Today we went to a nearby recreational area. It has three lakes and lots of walking paths. Of course, the lakes are frozen during this time of year. We saw some ice fishermen on one of the lakes. We took Makinaw so that she could get her excercise for the day. (We've learned that if we give her a lot of excercise during the day, she's alot better behaved in the evening.) When we first got there, we just drove around to get the lay of the land. Our first stop was at one of the lakes. We all got out and started sludging through the snow to get close to the lake. Makinaw was on a leash, which she didn't like too much. But, M gave her a lot of lead and she was able to sniff around as much as she wanted to. When we got to the lake, we gingerly stepped out and started walking on the frozen ice. T said, "I can't believe that we're walking on the lake! Can you believe that we're walking on the lake?" We walked around on the ice a bit, trying not to slide around too much. M and I decided to head off of the lake and walk on more solid (but actually softer) ground. R didn't want to leave the lake. He really thought it was cool to walk on water.
We piled back into the car, after promising T that we weren't going home yet and drove around the camp ground. As we drove around, we got pretty excited about the summer time. There are lots of camp sites with lots of trees, all with fire pits and picnic tables. The campground is near one of the lakes and seems to have a nice beach (it's hard to tell, though, when it's all covered with snow.) We then drove to the big lake, which has the biggest beach. We piled out again and headed off towards the "beach". T got out and started skipping on the snow. He said that he was happy that it was skipping snow. I know exactly what he meant. Most of the snow is really soft and we'd sink down six inches with each step. In this area, the snow had a bit of crust on top, from being so cold earlier in the week. He appreciated the solid surface so that he could continue improving his skipping technique.
We could tell we hit the beach when there were some melted patches of snow that showed sand underneath. T was very happy to see that there were some pretty rocks at the beach, so he proceeded to begin searching for the "smoothest, prettiest rock ever!" We all had fun looking at the frozen lake and all the trees around, just picturing what it would be like in the summer. You could hear us saying, "I bet that they sell snacks in that building" and "we could probably bring our beach ball here too." After walking along the beach, we headed up the hill where there was a big picnic area. The boys and I needed a rest at the top of the hill, so we sat on top of the picnic tables and pretended that we were kings and queens, and princes. M and Makinaw didn't take a break -- they went into the brush and practiced "hunting birds". No, there were no birds and there were no guns, but they practiced anyway.
While we were heading back to the car, we saw two people on horses riding towards us. I yelled to M to get the dog back on the leash so she wouldn't spook the horses. Just after I said that, the man on the horse yelled to us "don't worry about that dog. Our horses have been raised with dogs. She won't bother them a bit." The man and woman on the horses stopped and chatted with us for a bit, which was a nice treat. We were able to pet the nice horses. R told them that his aunt's friend has a horse too.
M made it to the car first and started playing catch with Makinaw. Then R joined in by throwing the "bird" so that Makinaw could fetch it. T and I found one last treasure rock to take home.
It was a really nice family day for the Smiths :>