Birthday in a Wooden Canoe

destination: island

Today we gorged ourselves on the beautiful Central Texas autumn weather with a Town Lake canoe trip.

Started the day off in the shady back yard, after a couple of puppet shows, of course, and some tic-tac-toe on the dry erase board. I painted their faces, and arms too, in honor of Eli’s birthday and island adventures.

Then Laurie arrived and whisked us down to the Festival Beach put in, where a couple of police officers were using multi-modal transportation. It was observed that they arrived in a truck, one left on a boat and another left on a bike. I asked if they were patroling for ACL but was informed that no, it was for another purpose. Ah hah.

We had a brief paddle school, parts one two and three, to learn the parts of the boat, basic paddle strokes, and how to move so you don’t tip your boat.

We paddled out to the island, talking about the different vantage point you have from the water. We could see the I-35 bridge to the west and the Longhorn Dam and the Holly Power Plant to the east. We learned how to “gunnel” up to connect the boats when we see something cool or want to talk to the other boat. There was a lot of talk about racing and pirates, but none were spotted.
The island was a paradise. Andrew regaled us of stories of past island adventures, including a real pirate sighting. From what I understand, islands in the Colorado can’t be owned, so we were truly free there! As we raced up the little path we could see there was already a huge swing hung from a branch, a still-warm fire pit, chairs, and tables. Plus, tons of treasures to be found. These kids are Thing-Finders, like Pippi, so it was no trouble to gather loot, of both people and natural origins. We also went searching for tracks, and speculated about the various signs we observed.  Mountain lions, snow lions, bats, and fairies were on the loose. Survival skills were practiced.

Rio collected firewood and Andrew got the blaze to life. We heated up our burritos on a skillet over the coals, which gave the meal a super special taste.

Our feast in the forest!
Eli enjoyed cupcakes while swinging, and everyone sang the birthday song at least twice. Eli even put the candles out in a color pattern and helped light them too.

Icing was the best part.

We had to head back to the mainland eventually. Everyone got a ride in Andrew’s amazingly beautiful hand built wooden canoe, although not everyone wanted to paddle the whole time. Good thing they’re light.

 It truly was a magical day, a perfect celebration, and we thank Andrew and Laurie for making it possible!

glitter leaf adorns a water fairy

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