Tuesday, June 18, 2013

{Ready . . . Set . . . Go!}

The calendar squares are rapidly filling, and summer hasn't even officially begun. This week marked a definite transition between not-summer and definitely-summer activities. We finished school last Thursday (amen and hallelujah), and the kids had their piano recital last night. Oh, the cuteness. I was so proud of them.

That was our last activity connected with the school year and, like tight rubber bands, we've exploded from captivity structure into doing pretty much whatever we want.

Today we wanted to hike. So we did. We joined up with several friends and enjoyed the beauty of the Columbia Gorge. This land is beautiful, and every time I wind my way through the towering basalt cliffs and swaying fir trees I think, "This is actually where I live!" People travel lots of miles to visit this stuff.

Little Miss was eager. Well, eager at first. She quickly learned that running up a trail in order to keep up with the boys leads to fatigue and frustration. (I snapped this picture a second too late. This was after she had removed herself from the forest floor. But before she asked to shimmy up a tree. She has selective energy.)

She and I, along with one of the other moms, were content to remain at the back of the pack. We meandered, admiring wildflowers, snails, and lookouts to our hearts' content.

We hauled ten kids up to Cape Horn, and they all did a great job. Only once did Little Miss suggest that she could easily head back all by herself and drive on home. Please. It was just too much work. All that walking. All that ascending.

She was encouraged when she realized that the trip back would be downhill.

In fact after we had reached the top and turned back around, we didn't see a single kid until we returned to the parking lot. They organized themselves into groups and merrily headed on down.

When we piled back into the van, legs throbbing and wobbly, the younger set looked like they'd been through the wringer. I assured them that they had had a great time and wouldn't it be fun to do it again! (Silence.) So it was with much fear and trembling that I announced my intent to stop at Trader Joe's on the way home. (Moans.) But the promise of a dairy free ice cream bar holds a remarkable amount of sway in this family. We stopped, shopped, snacked and headed home, quite pleased with the success of Summer Vacation, Day One.
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