Friday, August 21, 2015

Poconos August 2015

We wanted to try something different for a short late-summer vacation this year, so we decided to rent a house in the Poconos from a friend of Amp's. We had the house for 5 days, Monday to Friday. It was located in the Lake Naomi private community. Lake Naomi is a 277 acre private lake community with golf, tennis, swimming, fishing and boating. The house itself was a 3 bedroom, 3 bath house a block and a half from the lake (on the other side of lakefront private property). The nearest beach access was a short walk further down.
Lake Naomi with boats

Monday was driving up (2 hours away), getting settled, doing a little shopping since we would be doing some of our own cooking on the nice big grill. The whole community was heavily wooded, and full of wildlife. The first day there, we saw a group of three 10 point bucks in the neighbors' yard. There were birds everywhere.
10 point buck in the neighbors' yard

Monday night we ate at the clubhouse restaurant. It was pasta buffet night and could best be described as bland. Many varieties of bland. But not horrible.
Grace fishing at dusk

Tuesday, Amp took a tennis lesson at the club, which was her first time out hitting since her wrist surgery back in April. It went well and she was pretty excited. We fished during tennis, and caught one sunfish (me). There were a few other nibbles, but they were tiny. This lake would have been fun to fish from a boat, where you could get to the wooded areas and what appeared to be some nice grassy banks. Grace was very excited about the fishing, which gave me a big smile.
More Grace at dusk

Tuesday afternoon was spent at the lakeside pool, after which we cooked a nice dinner.
Mirror-like Lake Naomi

We didn't want to spend the whole few days at a pool (which we could do at home), so we searched out some other possible things to do on Wednesday. We elected to drive 45 minutes to Bushkill Falls, which is one of the larger waterfalls in Pennsylvania. It is on private property, where the owners have set up a whole little "theme park" area around it. There is the ravine with the Falls itself (and a number of other smaller waterfalls), some hiking trails, gift shops and snack bar, fishing pond, mini golf, paddle boats on another small pons, etc.
Bushkill Falls

Bushkill was worth visiting, but was certainly different under private ownership than it would have been as a state park. In other words, more developed, more touristy, and a lot more walkways and stairs crisscrossing the area than a park would have had. But nice, and well worth an afternoon's visit.
Bushkill Falls area with walkways

The girls especially liked the "gem mining", which basically entailed buying a bag of sand studded with a variety of semi-precious stones, and then rinsing them in a screen in a water trough so that the sand washes away, leaving behind the stones.
"Gem mining" at Bushkill Falls

Wednesday evening we got home with plans to cook dinner, play some board games and card games, and watch a show that Grace likes on the Food Network. But it began to rain as we got home, and the power went out. And stayed out. So we ended up driving ten minutes to a Walmart that was running on a generator, and killing time there (there wasn't much else around...). We got home at around 9:45pm, and the power came on ten minutes later (having been out 3-4 hours). We went to bed.

Thursday was more fishing and then more rain. We found a bowling alley not too far away, and had a good time there. We don't bowl much, which made it fun, and a little comical. On arriving back at the house in the persistent light power. Again. Annoyed at this point, and with a not very good weather forecast for Friday when we were planning to go home anyway, we threw everything in the car (we didn't have much stuff) and drove home, arriving safe and sound by 10pm.

All things considered, it was a decent trip but not great. If we were able to do more outdoors stuff (hiking, kayaking etc) it would have been better, but between the kids' limitations and the weather, we pretty much flamed out on most of that. In retrospect, we should have planned more things to do in the area (like Bushkill Falls) and not relied on the Lake community itself. Live and learn. It was family vacation, and that's never bad.

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