Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sand Sledding

After we packed up from digging for sand roses we drove about 30-45 minutes to another spot that is good for sand sledding!  We have never been before and were looking forward to this opportunity!  I remember when we were packing up back in the States and it was recommended to bring a sled for sand sledding.... and now we could finally use our sled!
The kids got out of the cars and saw this HUGE sand hill and just started climbing up it......
And climbing straight up in sand where your feet sink in is kind of exhausting!!!
Ethan was a bit afraid to go up by himself, so Brad grabbed his hand and walked him up!
Trying out the purple disc sled.
Maybe you'll go faster if daddy gets off and gives you a push!

I made it!
Addyson jumped on our blue sled with her friend Mason. Turns out the blue sled is SUPER fast!
All was great until halfway down she feels off and took a face plant.... a face plant in the sand hurts a bit more than one in the snow!  Sand in the eyes was a huge concern today!
This is why I tried to get all of my kids to wear their sunglasses!  Even when you were just going down on the sled, the sand would kick up and get in your eyes.  And if you were close to a sled going down, you'd also get friendly fire!
We were also told that cardboard makes a good sled so Ethan tried out that option too!  Turns out the best sled was the blue one we brought, it is super fast!
Ethan got brave, he started climbing up the hill himself!  See him at the bottom and Brad is halfway up!
I never made it up the hill.... I was the photographer.  I'm sure the view at the top was amazing.  It seemed like people stayed at the top of the hill for a long time after they made it to the top!
So most kids went straight up the hill in one spot so when Addyson went over to a portion that wasn't quit as high it was also untouched, I just love this picture!
Running down was just as fun as going down on a sled!
Taking a break!

Trying to get the purple disc to go fast.... wasn't working to well.
Being brave and doing it all on his own!  Proud to announce that he was a big boy now!
Alone and enjoying the peace and quiet and the view!  Maybe I should have gone up and done the same!
Scarlett making Nilla work!  When your sled isn't fast enough, get your dog to run you down!
Owen finally got a turn on the blue sled and he went with Judah!  Super fast and super fun!
Addyson with a girl pile up with Lauren and Violette.... no room for boys... no worry, E can just go down on his tummy and be just as happy!
While the kids, and some adults, took to the hill the rest of us set up daycamp!
After more than an hour of driving, a couple of hours digging for roses, more driving, and now over an hour of sledding Brad was mentioning to me that we should wrap it up.  We were all getting tired and we still had about an hour and a half drive home.
Not only that but he said several times, "We should really end on a HIGH note!"
As he was saying this, our kids had just made their way to the top of the hill and were getting ready to ride down together on the blue sled with TJ.  I was telling Brad, Ok, let's let them go down one more time and then we'll go.  I agree, let's end on a high note....
And then it happened.  What we dreaded.  What we were trying to avoid!  The kids came down super fast and their sled was so light with the three of them on it that they didn't stop at the bottom of the hill.  They kept going and were bounding on the hard, dry, compacted sand.  The bouncing made their legs and feet fall of the of the sled (look at the pic how Addyson's legs are tucked behind her on the ground and Owen is face planting going probalby 20mph).  The scraped their skin on the hard sand that was worse than dragging in on concrete.  And just like that, our high note was over.
Just like that I had 2 kids with open wounds (Addyson's were really deep) that were covered in sand and painful.  UGH!!!!  One family had a first aide kit and came to our rescue (another reason you don't travel alone in the desert) and with their help we got our kids cleaned up enough to make the ride home.
We loaded up and left before everyone else... that is them in the distance.  To leave you have to drive up a steep hill that is full of sharp rocks.  We held our breath and went for it...
Made it up the hill and were enjoying the scenery and the camels when all of a sudden Brad said we were loosing tire pressure....
And just like that our High Note ending took another turn for the worse.  We were alone on a desert road that doesn't have much traffic and we had a flat. THIS is why you travel in groups!
Brad was a trooper and went straight to work changing our tire.  I was SO thankful that this happened out in the desert.  If he had to change a tire on that deadly highway I would have been a nervous wreck!
As Brad was changing our tired, 2 different cars with Saudis came by to check on us.  I was surprised that they stopped considering my friend Marianna and I were out and without our abayas on.  The last car insisted on getting out and helping us!  They wouldn't let Brad do it alone!
They were so kind and so helpful!  This is where I plug in that we are surrounded by very kind people here in Saudi!  Please DO NOT let the news scare you!  It isn't Saudis or Middle Easterns or Muslims we need to be afraid of.  We have had several amazing interactions with them.  They are loving, kind, and helpful and today is a perfect example of that!  This was exactly what we needed to end our day on a High Note!
We got our tire changed, which our spare was a little suspicious looking but thankfully we also had an air compressor in the car to air it up and it was able to get us home safely!  Once we hit the road for the trip home it didn't take the kids long to pass out.  This is Owen and Lauren passed out on each other.
This day out in the desert, even with the few incidents, was just what we needed to decompress after a crazy camp week.  And when we asked the kids when we got home if they had fun even though they got hurt their answer was "YES!!!!"  My take away is this, no matter where you are try to find the beauty in your surroundings and the love in the people around you and make the most of every opportunity you can!  It is good for the soul!

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