Sunday, June 15, 2014

Summer Break.

It is the eve of the first full week of summer vacation.  No packing up lunches, snacks and dance things for Monday.  No trying to remember who has what field trip when.  Since the girls last day of school we have made it to the ponds for a swim, a hike to the M and our first camping trip.  I call this summer vacation begun right.  It is Sunday evening and I sit exhausted from staying up too late with friends around a campfire and the lack of a complete rest from sleeping in a tent.  Exhausted but happy.  I love this time of year.  

We celebrated the end of the school year with a walk to the beach with friends.  It was a little chilly but that did not deter my fish...

I sat thinking what a great school year it has been for them.  Both did awesome, made new friends and really thrived.  They are now 2nd and 4th graders which blows my mind.  Growing more independent each day.  

The next day we continued our celebration of summer vacation beginning with a hike to the M.  I love having my hiking buddies back.  

When they were younger it was often hard taking them hiking.  Carrying them in packs, having to make sure we had extra bottles and diapers.  Listening to the complaints of sore legs and tired feet.  We pushed on through age appropriate hikes, trying to impress on them the amazing things about hiking.  These last couple of years I see our persistence paying off.  They eagerly suggest going on a hike now.  There are no complaints and no questions of how much further.  They take in the wildflowers around us and engage in conversation.  I enjoy our chats as we hike up the mountain.  It's something about the fresh air that opens the lines of communication and I hope this hobby of ours continues on and on.  

After beautiful warm weather a cool front rolled in just in time for the weekend.  We did not let this deter us from our first camping trip of the summer.  The first is almost always our annual trip with our best friends for birthday celebrating.  It began 8 years ago when Ava and their son were barely 1 year old.  I love the tradition of it.  Summer gets busy and there are good intentions of many camping trips together.  This doesn't always happen.  This is why the first trip with them is great, because we make it happen.

We packed extra clothes to prepare for a cool night, loaded the car with camping gear and grabbed milkshakes at the half-way point...

We filled the next 24 hours with our favorite camping things.

Friends...

S'mores...


Creating fairy houses for the camping fairies...

And taking advantage of the things you get at campground camping such as basketball courts and swimming pools...


Oh, how my girls love the water...


I know camping isn't for everyone, but I love it so.  Getting away and out into nature.  Cooking over the fire.  Kids playing in the trees and digging holes in the dirt.  Seeing the stars come out brighter because there are no city lights dulling them.  Watching bats fly over our heads and sharing stories over campfire and beer.  Waking up to little girls snuggled in sleeping bags next to us, all cozy in our tent.  And I love morning time in the mountains.  Hearing the birds and the smell of fresh air...cool and damp.  Waiting patiently (or not so patiently) for the coffee to finish brewing the old fashion way in a percolator.  Yes, I do believe I love everything about camping.  Including coming home after and taking a long, hot shower to get rid of the campfire smell and sleeping in your own bed.  We have a limited number of summer weekends and I intent to fill them with plenty of camping.  This was only the beginning.



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