How to have an Epic Lunch Break, on the River, With Your Kids.
Hello! We are the Hargroves, and love to create unplugged moments of magic with our crew of 6. I know what you are thinking, “Moments of magic, really?” Being a homeschool family that includes 4 kiddos, and a husband that works full time outside of the house, finding our wands doesn’t come without difficulty, during the chaos. Dishes to be done, house renovations, shoes lost, schooling to plan, sibling arguments, piles of laundry are all our reality. However, we decided a few years ago to not let daily circumstances limit our joy of adventurous family time, even during lunch breaks. Our best lives are being lived right now, and those glittering moments of laughter together, is worth the energy and preparation it takes to create the magic. We hope to encourage you with these tips to make the most of an hour on the river together.
1. Planning ahead is the key, to not allowing time to limit your fun. Our family of 6 kayaks, on average four times a week, year-round. With that fun, comes the loading and unloading of our multiple boats and mounds of paddling gear. Planning ahead the night before, or even the morning of our lunch adventure to the river, helps save time and the chaos that is ever chasing our crew. Everyone has a task, which promotes teamwork and keeps the workload manageable. Strapping Boats to the roof rack, making lunches, laying out clothes, and loading gear into the vehicle is a few tasks we do in advance.
2. Being prepared and dressed to park and go. Dressed in our base layers, passing around the sunscreen as we drive down the road, fueling up with premade sandwiches or bars, and singing loud to keep the mood level as exciting as possible, is how we ride to the river.
3. Getting geared up to Park and Play. Jumping out of the vehicle, still singing, we all gear up and unload kayaks. Choosing to park and play, instead of doing a river run, saves us time and the energy of a shuttle. Our favorite park and play spot, is found on Wave Shaper Island along the Chattahoochee River, at The RushSouth Whitewater Park. Everyone carries their own boat, except the 6-year-old, daddy carries that one. Oh, and wait, do not forget the water bottles. I am sure that in 10 minutes someone will be thirsty.
4. Expectations and Communication to keep the smiles coming. We might all have the same last name, but that does not mean we all want to do the same things once at the river. While we walk down the stairs towards the magic, we discuss everyone’s goals and expectations of their time. Communication helps our world go around and around and around . . .
5. ENJOY! Soaking in this time together, is our last tip. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” H. Jackson Brown Jr., P.S. I Love You
Be sure to check out the newest video of our crew, as we put our words into action and take a quick lunch break from homeschool and work, to enjoy a favorite Park and Play spot, on Wave Shaper Island. The RushSouth Whitewater Park, nestled between Columbus, Georgia and Phenix City, Alabama, on the warm Chattahoochee River, provides just what we need to be refreshed and refueled. We would love to see your lunch breaks and how you take advantage of unplugged moments with friends and family. Please reach out to our crew on Instagram @hargroveadventures or Facebook @Hargrove Adventures and tell us about your day of river adventures.