16 Aug 2007

Hiking it...

First full day at the cottage, and all the kids, with the exception of Nathan, were up early! B boy was persuaded to give sleep another try, but Samantha and Christopher were rearing to go, so they joined Mike and I for a drive down to the small town of Ål, to pick up a few provisions. After all, one pizza can only get us so far. Even with kids who do not eat...

In town, we stocked up on essentials such as bread, bread and bread. Throw in a bit of bread, and we were all set. The kids had an ice cream while we waited for the local sports store to open. Nothing like a nutritious breakfast to kick off the day! As soon as the doors open, we marched in with a mission: Christopher received a small scouts knife from his grandparents three years ago, and B boy had been waiting for his own ever since. We told him he had to wait until he was 7, foolishly thinking that by then he would have calmed down and become responsible enough to handle one! Well, he was now holding us to that promise! After all, it had been a full two days since he turned 7.

World beware. Benjamin is now armed! Fortunately, the store had enough knives for B boy, Nathan and Samantha. They even had a special girl knife for Samantha that we got pretty excited about.

Well back at the cottage, everyone was now up. We had breakfast - bread. Then we packed our bags and got ready for the goal of the day: Hiking up a mini-mountain. Benjamin, Mike and I had hiked up this hill a few years earlier, and we thought it would be a good challenge for the kiddies.

So into the car we went again, as we felt it safer to drive to our starting point. True trekkers would have walked there, of course, but who are we kidding...! Besides, we didn't want to completely discourage our kids from ever hiking again.

I think we were all a tiny bit worried about how the kids would react to this adventure, and perhaps especially Nathan,who is not known to be the most outdoorsy type. And in fairness to all the kids, we are not talking about some manicured, grassy hill you simply skip up. This is a rough part of the country, with loads of bushes to push through, streams to jump over, and rocks to climb over. But we needn't have worried. Just as in past situations, the kids all rose to the occasion, and Nathan in particular shone as he was the first one to start the trek uphill, and the first to reach the "summit". Much to the pride of his mommy, and totally well-deserved!

In fact, I suspect Hae Yung at one point thought we had bitten off more than we could chew, as she hiked up the rocky side of the hill. She is adamant in her claim that she had to use both hands and feet to hang on to the side, and believes that at that point the hill had an incline of at least 75 degrees. Interesting that no one else had that experience, but perhaps she took a more advanced route to the top :)

After our arduous hike, it was time to put our newly purchased scouts knives to use, so we organized a picnic lunch and proceeded to walk to a place where we knew there was a fire pit created out of rocks. The kids all sharpened their sticks and grilled hot dogs over the fire, followed by dough that is baked on the same sticks into (somewhat burned) bread, and finally marshmallows.

The evening saw the weather changing a bit from sun to rain, so it was spent indoors. After that much activity, the kids were only too happy to be allowed to spend some quality time on the couch, with their beloved Nintendo DS's. And we were quite happy to sit back with some wine and a couple of good books.

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