We joined my Dad & Stepmom and Stepbrother Doron and Stepsister-In-Law Cheryl (heretofore referred to as Dash's Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt & Uncle because our entire identity is now tied up in how the universe relates to Dash. Shit. Are we raising a future Patrick Bateman? No, don't tell me, I don't want to know.)
This is the river house we rented. It was so little that you had to turn sideways to get around the beds, and none of the doors had locks (or even knobs--just these peg/latch contraptions). But it had a kitchen and two huge decks and a bbq and canoes and a hammock and a private beach, so, you know, we managed somehow.
This is the path from the house's back stairs to the river. Head through that little opening and you're there.
This guy guarded the house while we were rollicking on the river.
Dash raced us back and forth from the river to the house about ten times a day & I still managed to gain seven lbs. on our vacation. Seven glorious wine-and-steak-and-Grandma's-homemade-jam-and-Grandpa's-crispy-pancakes soaked lbs. Worth every ounce. (I can say that now that I've lost 6 of them. I was less impenitent when I stepped my drunk ass on the scale at Cheryl & Doron's house during the bbq they threw for us. Then I was pretty fucking sad. But also drunk, so I forgot right quick. OK, enough about the size of my ass.)
The river bank was covered with the perfect flat stones for skipping, and poor Josh was appointed as Dash & my stone-skipping tutor. I got two skips, max. Dash just kinda kept plunking handfuls of stones in the water & applauding his natural stone-skipping ability (Christ we indulge that child) and Josh schooled us all with perfect skims all the way across the river to the other side. Show off.
Debating whether or not to get married & have a kid? Here, let this picture decide that for you.
Dash's beloved Grandma & Grandpa
Testing out his new waterproof Batman flip-flops.
The canoe came with the house! We paddled around on the river in it for a few minutes before Dash melted completely down & had to go recover in the warm embrace of his grandparents. Josh & I continued for a while, but were worried that we'd be swept downriver. Next year (and mark my words, there will be a next year) I think we'll book one of those canoe tours that actually picks you up at the bottom of the river so you don't have to paddle/walk back against the current. But still, adventure!
On our second night at the river Aunt Cheryl & Uncle Doron joined us for some mugging & grilling. They live in Northern California, and Dash hadn't ever met them before. But it was a great, glorious and instant love between them (and not just because they managed to bring him the two greatest gifts known to mankind: Batman jammies WITH DETACHABLE CAPE and a Buzz Lightyear bubble raygun).
Here he is in above-referenced MOST AWESOME JAMMIES EVER, playing some crazy version of hockey/baseball/soccer/bender/glover with his enduringly patient and kind Aunty Cheryl.
Now I hesitate to even post these pictures because it just seems like bragging, but whatevs. Some people are rich. Other people are lucky enough to know people with rich relatives. We're the latter. Doron & Cheryl invited us to spend Saturday afternoon at Cheryl's sister's house, where they were dog sitting. This is the view from the pool. Right?
This is the front door (with tile medallion created by Cheryl!). I made Dash stand there for scale. From 1-10, how classy is it that I wandered around that house taking pictures of all the fancy? Seriously, I=bumpkin.
Do you like how the chairs coordinate with the umbrellas in the background?
Here is Dash expressing his contentment with the pool situation.
Oh, this? Nothing, just the wine cellar. That Cheryl's brother-in-law built. From scratch. I don't even want to tell you how good it smelled in there. Or about the little dishes filled with assorted packets of good, dark chocolate. That we didn't eat. Except for maybe Dash. And his mom. And maybe his dad. OK, fine, we ate them. But at least we left the wine alone.
I know you guys are all, Liz, ok, we get it. Best. Vacation. Ever. Stop rubbing it in. But I can't. I just need to add the bbq on Saturday night that Cheryl & Doron threw for us at their beautiful home. That was filled with teensy little rescued kittens and old, old friends and new. With bocce ball (Dash whooped us all, one by one) and Champagne and amazing food & wine. And the evening ended with some chairs around a fire, and some seriously accomplished musicians (there was a mandolin, yo) playing and singing beautiful songs. (Including a made-up version of Ripple that they indulged my drunk ass with even though no one knew the words).
So, in conclusion: