Vacation. A time to rest. A time to relax. A time to disconnet with the world and connect with family. Our trip was all of these things, and so much more. And even though it ended with an emergency trip to get Matt five stitches in his head, we still had an amazing time. For those of you with weak stomaches, don't worry! I've learned my lesson and I won't be posting any gruesome pictures of Matt's accident on here, but I will be sharing the whole story, so keep reading - it's toward the end of the week.
Indian Lake is in the Adirondacks in upstate New York. My dad and his family spent their entire lives growing up visiting Indian Lake. This was my fourth trip going in my lifetime, a place where we go to relax, escape life for a while, and spend time with family. My dad's mom turned 80 last year, and in order to do something special for her 80th birthday, we planned a family reunion trip to everyone's favorite place - Indian Lake. My dad's side of the family spans the east coast, so it was quite a trip for everyone to get there, but well worth it. We had family drive from southern Florida, Georgia, Virginia, and New York.
As Matt and I approached, our cell signal began to die as we continued into the mountains. I rolled down the window, only to be hit with the scent of fresh pine. It was SO good to be back.
Here are some highlights and stories from our trip!
I love this shot Matt took of me!
Matt had never waterskiied before, so he had a few falls before he got up - I love this action shot!
And then he got up! AND he went off the wake during his first run! So proud of him!
My dad is an AWESOME skiier!
Cheesin' - like father, like daughter!
Some shots around our house.
You may think, "Oh, that's a lovely picture." But the reality is I was documenting what we were about to JUMP off of! That's right - we went cliff jumping!
First you have to swim across and climb up some rocks to get up there.
Secondly, you pause for a photo op! We're with my Uncle Jim and my cousins Leah and Benjamin.
And then... you JUMP!
My dad shots these all in one jump - I love it! You can see in my face how terrified I am. I've done it before, but it had been 9 years since I had been there, and I kind of forgot just how scary it is!
Matt and my uncle kept jumping over and over again! They're both such adrenaline junkies.
This shows you how high it is. The big platform is about 25 feet and the highest, where Matt is jumping from, is about 30.
No family vacation post would be complete without a few home videos, so here is a video of Matt and Jim jumping from the cliff. You can definitely hear my shutter noise capturing every moment in the background!
So much fun!
We woke up before sunrise (around 5am) the next morning to go fishing with my uncle. I also wanted to come along to take pictures on the lake at sunrise, and it did not disappoint! On top of it all, me, Matt, my cousin Leah and my uncle Dave had a very successful morning fishing!
We went to an area called the narrows and not only was it so beautiful, but we caught so many fish there!
Matt getting his fish on - he had a lot of success!
Don't mind me, I look like a hot mess. BUT the pile of stinky fish I'm holding is our winnings from that morning. Between the four of us, we caught a lot of fish, and ended up keeping about seven of them!
Later that day, my dad, Matt and I went on a hike up Baldy Mountain. It's a relatively easy hike, and it only took us 35 minutes to get up, but it's SO rewarding because the view is spectacular! Here is a pano I shot of the view of Indian Lake!
We took a group picture at the top, the same rock my family sat on for a group picture back in the 1990s.
The vantage point isn't exactly the same because, well, I had to improvise. The lack of people up top meant we needed a self-timer picture, and the only thing I could find to prop my camera on was this tree. It was ghetto-fabulous, but it got the job done!
Me and the hubs!
This is just classic Matt and Rebekah.
On our walk to the Lake Store, we found Matt's home!
Oh, the Lake Store. It still smells the same. It still looks the same. As soon as I walked in, I was transported back to my childhood. This place is a 2-minute walk (if that) from the house we stay in. They have the BEST ice cream and we went almost every single night.
On our last day, the weather was kind of crummy, but after the rain stopped, me, Matt, my dad and my uncle decided despite the clouds, we would go out for one more run. The water was PERFECT - it was as smooth as could be, which is so ideal for waterskiing.
I posted an embarrassing wipeout picture from Matt so I thought it was only fair to post mine, as well.
Matt had a great run! He did SO well and I was really impressed with his skills for this being his first week up on waterskiis!
