Playtime at the lake
We thought it best to celebrate the arrival of summer (and father's day) with the quintessential cabin-on-a-lake American vacation. And what better way to do it in a small town named after two of California's most notable authors?
Family portrait on the dock
We stayed in a tiny-but-perfect, nestled-amongst-pine-trees cabin that had it's own ping pong table, hammock, bench swing and dock. A short swim (or kayak) across the little lake was a sandy beach, a couple of water slides, and snack shack known for shave ice and soft-serve ice cream cones.
Ronan loved the contrast of the hot sun and cold Slurpee
Ronan, of course, loved it. He made ample use of the four floating platforms that provided a place to rest & warm, and when he was feeling adventurous he's throw himself down one of the water slides.
In the evening Nieve spotted a bat and showed us where to look
Ronan used a paddle to create ripples on the calm lake
Nieve was a happy little swimmer, floating in her inflatable ring, her little legs moving under the water, propelling her forward like a clumsy duck. When she got too cool she would lay down on the warm rocks and 'lizard' until she was hot enough to go back into the water.
An amused boy on a steam train
This very lake was a spot where Mom used to come as a kid; in addition to just being a great family spot, she was filled with nostalgia for Twain Harte. She was comforted by the ever present lifeguards patrolling the lake, making a perfect spot for small kids who love to play in water.
Ronan, on a steam train, enjoying a breeze
Nieve waves to the steam engine
On one of the days we decided to take a break from lake life, drive few miles west of Twain Harte to Jamestown, and visit the Railtown 1897 State Historic Park. There we took a short but enjoyable through the golden California foothills on a carriage pulled by an old Steam locomotive.
Ronan posing in front of an old coach
An appropriately serious Nieve in front of the livery, Columbia, California
Also nearby is the historic state park of Columbia, California, a well preserved gold rush town that captures the essence of late 19th century California. It's an interesting spot to lunch, watching the passing stagecoachs and hearing the busy hammering from the nearby blacksmith.
Enjoying the sunset and calm lake
It was a fun, easy, relaxing trip. Perhaps the best part was simply being able to slow down as a family and enjoy each other's company. Ronan and Nieve have both requested another 'lake trip' next summer - it's likely the beginnings of an annual tradition. I, for one, am very much looking forward to it.