We left Corvallis late on Tuesday with the Jeep in tow and headed down Interstate 5, happy to be on the road again and headed to see family. Ayrril’s cousin Lura and her family live in Roseburg, about two hours south of Corvallis, and we planned to continue the Oregon kick-off party with them. We arrived at dusk to much fanfare, with Remi and Sailie running barefoot down the lawn along the driveway to wave us in. As everyone piled out, Levi immediately drew Carson and Bridger into a game of Kick the Can in their awesome backyard and the family fest was off and running! Trampolines, a hot tub on the back patio, acres of yard, a beautiful view of the Oregon hills, and the Umpqua River just down the hill made for a great visit. It was the first time since arriving in the states that we were really able to just relax. With kids tucked into bed late that night, the grown ups (ha!) slipped into the hot tub to watch shooting stars and unwind. The stars were brilliant, giving us a crystal clear view of the constellations, and what seemed to be a miniature meteor shower – it seemed that every few minutes there was another beautiful streak across the sky.
On Wednesday morning, after a delicious home cooked breakfast to get everyone powered up (Thanks Lura!), we loaded kayaks and headed for the river. Uncle Dale had joined us the night before, so with 11 boats in the water we had a real flotilla going! At about the halfway mark we stopped to fling ourselves off a long rope swing into the cool current of the river. After several hours of floating, paddling, and swimming, we pulled the boats out and headed back to the house, more than ready for dinner. After dinner we had homemade huckleberry pie (Thanks McKenna!) and ice cream. Then we waited for dark for more Kick the Can, this time with the adults too, including the neighbors who came by on their 4-wheeler to drop off some eggs. Anyone who was caught had to sit by the fire until some fast and daring player could free them by kicking the can. Those LeMert kids are ninja fast! Then bedtime, hot tub, shooting stars… the usual. 🙂
The next morning brought another amazing breakfast spread, last minute running around by all of the kids, and then back in the bus to head further south. It was difficult to leave. Having Lura, Shawn, Levi, Sailie, and Remi in Oregon makes it start to feel like home and we’re looking forward to coming back next summer.