Saturday, December 27, 2014

Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, It's Off to Ohio We Go...

For Christmas this year, the Frank family gathered in the Hocking Hills region of Ohio.

 We packed the van to the gills (makes no sense, I know), and endured some long hours of quality family time together on the way.  This was the first year I was really wishing we had some sort of video player while driving.  Somehow we survived without it, though.

I have to say, traveling without a young one who needs to nurse, nap, or be changed, is much easier.  (Did we ever take a trip with a baby during which the baby finally fell asleep for a much needed nap and then 5 minutes later someone announced that they had to go to the bathroom, so we drove around a gas station parking lot, launching the bathroom-goers out the side door, while keeping the car running and moving at all times so the baby wouldn't wake up....and then he inevitably did anyway??)  Yeah, we didn't have to do any of that this time.

Anyway, we fiiiiiinnally arrived.... and pulled up to this, so it was all worth it:

We were happy to see each other -- and to start exploring the house!

Of course, a few of us found ways in and around the house that made others of us shriek:

There were plenty of acres to hike...

 .... a hot tub to plunge into....

... and an outdoor brick oven to cook in!   We made pizzas the first night, and it was still hot enough the second day to cook some sweet potatoes and squash in for the next dinner.
 The pizza production line inside:

We made so many pizzas that night that we had enough for several more meals!

The kids also enjoyed the fact that there was a basement theater room...

And between all the cooking and hiking and hot-tubbing and movie-watching, we had plenty of time to just hang out and enjoy being a family -- and playing the celebrity game, the couch game, euchre, and the yankee swap game.

Fun times with the frolicking Frank family!

Will post Christmas Day pictures tomorrow....

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