States Holiday 2023 – P2

TLDR – Hanging with the MIller Side of the family at the Compound and Mason Lake for swimming, family, a golf cart parade, and fishing

Click here for the trip overview 

First day here – Friday

First day after the brutal travel day, and Jetlag is not hitting the kids nearly as badly as it has in past trips. The girls slept in until about 0600 Maddex slept in until 0500.  We spent the morning hanging out at the Miller compound. The kids had a blast playing in the yard with Grandpa and DJ. Set up badminton, built a fort in the garage, trampoline, toured the grounds, and played some pool – so much room for so many activities.

Main house from across the yard - looking green as ever

For lunch, we drove to Target and Costco. Grandma gave the kids each 20$ to spend. Money to burn; they all returned home with a new toy or two. DJ bought a massive Nerf dart gun. Mom gave me a Costco membership for my birthday. Michelle and I obtained our member’s cards before shopping. With loads of kids recovering from a flight, we didn’t do our normal every Isle shop. We hit the clothes, samples, and limited food. Five crazy kids were too much for us to slow shop.  The hot dogs were great!! order by touch screen is excellent. – It’s good to be back in the States. Back at the Miller compound, we had BBQ chicken and tators for dinner and played more with Grandpa before eventually passing out around 2100.

Dinner on the deck

Second Day – Saturday

Working overnight and staying up most of the days with the kids makes for a horrible diet. Wanted to eat all night to stay awake, then eat all day with the kids at normal meals; plus, Oh look, American food we miss. Good thing I’m only doing this for a few days. Took a few hour nap after work while the kids played with Grandpa.  Mila, Mom and Michelle went shopping.  They Brought me back a still-warm birthday pie. Pie and Ice cream for lunch; yes, please. Mila asked, hinting, ” I wish we could go swimming” I responded, let’s go to the lake!!

An hour later, we arrived at the lake with 36 Tacos from Taco Bell for lunch, and the kids were in the water playing. First time I’d seen most of them swimming since I had swimming lessons. Mila is the first to jump from the dock into the water. Followed by Khaleesi and Maddex. Maddex managed a few flips off of the dock before we wrangled the kids to head home. We didn’t suncream them well enough to let them spend more than a few hours in the water and sun on the first day out. Parent’s job – Don’t let the kids drown or get sunburnt. We succeeded at both. Tacos for dinner at the cabin – drive back to the Miller compound for playing and sleep. I crashed early, needing to wake up early to work again. The kids played late with Grandpa.


Up at 0030 again to work for nine hours. After work, I had a quick nap while everyone else packed to move to the cabin for a few nights. Kids gave us about 13 seconds to unpack before they started begging to head to the lake and swim. We made them wait a bit longer, but not much. UV index is 8-9 even with suncream the kids can’t last long in the sun before sunburn. At around 2 hours in the water, we called it and went back to the cabin to hide in the shade. Roasted hot dogs on the fire, made smores and hung out for a bit. Not sure how, but the kids didn’t complain or beg to go back to the late at all. We took them back down around 1830 when the UV index had dropped enough to not cook us alive and spent a few more hours at the lake in the water.

Hiding from the sun at the cabin

Monday – July third

First official vacation day for me. No work for a month. I’m still awake before 0500, laying in bed reading. Reddit ended for me a few days ago with the API block. Out of things to doom scroll. Maddex jumped between us in bed a bit after 0520. He and I went out to sit around a morning fire. Grandpa set up fishing poles with his +3 reading glasses while the kids ate. Mila ate two fruit by the foot’s I snuck her under her blanket. No one else noticed !!

Everyone but Roxi caught a fish. Maddex was an expert caster in no time. Michelle reeled in the biggest. Mila caught a few and screamed, running from them when Grandpa removed the hooks. By 0940, the kids are back in their swimsuits in the water swimming. Better get it in early before the UV index hits the danger zone where the kids sunburn in minutes.

After fishing and swimming, we went for a boat ride around the lake, checking out the houses. Fewer cabins from the days of my childhood. More huge lake homes. Mila was able to ride in the inner tube a few times on the boat ride. The first ride ended quickly. The next ride lasted a bit longer, and Maddex went with her –  Love when Mila is brave and bold !

Mila and Roxi giving the tube a go

Back at the cabin, the kids all have a slight sunburn, and we have to do the mean parent thing and not let them go back to the water. One of the fish from the morning fishing was still alive by the time we made it back to the cabin. He ended up in a concrete fountain for the rest of the day. Kids named him lucky, lucky to be alive. Michelle helped the kids tye dye some shirts. We roasted things on the fire and decorated the golf cart for a parade later.

The kids rode in the parade with Grandpa, Mylee in another cart, followed by Aunt Teresa and Uncle Eddie. By now, it’s 1800, and the sun is down enough the UV index has dropped from, avoid the sun 8 to wear suncream 4. We let the kids swim for another bit before heading up to change. There’s a big potluck at the lake tonight for dinner. The line is long, so we went back up to the cabin to pack and change into dry outfits while the line calmed down.

Decorated for the parade

Back at the lake, the line is somehow longer. Kids are tired we decided to drive back into Port Orchard to sleep, vs deal with the lake on the Third of July, where there are huge firework shows and parties late into the night.  Picked up Wendy’s on the way. I forgot how good their chips are. Plus frosties. Another great vacation day.    

Before we left for home, Maddex caught the fish in the fountain, took him to the lake, and set him free. Babies are so selfish it’s how I still picture the kids in my head. Witnessing Maddex show compassion for a living thing was a slap in the “he’s growing up and has feelings and compassion now” – impressed with Maddex’s actions; proud of him. 

Click here for the Next installment – part 3

Bonus Pictures

Click here for the Next installment – part 3

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