Summer Adventures 2022

Well, my annual back to school sob post is coming, but I didn’t want to post that without acknowledging the fantastic summer that we have had.

I know most everyone around me is getting excited to pull out the sweaters, the pumpkin spice, the orange and browns, but I just want more summer. Summer time is just so much slower in a very welcome way. I got to be with my kids without yelling that we have to “hurry up!” It is just a much more peaceful and joyful time of year for me that I always wish I could hold onto it a bit longer.

For us, May-June means swim team. Zac coached for his second year, Drew helped run the computer, and the other kids swam. Since I am there everyday anyway, I love being one of our swim team presidents. It is a world I know and love, and I love this team as much as I loved the teams that I coached myself and the teams that I swam on. We have fantastic coaches, wonderful friends, and lots of fun that makes me feel energized and happy.

Davidson College provided and amazing experience for children of alumni. They brought us in for 2 days of priceless information about the college application process. It was not Davidson specific, but was a broad outline for the process with lots of helpful hints that could be applied to any school application. It was a great way for us to start our thinking process as we head into Senior Year!

We also had the chance to go to the beach with dear friends. These guys have been our friends through thick and thin since our first day of playgroup, when Zac was just 8 weeks old. Our 4 oldest are bound tightly together, and the first of our “babies” is heading to college next week. I just can’t with that.

It was a wonderful gift of time and togetherness before the next transition as our kids start to venture out. Gulp.

The end of June meant that all the big guys in the family were going to head to a church mission trip to Black Mesa, Arizona to work on a Navajo Reservation. Unfortunately, the day before they were supposed to fly out, I got the dreaded positive.

Unfortunately, that meant that only Drew was able to attend the trip because he had just recently had Covid. I ended up quarantined in one bedroom and was completely miserable for over a week. (Emotionally as well as physically because I unknowingly passed it on to both of my parents and two of my good friends!). So many people have had worse experiences that I did, so I don’t want to complain very much, but I do NOT want to have it again.

Fortunately, no one else in my household got it, and Drew had a fantastic experience on the trip (double outhouse and all!).

I was able to come out of quarantine just in time for our big trip this year, to Bar Harbor, Maine. We spent 12 days in Maine, and absolutely fell in love!

We hiked and hiked and loved Acadia National Park. Beautiful vistas at every turn.

We celebrated the 4th of July by watching the Bar Harbor parade and fireworks.

Desert Island has an amazing free bus system that we were able to utilize to take us all over the island.

A highlight for sure for the kids was leaping off of these ledges into the cold lake water. Drew declared it his favorite part of the entire trip. Not to be discussed again is the mile and a half walk we had to take, carrying a huge load of picnic supplies and assorted items and belongings for 7 people, on the side of a highway, thanks to a mistake that I made with a bus. Notice there is one child not jumping into the water. That is because he was still angry at me. Don’t try to discuss it with him. It is still too soon.

I lost count of how many times we did this dragon puzzle. Each wooden piece was unique with many of them in the shapes of various animals. We loved it!

We joined a yoga group many mornings that we found. What an amazing way to start our days!

A family football game and amazing playground.

We got to have lots of fun boating experiences. We took a nature boat, a whale watching cruise, a sunset sailboat, and a MAIL boat to the canary islands. Each were unique experiences, but what they had in common was that on the water it is COLD! At some point we got smart and bought fleeces for the kids for extra layers and just brought bags of blankets with us.

Speaking of cold…

We also watched the sun rise on top of Cadillac Mountain. I had to wake the kids at 3:30am in order to get up there, and getting tickets to go to the top of the mountain was about the equivalent of getting Hamilton tickets, but I would highly recommend. It is beautiful from every angle, even if a bit cloudy!

For the first two nights we stayed in a hotel. Kaitlyn always amuses us with her sleepwalking antics. This was a recreation of her trying to pull the headboard off of the wall in the middle of the night. She was incredibly angry at me for making her lie back down in the bed.

For the rest of our trip we stayed in a VRBO that we LOVED!! It was centrally located, a couple of blocks from the water, walking distance to the grocery store, and a fantastic bakery across the street. We walked almost everywhere, unless we were taking the bus. It was a great way to live.

We had a goal to spend some time of every day at the big hill in Agamont Park, which is overlooking the harbor. It was by far our favorite place in Bar Harbor. We brought blankets, snacks, and books, and read, watched the boats, and played every day, When I think of this trip, this will be where my memories naturally go. Even the teenagers ran around and played with the others. It was magical.

We got to visit with one of Kaitlyn’s best friends and had fun looking for sea glass and roasting s’mores while the sun set.

The sunrises and sunsets were absolutely gorgeous. We were lucky to get to witness them from several different locations.

I loved this trip so much. We just really enjoyed each other’s company and appreciated all of the beauty around us. I am so thankful for these memories!

After Bar Harbor we had 36 hours at home and left for one of our very favorite places, Montreat, NC.

The big guys were with the church youth group attending a youth conference, so we were just there to spend time in the mountains. The plan was for the other kids to attend the day camp in Montreat, but the counselors had a Covid outbreak, so Kaitlyn was the only one able to attend. We had our own camp with one of our favorite cousins.

As soon as we got home we had a broken A.C. to deal with. That resulted in us needing two new units at our house, so that was fun.

Bonus was building a fort under the dining room table where the kids could sleep since their bedrooms were temporarily uninhabitable.

Around this same time we had two more cases of Covid. Zac caught it at the youth conference, and Jeff caught it when he drove the van of teenagers home from the youth conference.

We missed those guys for a very long 10 days!

We stayed busy while they were gone though. We introduced a new driver in the house, did two weeks of tennis lessons, and had fun days with cousins.

I always like to have one last adventure during the last week of summer, so this year we went to a drive though safari park. It did not disappoint. Zac was already off to school rehearsing for his fall musical, but the rest of us had a fantastic time!

Summer of 2022 in the books. I’m so thankful for the precious memories that we made, and I’m already counting down until next year!

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