We spent the weekend visiting family. My brother has been living overseas for the last decade or so, and has come back to the states for the first time in six and a half years. I’ve never met his daughter, except for Facetime calls, and he’s never seen Younger either.

We had originally booked a hotel for the weekend, but Missus decided to rent a cabin at a campground. I’ve been talking about “outdoor life”, biking, climbing, hiking and so forth, so much, she figured it the campground would be a better fit. Plus, it was closer to where my brother is staying.

The campground was very nice. It had a mix of RV lots and a few trailers, plus the little prefab log cabins that we stayed at. There were tons of activities and amenities for us, although we really didn’t get a chance to do too much there. We took a half day on Friday, and drove the three hours to the resort. We got settled in to the cabin, a two-bedroom unit with a full kitchen. It was right on a lake, and we had lots of geese and duck families come by to see us. There were gosling and ducklings galore.

The weather was a bit drizzly, but it was better than we were expecting. It was clear enough Friday that we were able to meet my brother and took the girls to the playground. We shared sips from a bottle of bourbon while the kids played.

There was rain overnight, and the next morning was pretty wet. I had packed the girls’ bikes so we spent an hour or two exploring the grounds while Missus slept. The area was full of rolling hills, we had to hump our bikes up the hills and then sped down them. There were dams and spillways, other playgrounds and a short wilderness hike around an island that was accessed after walking over a suspended bridge. It was nice.

Our plan for the day was to spend the day at a local amusement park. I spent close to four hundred dollars on tickets for everyone, and rode up there with my dad, who had stayed at a crappy hotel the night before. The park had indoor and outdoor amusements, video games and a climbing area above the games. I took my niece up, and the two of us ran over rope bridges and ziplines, twenty feet above the arcade floor. It was fun. My brother took Younger, then we switched and I took Elder up. She got to the first obstacle at the top of the stairs, then her fear of heights took over. I didn’t press it, so she went back down.

My mom and her husband showed up an hour later, and we took a break for pizza. The sun had come out, and the park finally opened up the go-kart track. I was so glad it did as I would have been super disappointed if we had missed out. I wound up going around it two or three times, once with my niece, once with Younger and an final time without a passenger. The girls wound up taking turns with my brother and their Papa.

My dad was a bit of a sad sack while we were there. He had no interest in video games, and he was too unfit to do any of the more physical activities, so he mostly sat around watching us the whole time we were there. He wanted to take us out for dinner — at Texas Roadhouse of all places, but by the time we finally left the amusement park and go to the restaurant it was prime time Saturday night and the wait was fifty-five minutes. That was a huge nope, so we split off to do dinner at the cabin.

My mom went by the grocery store for steaks, dad and I went to the general store at the campground and got charcoal and some other supplies to start a grill. Dinner was delicious, the steaks, baked potatoes, mac and cheese, beer and wine. I toasted the fact that both my parents were there, despite being divorced for some thirty years. I warrant that is not normal for most families, but everyone was jovial.

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