August 19, 2017: River Cruising

Saturday. We are in Cuba, Missouri for the solar eclipse and Dominica’s birthday.

Today is our busy day of activities.  Jared and his wife and daughters, who are almost exactly the same age as Liesl and Luciana, came and joined us at Paul’s house this morning.  Jared’s dad lives very nearby and they were staying with him, I believe.

We got all loaded up in the cars this morning and drove out to someone’s cottage, parked our cars, and worked our way to a launch point on the Merimec River so that we could go rafting all day.  We met up with Chris and his family (I met him at the bar last night) as well.

Rafting the river is a big endeavor.  We had a really awesome time.  We had a big boat for the two families (Jared’s and us) and Paul and Karen do this enough that they each had their own kayak for it.  Chris’ family had their own boat.

The river is really slow and the kids just had a blast.  We went lazily down the river for hours.  They had fun paddling, playing with each other, talking to people, getting wet.

Eventually we stopped and ate lunch along the way.

Later on along the river there was a really rough bit (“really” being a relative term, but it wasn’t as gentle as it had been) and we stopped along with loads of other people to check it out.  They tried getting the kids to go see a natural spring feeding the river, but it required getting them through deep water at rapids.  So several adults had to hand kids from person to person to get them across and I had to stand deep in the river righting the rapids to catch people who lost control; which Karen actually did and got swept away by the river and I had to catch her.

Overall it was a lot of fun and something that we’ve never done before.  We had a good time and would definitely do that again.  And we had a great time hanging out with Jared’s family.  They four girls all want to get together again.  They are living in Chicago, though, so decently hard to go see them.

After the river ride was over we had to go fetch the vehicles, load up the boats, go shower, etc.

There was a “festival” in Cuba this evening.  Paul, Karen, and I took Liesl and Luciana out there for about an hour. There wasn’t too much for the girls to do except there was facepainting which is one of the girls’ most favourite activities ever.  They love it so much, so we had to do that.  Which we did, and they were thrilled.  Hard to ask for much more than a day of new friends their own age, river rafting, and then topping it all off with face painting.  That makes for some happy Miller children.