traveling close to home

The chaos of summer has struck for certain these days. We are in and out of town like crazy. I had the pleasure of spending four days at a beach cabin with a good friend of mine.

Then a week later I joined him for three days of camping at the Prineville Reservoir.

Just yesterday, the three of us returned from a beach trip with my sisters.

You wouldn’t guess by looking at us, or our children, that we’re related at all. We look, talk, eat, parent, and simply live our lives different from each other. The kids did well enough this trip, too, though there are always inane arguments when you have cousins together. Especially with the three girls: 12, 11, and 9. It was mostly good though and the girls had fun wearing big sunglasses, looking chic, playing board games and roaming the sand.

We had a mini-dance party (which always makes me happy):

We lit the last of the fireworks from the 4th of July celebration:

And overall, everyone had a good time despite our differences. I think that’s part of what makes family interesting, though, are those differences. The three of us were raised in the same house, by the same parents and we’re each unique. I wonder sometimes how it will be with my own two. I can see how they differ, yet they get on so much better than my sisters and I did as teens. I can hope for less bumps in the road to their adult friendship, but there’s some relieve in knowing that how a kid turns out isn’t all in how the parents are. There’s s much more to it and it makes me intrigued to watch my children become adults (something that is happening faster than I’d thought possible). It makes me grateful for our little family and for all the family members who are a part of our lives.

three weeks is all we have

All we have to plan this trip, but so far we’re doing all right. I’ve got the car rental taken care of and reservations for the first two nights of camping, then we’ll be lucky enough to stay with friends and family throughout California.

Yesterday I trekked it down to the central library (a trek indeed when live out of the city proper and you don’t have a car) and picked up a couple of travel guides for Southwest USA and for California. Strange to look at guidebooks designed for foreigners, but as I read through them I realized that the Arizona, New Mexico, Utah area is all foreign to me, too. Audrey was finally getting excited about it and over the next week we will be marking the map with places to visit. Must-sees. If Audrey has any say in it, there will be plenty of camping, but I’m pretty sure Stuart is going to veto it as often as possible. We’ll see… I think that final week is going to be spent in a tent.

Oh and I found out about that Skywalk where, heaven help me, you can look through the glass bottom to see the Grand Canyon gaping beneath you… yeah, it’s about $85 each with all the different fees. Not going to happen and frankly, I’m relieved. I’ll do almost anything for my kids, but that one was going to require some serious panic-quelling.

Personally, I can’t wait to finally see the cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde.
photo from DesertUSA.com