Matt went from this, to tragedy in a matter of 10 seconds. No one saw it coming, and it was a really scary moment for us all, but we are SO thankful that God protected Matt - it could've been SO much worse. So... here's what happened:
Matt was having a great last run, and was skiing his best. He decided he was done, so he let go of the rope (which is what any waterskiier does when they are done - you let go and slowly sink down in the water as you come to a stop). As Matt was sinking down, he lost his balance and fell forward. My uncle said something like, "Ouch, that looked like it hurt" and I said, "Yeah it look like he face-planted." - but it wasn't anything out of the ordinary. As we pulled the boat around and approached Matt, we saw him pointing to his head and mouthing "my head" - and as he turned his face, all of a sudden we saw a TON of blood. I panicked.
What had happened, and what none of us in the boat saw, is that after Matt hit the water and went under, one of his skiis popped off of his foot and came up and smacked him full-force on the side of his head, right between his eyeball and his temple. It hit him so hard that his neck got jarred and basically rotated his head on impact. I'm thankful none of us actually saw the ski hit, otherwise I think I would've had a panic attack.
As we pulled up to him, he seemed really calm, just asking us how much he was bleeding and how bad it was. I already had my camera in my hand from taking pictures of him skiing, so I shot a couple of his bloody face as we approached him. I definitely won't post them here, but if you are intrigued and want to see them, just shoot me an email :)
He got onto the boat and was bleeding everywhere, and he was bleeding a lot. I was seriously on the verge of a panic attack, my heart was pounding out of my chest. My uncle kept reassuring me, "Rebekah, head wounds bleed more than other places, it's ok..." but I kept saying, "But he's bleeding... he's bleeding a LOT" After getting onto the boat, he took of his gloves and his life jacket and got back into the water to wash off all the blood. When he got back in the boat, with the blood now washed off, I got a glimpse of the wound, and saw just how deep it was. That made me freak out even more. Matt asked, "Is it bad?" and I said, "Oh... it's DEEP. It's REALLY DEEP." I could see inside of the wound and it was at least a half inch deep. I'm not sure what exactly I saw inside of his head, but I saw something.
He took a towel and held it on his head to try to stop the bleeding. We rode back to the dock so we could go inside the house. I held my head and just kept saying, "Oh babe... oh babe..." over and over again. I was trying everything in my power to not break down and have a panic attack, but I was close. I was really scared.
We docked and Matt and I got out of the boat and starting walking up the long hill to our house. Normally we take the walk slow, since it is all uphill, but we were almost running. I saw my mom looking out the window a us, curious as Matt was holding a towel to his head. I yelled, "GET DAVE!! Get Dave NOW!" Fortunately, my Uncle Dave is a paramedic. Every time we went out to do something, especially cliff jumping, he'd say, "Now, be careful... I'm off the clock! Unless you have a limb falling off, I'm not helping you!" Kidding of course, but as we approached the house, I apologized to him saying, "I'm sorry we couldn't give you your entire week off!" He had his medical bag with him, and he cleaned up Matt's wound and closed it with butterfly clips. He advised to get stitches because of just how big and deep it was. Matt took a look at himself in the mirror and said, "Yep... I need stitches."
Fortunately, the health center in town performed them, otherwise the closest ER was an hour away. We got in and out really fast, and the doctor was super nice and helpful. She even complimented my uncle on his job-well-done on the butterfly clip! We had to monitor Matt for the next 24-hours to be sure he didn't have a concussion of any sort, and that included me waking him up in the middle of the night to check his neurological symptoms. Other than Matt talking in his sleep that night about a fish being in his bed, no unusual behavior was noted and we are counting our blessings that Matt didn't suffer a worse head injury.
Five days later (yesterday), he got the stitched removed and he's sporting a pretty impressive black eye:
Poor kid. At least he has an awesome story (and probably a sweet scar) to go with it.
Back to the vacation, as we returned from the health center, Matt and I spent the rest of the day relaxing at the house. For me, it was one of those moments where I was overwhelmed with love and appreciation for him, knowing how it could've been worse and knowing that I was BLESSED to have my husband, all in one piece, alive and well. I kept hugging him and thanking God that Matt was safe. It was a really scary experience for me, probably more so than for him, because it is SO hard to see someone you love that much in trouble, in pain, and in danger.
And in good Rebekah Hoyt fashion, I shot an HDR pano of our view of Indian Lake.
To end the week, we took a big family picture. My cousin John was missing from this picture, he was there earlier in the week. My sister and her family were also unable to attend, but this is everyone else!
And in true Goldman form, I present... my family :)