Though the start of spring break was anything but warm and technically, we already had a spring break trip, we still wanted to take advantage of Jack having Good Friday off and do something fun. The week off of school for the girls was admittedly boring, basically filled with unstimulating-yet-necessary activities like spring cleaning.
|Finally! Raven got to come with us on a trip.|
So, we picked Marengo caves as a destination, packed up the car, and fueled up at a delicious Chinese buffet before roughing it in the great outdoors.
|Yes, Claire loves sushi. And chopsticks.|
Normally, we are tent campers but seeing as the weather was rainy and cold, we decided to up our accommodations to a cute little cabin near the caves, complete with electricity and heat. Thankfully, the four older kids slept like a rock but Zoey wasn’t so easily convinced. Lights were out by 9:30pm but it was a good hour before everyone was quiet. Then all through the night, I heard every creak of the bunks, every whimper, whine, sigh, snore, and rustle. Zoey seemed to as well and woke up several times, rather concerned that she wasn’t at home in her bed. All in all, I think Jack, Zoey, and I got a good 20 minutes of uninterrupted sleep.
That didn’t stop us. We were up bright and early the next morning (mostly because we couldn’t get everyone to sleep later because they’d all had a good night’s rest) and were up in the chilly rain, cooking breakfast.
|Raven hates when she has to be tied up since she’s sure she’s in trouble.|
|Putting his survival skills to use.|
…and we ate like kings and queens…toasted bagels and cream cheese, eggs, bacon, orange juice.
The girls were super impressed with the fact that it was children who initially discovered the cave back in the mid-1800’s. They heard dripping water and climbed on their bellies down a sinkhole to discover it. Call me crazy but I don’t think I would have been brave enough to do that.
Now, Marengo caves is a privately owned national landmark and give several different types of tours. It’s full of all kinds of fascinating formations, from soda straws to crystal palaces…
|It’s amazing how fast the cave is changing. Those cups are less than 100 years old!|
|A giant slice of bacon stuck in the rock.|
The second tour passed through the upper chamber of the cave, which in general, was much more open and larger than the first tour.
It’s said that if you can get your coin to stick or you knock someone else’s coin out, your wish will come true. Since Jack and I didn’t bring any coins, the girls scavanged on the ground and chucked a few into the ceiling. The guide said every few years they come through and pull each coin out and consider it a donation to the cave system. Another fun quirk of the cave!
There was a point when Zoey’s exhaustion caught up with her and her shrieks and wails echoed through the cave.
|‘Bout had it.|
Back up above the surface, we looked around the gift shop and bought a few trinkets, talked to the slightly creepy Willie cave guide…