a couple hours there and chalk it up to spending quality time together.
The sweet lady in the Gold Mine shop realized that the boys probably wouldn’t find a whole lot of the shiny stuff, so she tossed two pans over the counter and let us go for it, free of charge. Evan enjoyed splashing in the water, and Daddy helped Ryder find a few gems and itty-bitty flecks of gold.
To keep Evan from soaking himself (and everyone else!) from head to toe, we wandered around a bit. We climbed the scraping rocks, and checked out a tiny mining cabin that was only big enough for a small bunk bed and a fireplace.
Had we walked around a bit before making such a hasty decision, lunch would’ve probably been must tastier… and less noisy. But we picked the first place we saw – a crowded saloon on the corner. We ordered sandwiches for us and hotdogs for the kids from a waitress whose shirt was about seven sizes too small… and so was her black and white polkadot bra, which we could see quite easily. A bearded man sat at an old-fashioned piano, playing upbeat music from the era… which made both boys eat their whole lunch with their hands over their ears. The highlight of our meal was the sweet dog seated on the creaky wooden floor at the table next to ours. Only in a mining town, I suppose 🙂
After lunch, we visited the (creepy!) little jail. I used the flashlight on my phone to peer through a small opening in one of the cells (probably where the sheriffs passed food to the prisoners), and saw a chair and something that was probably a desk since it was too short for a bed. The other cell was even darker, and seemed to just have debris in it. With visions of something scary jumping out at me, I rushed the kids back out into the daylight, and we carried on.
Ryder had earned an ice cream for filling his jar (a behavior system we’re currently using), so we visited the coffee shop and he chose a cone with Rocky Road… and even shared some with Evan.
I’d like to go back when the boys are older and explore some more. I’d love to see the old school house, take a stagecoach ride, and maybe even visit the theatre and watch a production. Even still, our short trip made for some fun(ny) memories.
Once we got home, it was cool enough to get some planting done… and Evan helped water the new tree. Just as I lavished praise on him for being such a great helper, he turned the hose on Mommy. Such a fun game!
Our last bit of weekend fun came in the form of an upgrade for Evan. Ryan recently got new tires on his car, which has eliminated the thundering road noise we were dealing with. This has made taking his car on road trips much more appealing… except that it means moving the car seats back and forth. Ryder’s booster is easy to move, but Evan’s behemoth is quite an endeavor. Now that he’s reached the minimum weight requirement for a high-back booster, we decided to pick one up. He’s excited to be in a “big boy chair” and we’re excited to have more room in the car, and an easier time moving the seats back and forth.