Haley groaned and put the pillow over her head. "Daaaaad, it's not even light outside yet!"
"Come on, be downstairs in fifteen minutes," he told her. "Or I'll come back up with a glass of water," he teased.
"I'm up, I'm up," he said sleepily.
"It's a surprise!" Nathaniel announced happily. "But we're going to have a blast!"
Ian glanced around. "I don't!"
"That's because you were a little baby the last time we came," she told him, triumphantly.
"Come on, kids. Let's go catch up with Dad!" Eva said, breaking into a jog.
Ian walked over with Ian and slung his arm around his son's shoulder. "That is a plaque commemorating the fact that this park has been officially recognized as a protected state park. Your mother fought long and hard to have it kept from being turned into a neighborhood development!"
"Wow!" Ian said, his voice full of wonder. "This place looks awesome!"
"Come on, let's go fishing," Nathaniel said, tugging Ian over towards the water's edge.
Haley glanced up from her tablet briefly and made a face. "Uh, no, I'm good!" she said.
Eva looked over and smiled at the little minnow her son held.
"I think they enjoy it just as much as we do!" Nathaniel said, pleased to share one of his favorite places with his kids.
Eva chuckled, "I don't think poor Haley is as into the outdoors as we are! But Ian is in his element! Did you notice he doesn't even mind how cold it is today!"
"SNAKE?!" Haley shrieked.
Eva glanced over with concern. "Ian, don't..."
"Ouch! It bit me!" Ian shouted indignantly, waving his hand around in pain as the snake slithered away.
***After Nathaniel chased down the snake to confirm that it was a non-venomous variety, they headed back to camp. Eva cleaned and bandaged his wound, lecturing him about playing with wildlife the entire time.
"Yeah, it only hurts a little," Ian said, wiggling his hand. "Can I help you lit the fire?"
"Sure, get the kindling," Nathaniel directed him as the ladies took their seats.
"Gross! It looks slimy!" Haley complained. "I don't want to touch it!"
Ian grinned and slipped two pieces on his roasting stick. "I get Haley's!"
"Haley! Don't swing that next to your brother's face!" Nathaniel cautioned her.
"Mmmm... these marshmallows are great!" Ian said, popping three perfectly toasted marshmallows into his mouth.