Aarick wants to thank you all for your very kind words. I told him (too late) not to let them go to his head. Thanks for speaking directly to him in your replies; you made his day, and mine!
Last week, our family enjoyed a three-day camping trip to Niagara Falls.
During the whole time I was preparing, I was grousing in my head: I cannot beLIEVE we do this for FUN. This is SO MUCH WORK and we haven’t even STARTED yet.
You can do the math yourself: eight people + one dog + two tents + cooking all our own food + preparing for hot or cold weather = one impressive and daunting list of stuff to pack. The bedding alone…! And we travel in a minivan! But my dad loaned us his back rack for our hitch, and all of my grumbling was forgotten once we were on the road.
Then the kids took over that department for me.
Once in a while we have a family vacation that really works, and this was one of them: a little slice of heaven in our summer.
Our mornings started with small people greeting the day through the tent flap. Hello, world.
We hadn’t visited Niagara Falls since our big boys were small; we found it everything amazing, all over again. We rode the Maid of the Mist into the downpour of spray, while the children laughed or grew sober or danced or snuggled against us, according to their different temperaments. Sheer delight!
I love how camping frees us to do nothing but spend time together, cooking good food over a fire, sitting around, throwing stones into a lake.
Ryan and I team-cooked our food. Shown here are his grilled chicken breasts and my Caprese salad with fresh mozzarella and basil. I don’t know why food tastes so much better when you’re outdoors: exhausted and dirty and half roasted yourself.
We found sea glass along Lake Ontario.
And we spent a lot of time snuggling our new puppy, a purebred Shih Tzu named Skye. I worked hard to save my babysitting money and cake-baking money and every other money I could earn, because I wanted to pay for her myself – and just when I had enough, she fell into our laps. She is a dream come true for me, and very sweet.
The rest of the time, we just breathed.
I didn’t want to come back home again, until I got here. And then that too was sweet.
(Mixed with a boatload of stressors.)
In other words, things are back to normal at the Zooks.