Tuesday, August 26, 2008

PHOTO ESSAY: What I Did On My Summer Vacation or "This is boring and walking is tooooo haaaaard!!!!"

Some of my best memories of growing up were the vacations I took with my family. We were the ones who would load up the back of the station wagon with big canvas tents, sleeping bags and coolers, always leaving long skinny space in the back of the station wagon to curl up and sleep at night, because you were allowed to do that back then.

I have very peaceful memories of laying back there, listening to my parents talking quietly, my brother asleep on the back seat and me in the far back looking up through the windows into the night. The reflections of the streetlights on the car windows looked like jellyfish tendrils passing our car from one streetlight to the next, on down the highway.

My parents made a vow that they would take us somewhere every year, even if that meant camping. And we traveled all over this great country, down south, out west, the east coast. It really instilled a love of travel in me that I want to pass on to my children.

But with twins, you often get into the habit of staying home too much. That “not being able to do some things because I have a baby” goes on a lot longer with twins than it does with one baby, and you begin to develop a habit of staying in because its easier than taking everyone out somewhere.

But we have been getting better at it, and we have all gotten better at moving as a group through public places without losing each other; or having to bring a diaper bag the size of a suitcase with us.

So, it was time to try a vacation together.

We want to become a camping family and take our boys to nature as often as possible, but we weren’t ready for cooking over a fire with wandering toddlers around or not having access to bathtubs quite yet.

So, we rented a cabin at Evergreen Lodge just outside of Yosemite National Park for three nights. It was a lovely old-fashioned Yosemite experience that reminded me a little of what those family resorts in the Catskills must be like minus the talent shows and dance lessons.

It was a little neighborhood of cabins in the forest, some as old as seventy-five years. There was a Rec. Room and a Lodge, where you could find internet access (at times) and shelves full of games and toys for the kids. There were ping pong tables and carved animals to climb on. Noah learned how to play Battleship (and won!).

We went on a little adventure each day that usually culminated in throwing rocks into water. We rarely hiked over a mile, but were able to find wild streams to wade in, lakes to swim in, tunnels to explore, forests to have picnics in, and meadows to wander through.

It was so wonderful being a family unit for once! We spend so much time splitting up the kids, one of us taking Noah out somewhere, or the other taking the twins on errands. And the kids just loved it too. Noah did find the walking “too hard!” and Luka burst into tears every night when we pulled up in front of the cabin instead of his house, but hanging out around the rivers and lakes and all those rocks? They loved every minute of that.

We are thinking of trying our luck at real camping next summer. With tents. Without bathtubs. Without walls.

I think we just might be able to handle it.

Just maybe.


MariBy said...

Oh what a great little photo essay! It must be very challenging right now with the younger boys at that age, but I'm sure you wouldn't trade a minute of it. (Well ...okay ...maybe a minute ... or two ...or three... ;) :D )

I absolutely adore the pic of your boys playing in or near the water - beautiful!

Snowbird said...

Loved the pictures. It looks like the boys had a ball even though it was boring and walking was tooooo haaarrrrd. LOL.

And thanks for the kind comments and wonderful memories of our vacations when you guys were kids. I never got to do that with my family and I always vowed that that wouldn't happen to my family. And it didn't!

Emily said...

so beautiful! i love it.

i also have fond memories of camping as a child -- and traveling with my family. even though at the time we made each other miserable. :)

gail said...

Good for you. I so much wish (single parent issues aside) that I had managed family trips with my kids. Instead I mostly worked and tried to find opportunites for them with relatives, like you, who had better priorities. Sigh. And how funny about Noah, what is it with kids, maybe the short little legs? My grandson is also in the Walking's Too Hard Club (and I remember being a member myself in elementary school)

Tootie said...

I loved reading about your vacation time with the boys. Sometimes making memories is kind of difficult, but it seems you two have things under control.