[Can you see the cave in the middle of the above picture? It is accessible by a trail along the cliff.]
At the end of last month, we spent several days on our traditional camping trip with family and friends—a tradition since my early childhood. Since we started having kids 14 years ago, we stopped overnight tent camping as a couple. Russ took the boys on camping trips as soon as they turned 4, and I stayed home with the toddlers. We would often travel up for the day (sometimes a few days in a row) to be with everyone. That worked much better for us.
This year, however, we had no toddlers and Russ was able to take the time off work, so we all headed up to stay for several nights. My younger sister (however, again) found out why we had not been overnight tent camping as a family until this year. She and Ben made it two nights and then headed home to sleep on the third (since they hadn’t a wink of sleep the first two nights) and came up again the next day. I’m so proud of them and all the effort they made to keep their family adventuring, even if it isn’t much of a vacation for the adults of two strong-willed toddlers.
I was happy to be able to just let the kids play without worrying much about them. Finally.
We have a great combination of kids. I love that they are making memories, just as their parents did as kids together. Ilex and Drake and Drake’s girlfriend, Jess, were able to come up for the day on Sunday with Casey. For the rest of the week, Levi and Sweden (as the oldest and youngest kids, respectively) were the outliers. Luke and Leif, Ivy and Daphne (ages 9-12) were the big kid pairs. Hudson and Grayson, Lola and Rilla were the little kid pairs (ages 3-5).
Nathan, Lindsay, Holly, Shannon, and I all grew up here as kids. To have our spouses and kids here with us is a dream.
And our parents, too! [Do you think we can fit one more person in this tiny lagoon? There is more water, but we were following the sun and enjoying each other’s company.]
I went hiking and climbing at the falls but didn’t bring my camera, so this is all you get to see of the trail.
Below is Dragon Island. Can you see all the dragon eggs waiting to hatch?
And more jumping and swimming.
Golly, I just love this place and these people. My cup runneth over.