Friday, September 9, 2011

Family Reunion in West Virginia

None of the Good Wife's family is from West Virginia, not that there is anything wrong with being from West Virginia, I think, but it was a nice central location for everyone.  It was decided that Stonewall Resort was the place to go.  There were tent camping sites right on the water, RV sites with full hook-ups, multi-bedroom cabins and a full feature lodge and conference center.  It would work for everyone no matter what type of accommodations they wanted.

The day before heading out, I made the decision to take our ski boat with us.  We haven't used it in a few years, but I had just run it dry the week before checking to see how it ran, and everything seemed good.  It would be about five hours of towing a boat through the mountains of West Virginia.  Do I really want to do that?  After a little second guessing while getting ready, off we went.

We had a treat along the way.  We decided to stop at a small town along the way and have lunch.  We just happened to pick Durbin, WV.  Besides it being a really quaint town nestled in the mountains of West Virginia, they have an active railroad with a steam engine.  While we were having lunch, it just happened to come into the station across the street.  We might have to make a return visit during the fall colors to enjoy the train ride.

After finally getting to the resort, we got our campsite setup.  We had chosen to camp in a tent.  What I didn't mention, was that it was the beginning of August and it was still hot and humid.  The boys had fun, but we only lasted one night in the tent.  The Good Wife's parents were in one of the two bedroom cabins and her sister and family from Knoxville, including the Good BIL (Brother-In-Law) couldn't make it, so we gladly took their place in the cabin.

I can't say enough about the resort.  Included with the cabins and for only $14/day for each campsite, all the amenities were included.  That consisted of the pools, kayaks, canoes, activity center, fishing equipment, paddle boats.  You name it, they had it.  Not only that, a couple nights some storms rolled in, so we went to the lodge and asked if there was a room our family could use to play some games.  Several times they gave us a conference room at no cost!  They were very helpful and friendly.

Taking the boat turned out to be a good decision.  All the kids enjoyed it, and the lake the resort was located on, was narrow and winding with few boats, which meant lots of glass.  That's smooth water for you non-skiing people out there.

It didn't matter that it rained on us several times while out on the lake.  Glass is glass.  Get it while you can.  A few of the adults went out with us, but for the most part, I was the driver for the weekend and all the kids got an opportunity to go out behind the boat.

Oldest son got to kneeboard...

and wakeboard.

Youngest Son even got some time on the kneeboard and was able to get up on his knees and have some fun.

Even I got a little time behind the boat on the wakeboard when I could pull the Good Wife away from her family for a few moments.  I took the first run of the day and it was still a little foggy out, but the water was smooth!

This was the first day, so we still weren't exactly sure where the lake went, so it was a little nerve wracking trying to see the shore through the fog.

It was so calm that I even got a few runs barefooting.  Since it had been a few years since this body has been barefooting, I decided to stay on the boom and not go from the rope.

The Oldest Son had the most fun doing double kneeboards with one of his cousins.  Two boys, two kneeboards with two lines.  Good fun spraying each other and trying to push each other off.

Of course, when in West Virginia, a possum must be involved somehow.  One night while coming out of the lodge after playing some games, the kids saw a possum and chased it into the parking lot.  The possum was trying to get to the woods and the kids were trying to corner the possum.  From one car to another the possum ran with the kids chasing around yelling to each other whenever they saw it.  I'm sure this is something they won't forget soon.

The only disappointing part of this trip was that we only went for a long weekend.  This resort is definitely a spot where we could easily spent a full week, with lots of time behind the boat.  We haven't used the boat in a couple years, so it was great to get it out.  Boating is a great family activity.  Everyone is captive to a small area and we get to watch each other and talk and have fun together.  And you get some exercise at the same time.  There aren't many activities that allow families to do all that.  If you know of any, let me know.

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