Summertime Planning

The summer is almost here and what do you think about when you think about the summer? The OUTDOORS! Living in New England means we spend a good amount of our year dealing with winter and the fact that it’s just not nice enough to be outside. This of course gets old very fast when you have little ones that have a lot of balled up energy inside them.

Since summer is coming and it brings Gabrielle, taking our family of 4 to 5 for just about three months we start planning our weeks out a little more. Between camp, daycare and vacations we fill our weeks up one by one being careful not to over book and still leave time for the library, cook-outs and friends.

One of the things we plan each year is our trip to Alfred, Maine. My Mom’s Husband, Stuart, has a cute little cabin on the banks of Shaker Pond in Alfred. We usually take the kids up for a few day, not always the whole week because of the weather. When we do go up, we don’t sleep in the cabin – we pitch a tent! Yup, we “camp”. I call it “camping” since I know some die-hards wouldn’t call it that at all. We’ve been doing this since before the kids were born, in fact the weekend we found out I was pregnant with Lex we camped on the yard up there.

Each of the kids (with the exception of Loki, which will get one for Christmas this coming year) has a sleeping bag and an air mats (not full blown air mattresses). Everyone packs up books (wishful thinking on the part of Mad Dog and I), toys, swimming gear and sunscreen and we head up. Most of the day (even the ones where it rains slightly) are spent in the lake swimming, occasionally we take in a local baseball game, and visit the junk store (a general – has everything type place from tools, toys to kitchen and fishing equipment) and the antique consignment shop that usually ends in someone crying about wanting something or begging for their allowance in advance. Then there is the trip for ice cream at Shaw’s Ridge Farm.

We cook on the grill or smoker and have a fire in the chiminea to toast marshmallows. I’m looking forward to this year, where we will explore more of the area around Alfred. I would like to go berry or apple picking while were up there. I believe Mad Dog also wants to hit the beach with the kids, since they are always begging to go. Either way it will be an adventure (one that has no hospital trips this year). We will be designing our family t-shirt for 2010. I made one last year for the kids, using fabric markers and t-shirts I picked up at Michael’s. I’m would like to go for bigger and badder this year.

If you have the opportunity to camp with your kids (or “camp”) I completely recommend it. It’s fun. Of course they will bring their Nintendo DS’s and Ipods, but there will be times when you will all hung out together enjoying the day and nature. It’s those moments that are the fun part. Also, there is an excitement that happens when you sleep in a tent with little ones. It’s all new to them (maybe a little frightening) and you get to see the excitement through their eyes. Mad Dog and I are looking at going real camping with Lex and Loki in the fall. Gabrielle has asked that she be allowed to skip that plan, though she is presently on a two night camping in a tent trip with her Girl Scouts as I type this. I’m okay with having one less on that expedition, since part of the anxiety that pops up on these trips is in part due to Gigi (she gets freaked out at time about everything, thought it has been better recently).

Well, here is to morning cups of coffee on the dock, taking the boat out, fishing without hooking someone next to you, ice cream sandwiches, smoked chicken, sparklers and mosquitoes. (pictures from last our 2009 summer vacation).

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~ by Cute Fan Girl on May 22, 2010.

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