Things started well enough. The girls happily peddling as Eric & I strolled along behind.
There was the occasional stop to explore or take a photo.
Less than 5 minutes in, Cayden abandoned her bike along the trail & assumed Odell duty. (Much to his dismay).
It wasn't long before the dog escaped and the trail got long & "boring." Thus begins the pouting.
Ashton & Eric found an adventure and managed to avoid any real disasters by narrowly escaping the briars.
Ashton taught herself the art of tree walking.
And that is where bike #2 was abandoned.
We made it two miles in and growling tummies finally convinced us to turn back. But not before the obligatory family photo.
On the way home we decided that the leash was better suited for a child than the dog.
He needed a break anyway. Or perhaps Eric did.
We retrieved the bikes on the way out which meant Eric & I were stuck carrying jackets, sticks & all the other treasures of the day that just couldn't be left behind.
Finally we made it to our picnic spot & ate the sandwiches the girls had made.
Eric taught everyone how to make music with their Root Beer bottles.
Cayden sucked her root beer down the wrong pipe & threw it up on the table. (No legitimate family outing is complete without a little vomit).
After lunch we hiked one more loop where the girls tried their best to rouse dangerous animals from their hiding places.
Fortunately this was as close as we came to seeing any real wildlife.
The girls wielded their walking sticks like She rah warrior princess. (I think they actually took a swing at one another at this point. Like all good parents we pretended not to notice).
We finally made it back to the car where the dog passed out on my feet & the kids started fighting like cats in a sack. Cayden told Ashton she was getting poop for her birthday & she hoped it tasted bad. I lost the ability to discipline because I was trying so hard to stifle my laughter. Eric finally put them both on silence & we rode the rest of the way home in peace.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the evolution (or devolution) of the family outing. We had fun -- like it or not!