Cody and I have been wanting to try paddle boating, so we went to Petit Jean this past Sunday and tried it out. Yes, I know there are closer state parks but Petit Jean State Park has Petit Jean Mountain. You can't beat that....unless you're going to go to Mount Magazine and that's a bit far for a day trip with a four-year-old. So Petit Jean it was.
We didn't think about our weight differences until it was too late. When one person weighs twice as much as another, it's not a good idea to sit those people side by side on watercraft and expect them to pedal along. Next time we'll try a canoe. It was still pretty fun, thought! It was a beautiful afternoon on the water with our little girl.
Life jackets were included with the cost of renting the paddle boat ($7 for an hour) and we were told we could actually pick the water lilies since they were starting to become a nuisance. Picking the flowers at a state park?! Evelyn was super thrilled!
I'm not sure we were out there an entire hour, but my knees hurt and Evelyn was bored. And like I mentioned, it was pretty tricky for Cody and I to try to pedal that little boat around. But it wasn't disastrous and my goodness, the water was beautiful and the park was beautiful and the little breeze that would pick up and make it even harder to pedal was beautiful.
I haven't gotten to spend as much time outside as I'd like these days, and I'd already decided that I'd go somewhere Sunday even if Cody and Evelyn didn't come with me. But I'm very glad they did. We were a little hot and tired for hiking, so we just watched Evelyn play on the playground for a while before we stopped at the overlook and took some pictures and enjoyed the view. Evelyn shouted "I'm king of the world!" a couple of times and I know just how she felt. It seemed like we could see forever and everything was big and beautiful.
She wanted me to see if I could step out onto that big rock in the picture up there, so I took off my flip flops and hopped over (and posed very awkwardly, it looks like). I liked taking big steps from rock to rock with her. She's so much more comfortable doing it since the last time we visited--she's a lot taller and loads more confident about outdoor things. Cody's still not a fan of doing anything resembling hopping around lots of rocks on top of a mountain with a scary drop-off, but he seemed pretty happy that our little lake excursion didn't devolve into all of us having shouting and/or falling into the water. We took a scenic route home and it was the first day in a while that Cody and I were both off work. When we got home, I did some laundry and we ate pizza for dinner. Lovely, lovely day. I feel like I should be honest and say that Evelyn was argumentative and I was grouchy and Cody was forgetful and a pretty terrible driver since he was tired, but still. It was still a lovely day. It's so much better to be short-tempered outdoors rather than cooped up any time. It was an excellent adventure.