Last week while I was bloghopping I came across DeAnne Davis’ post from First Grade and Fabulous on making the most of the remaining weeks of summer. As teacher-bloggers it’s often difficult to detach ourselves from our computers. Sometimes, seemingly, other parts of our lives seem to take a second seat to creating products, Pinterest pinning and blog posting. DeAnne and her family made a list of all the fun things they want to do for the rest of the summer and now they’re off and running.
I will say that I’m not looking forward to the first day of school. This is mostly because everyone will be asking how the summer went. Well, I’ll admit, I’m not really sure HOW I feel about this summer. Ever since the kids were old enough to travel, we’d pack up our pop-up and take off for two weeks during July. Have you ever had a vacation that within a few days of taking off, you didn’t even know what day it was? With our “no electronics policy” we had those types of vacations every year. Even when the kids were in high school and involved in summer sports camps, somehow we were able to get away for those two weeks. Our family motto was:
This picture was taken from the peak of Mount Cadillac in Bar Harbor, Maine. This is the first place in the US where the sunshine hits at dawn.
Well, reality has somehow set in. My kiddos are now 16, 17 and 18. We have two heading off to college in the fall and the other soon following. Although the cost of a vacation is a concern, the real issue is those darn summer jobs. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy my children have summer jobs (well, sort of). They need to contribute to their education. But those same summer jobs have played havoc with our schedule. DeAnne’s pictures of her family having summer fun brought back a flood of memories of our past vacations. Here are a few pictures from my scrapbook.
We spent hours on end exploring the tide pools in Acadia National Park in Maine (2005)
Boating on a lake in Voyager’s National Park in 2006
A.J. took this picture on the boat trip. It was published in a national Parks magazine.
Mine too! I took this picture on the same boating trip and it was published too.
Arches National Park. I will never forget this moment. On the same trip in 2007 we visited the Grand Canyon and Mesa Verde.
Crater Lake in Oregon is another one of my favorite spots. I nearly fell off the cliff trying to get this picture.
Lizzie jumping off a ledge into Crater Lake.
Glacier National Park was AWESOME!
In 2003 we set a family goal to visit all the 48 continental United States by the time AJ graduated from high school. By saving money by camping in national parks and KOA Campgrounds (I am picky about taking showers) we were able to see and experience so much. We live in such a beautiful country. We should be proud of our national park system.
Well, with a whole lot of schedule juggling we were able to block out 4 days this summer to get away. This was just enough time to travel down to West Virginia for an awesome white water adventure! And, yes, we took our pop-up.
But sometimes the best vacations are just in your backyard. I was honored (yes, that is the appropriate word) to be asked by my daughter, Lizzie, to accompany her and three of her friends on a tubing trip down the Platte River nestled in the beautiful Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Sleeping Bear is a short hour drive from our house and is one of the most beautiful places on earth. You can put your tube in up-river and end on the sandy shores of Lake Michigan. Even though I would like to think I was asked because I’m one of those “cool moms”, I’m not that delusional. I have a feeling I was asked because I knew how to hook the trailer up to the truck and I know the back way to landing. And who else was going to take those pictures for them to put on Facebook? Nevertheless, it was tons of fun spending time with my daughter her friends.
Make the most of the rest of your summer with your children. If you can, visit a national park. If not, I’m sure there’s a vacation awaiting you somewhere in your backyard no matter where you live.