|From Poconos 2011|
This year my family went on our summer vacation, back to the house we stayed at last year. It's on a lake in the Pocono Mountains in PA & has become one of our all-time favorite vacation spots.
Fortunately, the weather was great all week. The heatwave blasting the rest of the East Coast didn't really catch up with us until Thursday. Even the cooling effects of the lake can't stop 100º+ heat.
I spent most of my time swimming, kayaking, fishing, or relaxing, with plenty of eating and drinking. We all take turns making dinner each nite which works out great. We all get along well, so vacations are always fun. With the family growing, it only gets more & more interesting.
The only real activity we left the house for was to go to the world's largest general store/redneck amusement park, Country Junction. They have a gigantic store full of both everyday items & more bizarre stuff. One of our favorite things there is a mangy stuffed lion that's $25,000. There's also a full-size home theater area inside. Outside, they have a petting zoo/playground. Behind the whole complex is a large field, with crazy stuff like a huge pirate ship, a "haunted house" that looks like it's inside a shack, and a psychedelically-decorated magic bus. My nephew loved playing on all the wacky crap there, but I was just amused by it all.
I didn't go on any long nature hikes this year. However, I did make a couple trips to a trail (about a mile long) which leads to a cool waterfall. The first time was with my brothers & a friend, then I went back a couple days later w/ my sister's family. I went swimming in the water in the lagoons beneath the falls & it was bone-chillingly cold.
|From Poconos 2011|
Despite not seeing any rattlesnakes this year, there were a few water snakes living in the area of the dock behind the house. I felt like a Natural Geographic photographer, crawling in the shallow water by the shore to get a close photo of the snake. We found out they're not poisonous, but they're still creepy.
Here are some of the photos I took of the fun & craziness of the week: