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May 30, 2008

City Kids in the Woods

Niki1On Memorial Day, since my family and I were just kicking back relaxing with not a thing to do, I suggested, "Hey, let's go to Lake Accotink!" We're not extra outdoorsy types of folk, but hey, we enjoy looking a tree every now and then and since it was a nice day out, it just seemed like the perfect plan. Lake Accotink is located in Springfield, Virginia and it offers all kinds of cool stuff to do, you know, if you're outdoorsy. They've got picnic shelters for those who wanna have a bite under the bright sun and clouds, they've got canoe, rowboat and pedal-boat rentals, an ol' school carousel (they call it antique, I call it ol' school), miniature golf, hiking and biking trails and a small sandy spot for those who like to imagine that they're sitting on the fluffy sands of Jamaica when they're actually sitting on gritty brown stuff that was probably purchased at Home Depot. No thank ya, kindly. I'll pass on the sand.

Niki2 Me, my husband Edell and our 2-year-old son Dutch had never been to this particular lake and we weren't planning on renting a boat, we were just going to kinda take in the scene. Breathe some good ol' fresh air. I brought my camera along, we had a few bottles of water and juice boxes and Dutch's diaper bag because well, he's still not out of Pull-Ups and who needs a big, ol' funky accident in the park? Anyhoo, the park was jam packed, so much so that we couldn't actually park the car in the parking lot. Instead, we had to park it along a street and walk towards the marina area.

Once we got to the marina and realized there wasn't much for us to do there we decided to hit the trails. So there we were walking and walking and checking out the wildlife, you know, the ducks, turtles and chipmunks. Edell said he believed that the trail we were on wrapped around the lake in a huge circle. So we kept on trekking, dodging the bikers who whizzed by us really quickly, and kept ourselves busy swatting bugs along the way.

Let me tell you, it's pretty hard to get a feisty and energetic 2-year-old to actually stay on the path.Dutch would walk into the grass, pick up a leaf or two, kick some rocks...typical little kid stuff.

Then it dawned on me that I didn't have a clue to what poison ivy looks like. Dutch had picked up at least three or four leaves at this point so I asked Edell, "Hey honey, do you know what poison ivy looks like??" His response: "Sure don't." So we kept on trekking, all the while I'm telling Dutch to stay out of the leaves because his citified parents don't know a thing about poison ivy except for the fact that it's green and it'll make you itch really bad. But aside from poison ivy, my biggest concern was that the trail we were on didn't seem to be turning, after walking and walking and walking some more it seemed that we were just going straight instead of following a path around the lake.

As a matter of fact, we could no longer even see the lake!

Dutch's pace had slowed down a bit and after seeing all the kids go by in their strollers he really started wishing for his. Daddy picked him up a couple times, but Dutch just insisted that he walk instead. Then he went through this 15-minute phase of "No Daddy, you don't pick me up because I'm too heavy. Mommy will pick me up." To which I responded: "I don't think so, Dutchie. I carried your big butt for nine months, my carrying days are over!"

Dutch slowed down and Edell picked him up even though he didn't want to be picked up and then the whining started and well, I was just over this little trek. I decided to ask a couple of kids who were riding their bikes if the trail wrapped around the lake, you know, in a big circle and they quickly told me that it didn't. Well, not really anyway. See, if we would've continued on our path, we would've ended up leaving the park, crossing a couple of streets and then we'd have to walk a few blocks or something and then we'd be back in the park.

Huh? And that's exactly why us city kids have no business playing in the woods.


An original DC Metro Moms post.
You can find niki d. (from the city) blogging at mama's got moxie.

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