When friends of ours invited us out on their boat last weekend, I said yes immediately. A weekend afternoon relaxing on the river sounded like a great idea. Then I started to think about the potential issues – what if the boys hate/are scared of the boat? what if they freak out over the life jackets? what if they spend the whole time looking for ways to climb out of the boat?
We arrived at the boat and immediately put life jackets on the kids – they weren’t thrilled but seemed to understand it was part of the boat ride. Then I gave them snacks so they would sit while everyone got settled and away from the dock. Wyatt spent a good part of the next half hour running from the front to the back of the boat happily eating chips directly from the bag – getting to hold the bag and eat lots of chips was probably one of the highlights of the day for him. Ruslan was happy to sit with me for a while (he had no interest in running around while the boat was moving – watching Wyatt fall over probably helped with that decision) and then he realized that he could help drive the boat. He was happiest sitting with someone to drive or hanging out pretending to drive while we were docked. He also loved waving to the other boats and to the people we saw walking across a bridge.
We headed down the Allegheny River to downtown and docked near the water steps. The water steps are a perfect water play area in my opion – climbing, running water, but it is never too deeep. And boat is such an awesome way to arrive – no traffic, parking issues, or long walk with towels and wet kids. Juliana hopped in and headed to the top and back while the boys took a laid back approach – sitting with their feet in the water. Eventually they looked around to find Juliana and then we convinced them to head into the water. They played and splashed in the water falls and every few minutes came back to hold on to me before running back into the water.
We cooked and ate dinner while docked near Point State Park and Juliana caught her fish. Wyatt spent the second half of our adventure standing near the side of the boat watching the water and possibly thinking about how to get off the boat again. Juliana had a turn on the tube on our way out of town (the boys watched with great interest and might have yelled my turn when she was done) and then wrapped up in her towel and chilled for the remainder of the ride.
We had a very relaxing day, something that doesn’t happen often when we are out with all of the kids. Everyone was good, there was limited protesting of the life jackets, and everyone was ready for bed when we got home. It was a great family outing with friends!