Tagged with "adventure"
15 Jul
2015
Posted in: parenting
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Summer Camp Blues (Again)

direction signs at Camp Alexander BSA

I remember that last month of my first pregnancy 13 years ago. I checked and double-checked the lists of tasks to complete and items to buy. I told everyone who asked that I was ready to welcome that baby boy. I was a fool.

I’ve thought about how unprepared I was for motherhood many times over the years. It’s apparent after this week, that my biggest hurdle to overcome is my inability to let go. Letting go is one of the objectives of mothering. Our four children will, God willing, leave our house prepared to be contributing members of society. I, eventually, will encourage them to live away from me. I know this is what I should do, but I’ll probably beg them not to leave.

view of Camp Alexander BSA Colorado

Last summer our oldest spent one week at a camp that was 10 minutes away, and he called or texted each day. I was nervous but knew I could always resort to spying on him. This week he is hours away in another state with spotty cell phone coverage. He may as well be in another country. I have much work to do in the next five years with myself to actively participate in our oldest living anywhere but with us. Sending these children to college might do me in.

pond view at Camp Alexander BSA

Sunday we drove through a rocky, picturesque canyon complete with a whitewater rapid-filled river to drop our 12-year-old at Boy Scout summer camp. I was upbeat with a smile on my face. Occasionally, I assured him it was alright to decide to come home instead of staying, which was met with a slight eye roll from the boy.

Line of American flags at Camp Alexander BSA

The camp is beautiful and offers exciting opportunities. Bags had been packed for weeks. He positioned himself near the front of the group as we toured camp, not wanting to miss one word his counselor uttered. I know he was ready for this adventure. He’s more than capable of being away from us. We gave quick hugs, issued reminders on making wise choices, got in the car and drove away. I cannot believe I drove away and haven’t heard anything from him in days. Nothing. Not knowing is a form of personal torture which leads me to pestering my husband with non-stop questions about what’s happening at camp. He inevitably answers with, “He’s fine.” I answer with, “But we don’t know that!” It’s a vicious cycle of worry. This is what camp has done to me.

View of rock cliff and road at Camp Alexander BSA

I can’t shake the feeling that something’s missing. I left part of my heart in a canyon with no cell service, hours from us, and I would really like it back. I know he’ll have stories that belong only to him to share with us when he returns home. That’s a good thing, but I don’t have to like it.


 
Planning for Walt Disney World
By     |    Jul 8, 2015
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Planning for Walt Disney World

I have two words for potential visitors to Walt Disney World: be prepared. Seriously, don’t arrive in Orlando thinking everything will be magical without planning beforehand. There is a lot happening at Walt Disney World. It’s important to know your options and fit those with your family. Everyone’s trip to Disney World looks a little different, much like a fingerprint. Our visit was fast and furious. We’ve visited Disneyland in California twice and felt our experiences there would be helpful.... [Read More]

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Florida: Universal’s Islands of Adventure
By     |    Jun 30, 2015
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Florida: Universal’s Islands of Adventure

The main draw for us to visit Universal Orlando was the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The Harry Potter books captured my imagination in college and now I have my own muggles who wield wands and casts spells like their favorite Hogwarts characters. Universal Orlando consists of two parks: Universal Studios and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. In order to tour both parks, visitors need to purchase park-to-park tickets granting access to both parks. I’m going to discuss the parks separately,... [Read More]

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Beaches vs. Mountains
By     |    Jun 29, 2015
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Beaches vs. Mountains

I’ve always lived within an hour drive of mountains with their curvy roads and sweeping vista overlooks. Our outdoor adventures tend to include elevation climbs, trails through woods, rock outcroppings  and running water flowing over rounded stones. When we have the opportunity to travel to a beach I look forward to spending an evening in the sand believing we’ll be satisfied with a quick dip in the ocean. I become salt-water drunk after those first few minutes on the shore.... [Read More]

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Arkansas: Hot Springs National Park
By     |    Jun 26, 2015
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Arkansas: Hot Springs National Park

Honestly, I didn’t have high expectations for Hot Springs National Park located in Hot Springs, Arkansas. I thought the kids wouldn’t find the bathhouses interesting enough and that the water you can collect wouldn’t taste good enough to warrant bringing home with us. Wrong and wrong. Wisely-named Hot Springs National Park revolves around the local hot springs, which have a history of people flocking to the area for therapeutic purposes. Bathhouse Row sprang up in the 1800s as wood and... [Read More]

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Great American Road Trip
By     |    Jun 25, 2015
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Great American Road Trip

6,025 miles + three weeks + 18 states = epic road trip More than a few people questioned our sanity leading up to our trip from Wyoming to Key West, Florida and back covering thousands of miles of territory. I had moments where I questioned it myself, but that trip is one of the best decisions we’ve made for our family. In the chaos of raising four children while juggling full-time work, part-time work, multiple volunteer roles and everything that... [Read More]

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100,000 Miles of Adventure
By     |    May 29, 2015
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100,000 Miles of Adventure

I watched the mileage on our vehicle slowly move toward 100,000 miles over the last month. I didn’t want to miss the moment we reached the 100,000 milestone. In less than five years, we’ve driven 100,000 miles of this country. A lot of those miles aren’t interesting. There’s running to school and practices and errands and school and practices. But, if a great portion of those miles could tell their story, it’s one of adventure, new destinations and roads less... [Read More]

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Camping Yurt Style
By     |    May 26, 2015
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Camping Yurt Style

Two years ago we tent camped in Guernsey State Park in southeastern Wyoming. We were on a drive through the park when we noticed a group of yurts at the top of a point overlooking the reservoir. We’ve been wanting to try them since then but didn’t get around to it until this last weekend. The final nudge for me to make yurt camping happen was our oldest son’s experience camping with his Boy Scout troop in December in the... [Read More]

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Take a Trip: Craters of the Moon
By     |    Apr 16, 2015
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Take a Trip: Craters of the Moon

I’ve been sorting through the thousands of photos I’ve taken over the past few years for a photo project and have become nostalgic for past road trips. I’m asked quite often for travel ideas by people who want to add to their adventure list or start down the road of family road trips. We’re heavy users of National Park Service entities and most travel inquiries I receive have to do with whether or not we’ve been to a certain national... [Read More]

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Essentials for Family Road Trips
By     |    Apr 2, 2015
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Essentials for Family Road Trips

It’s spring break, and we’re staying home for the first time in years. We have an epic road trip planned this summer and vacation days are being stockpiled for the adventure. I’m antsy to hit the highways, Interstates and (sometimes) unpaved county roads to discover new places in the USA. Even though we’re months away from our next major family road trip, I’ve already started packing in my head. I have lists tucked away in notebooks for items to pack.... [Read More]

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Broken Dryer and a Clothesline
By     |    Mar 31, 2015
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Broken Dryer and a Clothesline

Laundry is one of my least favorite household chores. It’s never-ending, multiplied by six. It turns out, laundry without a functioning dryer is flat-out ridiculous. My dryer decided to quit blowing hot air Sunday in the middle of a giant load of jeans with another large load of clothes in the washing machine. I know there are far worse problems to have, but I was annoyed. A call Monday morning to a repair man ended with an appointment on Wednesday... [Read More]

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Free Family Activities in Denver Area
By     |    Feb 18, 2015
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Free Family Activities in Denver Area

It was evident for weeks that my family needed to regroup. Three basketball teams and one cheer team with practices and games had the drivers in this house worn down. I was tired of an hour here or there of time with all six of us. I’m greedy about family time. We knew our school district had a four-day weekend in February, and we decided to leave the to-do list at home for a mini-retreat. We spent a few days... [Read More]

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