Sunday, May 21, 2006

TKD trip report

"So your school went up northeast yesterday--to a tournament?"

I'm at church, talking with the dad of a boy who goes to another TKD school.

"No," I answer. "We weren't at a tournament. I think the purpose of the trip was fun. And bonding. And we got some awesome photos."

I don't have the awesome photos--Ms. Pryor took them. But I did have my little digital camera and got a few fun photos.

I ended up driving on the trip, which was fine--my van was relatively clean and had a full tank of gas. I also got free "How to be a More Aggressive Driver" lessons from Justin, who rode shotgun. ("Are you going to let him pass you like that?!") I think I probably failed those lessons. Robbie enjoyed the trip, too--seeing the sites and visiting with the TKD kids.

Here we are at a small town with beautiful limestone bridges over the river. The kids are looking at a snake that had been sunning itself on the bridge.

We hiked through a couple of state parks. I loved the woodsy trails and steep hills. I pointed out wildflowers to anyone who'd listen: wild ginger, wild geranium, dame's rocket, and jack-in-the-pulpit. We also saw a Baltimore Oriole and an eagle.

The limestone bluffs meant there were plenty of caves and caverns. As we approached this one, a group of men were singing "How Great Thou Art" here in 4-part harmony. The cavern made a nice "shell" and projected the singing. After the singers left, the TKD kids enjoyed the cavern.

Near the caves and in the woods, the mosquitos were fierce! Many of them weighed a pound.* I was glad I had my mosquito repellant.

Here are Robbie and Patrick by a lookout.

The kids had their own table at lunch.

We adults were more staid. Master Hughes and Ms. Pryor were happy and relaxed hosts, telling us stories of trips they'd taken.

The views from the bluffs were fine.

I am looking forward to sharing some more TKD photos--we all put our uniforms on and took group shots at, believe it or not, a junkyard. Ms. Pryor used several rolls of film. I hope to share some of those on this blog soon.

Late in the day, the group started to break up. Some went home, some went out to eat, but I took Robbie and Justin back to the park to explore caves (Robbie's request). We had a good time.

We grabbed a bite to eat on the way home, in a town with this lovely sculpture!

As we neared home, I spotted Master Hughes's van by the side of the road. I stopped to see what was up--he'd had car trouble and was waiting for a tow. I took his daughter Gabi home.

By the time Robbie and I got home, it was 9:30--we'd been gone since 8 a.m.! All the fresh air (and driving) mean that I needed a nap today to recover.

So was it a good "bonding" trip? I think I would have preferred less driving and more hiking, not just for the exercise but also for the chance to visit more with everyone. Still, we got a chance to do something fun and see something new together, which made for a truly enjoyable Saturday.

*You're supposed to ask "How many?" according to my great-uncle Bob.

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