April 9, 2022-Hot Springs National Park

(click for today's pictures)

Since we knew we had to wake up so early last night, i was even asleep by 11. I am rarely asleep by then. We slept really well last night except for Robby's refrigerator alarm going off sometime in the middle of the night. 

For some reason someone somehow manages to occasionally turn off our fridge so Robby has bought an alarm. No one had turned it off, but it was too cold so the alarm went off. It didn't take us long at all to go on back to sleep. I was awake a few minutes before our alarms did ring.

Anderson, Graham Campbell, Keaton and I went on the first bus to Raymar for our first soccer game. Robby then drove back to the camper (just about 15 minutes more than driving to Raymar from home) and returned with Whitman and Reagan. They gave those two a bit more needed sleep.

Anderson had to be there at 7:15 and went straight to work helping get the fields ready for the soccer games. Campbell, Keaton, Graham and I went straight to work getting the concession stand ready. It took until the first game to get things neat and ready for the day. 

We were at the fields until 2"15 this afternoon. Reagan reffed one game which she absolutely loves and worked in the concession stand one official hour. Graham reffed two games and so did Anderson. I was able to have Graham and Keaton work 2 hours in the concession stand, Campbell logged about 3 in the concession stand.

Whitman really can't hurry very well-during school chores, and even soccer practice. However, he did really well today. Now, he isn't a super star, but he ran after the ball and had the best time ever. It probably helped that his team was winning! He also was the goalie for one period. He stopped the ball once and once he even had to dive to knock the ball away from the goal, Seriously, I've never been so stressed, but he did impress us.

Campbell and Keaton's game was next-right when we were all getting sunburned at 1 this afternoon. They were one fire, but ended up losing by 1 point. Campbell scored and was absolutely all over that field. I know I say it every soccer year, but Campbell hustles like you would not believe. Keaton was smaller than most of the girls on the other team, but she would get in the bunch and kick that ball. They were a lot of fun to watch.

After soccer, we headed back to camp. We did stop at Kreme Kastle on the way-shakes and ice cream for all, and even some fries and mozerella sticks. It was a great stop-and I knew we would stop there, and I was sure glad that we did. We haven't had ice cream on a trip in a while.

Once we made it back to the campsite, we realized that the weather was absolutely perfect. It was so warm this afternoon, but a fire was needed to stay cozy this evening. We unloaded the car and worked on making it organized to help things some when we get home. 

Then there was walks, bike rides, scooter rides, hover board rides and even water play. I think that all of the kids ended up in the water-some more than others. Campbell and Whitman ended up all the way in the water. I think that most everyone else did a bit of wading though. Bentley even did a bit of wading, and she loved every bit of it. She usually doesn't like the water too much so it was good to see her warming up to the cool water.

Reagan, Keaton, Robby and I did drive down to the National Park gift store in town because we needed a sticker for the side of the camper-we do have priorities after all! When we came back, we started on our fire and then began cooking supper.

It didn't take us too long to work on supper-hamburgers and french fries. I think that everyone was pretty hungry this evening because they asked us about when supper was going to be about 47 times. Supper was good-a good hamburger bun is key to a delicious burger. 

After we ate, we tried out my new camp cooker over the fire. It is like a cast iron grilled cheese maker for over the fire. I want to try a grilled cheese or a quesadilla in it, but tonight we tried cinnamon rolls. We burned one, but then made two more that were pretty good. Now, Anderson said that his tasted just like the oven (it did take about 10  minutes to make one cinnamon roll so the oven would have been much more time efficient, but not nearly as much fun.

We stayed outside as long as we could-we were tired. When Robby and I did come in (around 8:45), many of the kids had already come in, had showers and made their beds. My people were exhausted. I don't think that many of us are looking forward to going home tomorrow. 

I had questioned if we should have just come home after the ballgames today and not come back here, but this was such a perfect weather day. Even though we were only here for less than half of the day, the kids had so much fun playing and riding their bikes in the water this evening. The campfire was perfect as we just all relaxed around it. This evening was the highlight of the trip for sure. 

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