My family has a tradition of spending a week together each summer near water, preferably somewhere hot. This has changed over the years, from camping with dogs at Lake Chelan, to renting a cabin on Lake Whatcom or Lake Entiat with less dogs and more kids. This year, with the kids (my twins and 2 nephews) being 4, 5, and 6, we decided a pool was in order. We rented a house in the gorgeous Methow valley. The Methow river was just a short walk down from the house, and the beautiful vista of the Cascade mountain range was visible from the pool. I learned the word "Confluence" as 3 rivers intersect nearby in Twisp. (My mom is obsessed!!). We also discovered that the Valley is host to the original smoke jumper base in the U.S. and were treated to a tour by a young, muscled man who risks his life to keep our forests and populations safe. (2 of the 4 kids now want to be smoke jumpers).
Mostly our days were filled with eating copious amounts of chips, lathering sunscreen on our pale brood, science projects and imagination games, trading off trips to town, 2 or 3 at a time to drink wine or buy more chips, playing games of dominoes, dice, corn hole and ladder golf (dubbed slap nuts by our clan), and eating family dinners around a long table.
Dogs are no longer invited on the trip :)