Last weekend the girls and I packed up and headed south to spend a week at my mom and dad’s house on Lake Oconee. We had been looking forward to this for so many reasons, one of them being that weekend visits always fly by too fast and another reason being we’d be able to visit with extended family during that time as well. I brought along the girls’ bikes and even lesson plans just in case we had downtime- HA! We stayed busy in the most wonderful way, with plenty of lake action, several golf cart rides, and a couple of dad’s famous martinis too!
My dad’s sister, Aunt Pat, and her two girls (can I still call them “girls” if they are grown women?) flew in from Pennsylvania and Indiana, along with my cousin Kristin’s son, Alex. We were trying to figure out what my girls relation to Alex was (second cousin once removed?), but ended up just going with calling them cousins, which Hailey and Kaitlyn took to immediately took. He is a few years older than the girls but played so sweetly with them and the whole group dynamic just flowed really well!
My Nannie (my maternal grandmother) lives only a brief 45 minute jaunt away from my mom and dad and having an extended visit meant we were able to head into the country to hang out for a bit too. My uncle and aunt live next door to my Nannie, so not only were were able to chat and catch up with all of them, we also took full advantage of their ripe blueberry bushes and peach trees and picked our fill. With Nannie’s help (she’s a pro picker), we came home with several quarts of blueberries to fill our freezer with (and that was even after making blueberry muffins, which were delicious- I highly recommend this recipe!).
Over the years my parents have accumulated quite the collection of lake toys. My mom is a realtor (and a fabulous one, so let me know if you are curious about moving to lake country!), and has been able to buy them from clients as they move. That results in the “Camp Nana Papa John” title being incredible accurate because the girls are spoiled with fun things to do. From the lake pad, to stand up paddle boards, to kayaks, to jet skis and boat naps, there was no lack of lake fun to be had.
My cousin is a preschool teacher and I loved getting to show her our curriculum and get her two cents. She’s off for the summer, but jumped right in to help Kaitlyn work on some letters! We rounded out the fun with a trip to the pool so Kaitlyn could practice her new skill of swimming without floaties, an afternoon movie (Incredibles 2 was cute!), and several golf cart rides. Hailey has learned to drive it on her own (am I allowed to admit that?) and gets great pride from carting us around! Also, I’m quite proud of myself that I kept up with my 5k training all week long, despite the conflicting distances between my fitbit and my GPS on my phone. But that’s a post for another day!
Second only to family, my favorite things about Camp Nana Papa John is the food. Mom and I eat very similarly and always have fun trying new dishes in the kitchen together. We tried the Brussels Sprouts Tacos from Chloe Flavor and again I said to myself, this is a cookbook worth buying! We also ate the vegetarian lasagna from the Engine Two Cookbook, peas from the farmers market, and lunch always included Curried Chickpea Salad from Oh She Glows Everyday, which is now a staple dish in both our households.
We always have the go-to dip from my dad’s side of the family that we’ve been eating at every gathering for as long as I can remember- my Grandma Betty’s famous cream cheese dip! We also made my favorite Caramelized Onion Dip (have you tried it yet?!) and put both out with plenty of veggies for dipping… and Cape Cod Chips, too, because they are the best!
Going out to eat isn’t the easiest with kid (at least with my tired kids), but we did manage one night out at one of our favorite Lake Oconee spots- Silver Moon! Their Mediterranean baked cod was fabulous… almost as fabulous as their generously poured martinis 😉
All in all, I could not have asked for a better week down at Lake Oconee at Camp Nana Papa John. It’s going to take me a full week to get the girls back on a schedule, but isn’t that what summer is all about? Lake nights, slumber parties, and making those sweet memories with the people you love!
Thanks for the fun, Lake Oconee, and Camp Nana Papa John!
Are you a lake person?
What is your favorite lake to visit and activity to do?
I’m a sucker for the jet ski and the stand up paddle board!