We’ve spent the past few days with Sara and Dave and their kids here in Melrose.  Getting out of Vermont was pretty exhausting.  The combination of guests, day camp, cleaning the house, and packing for a 3 week camping trip made preparations pretty overwhelming.  Finally we were on the road to Glens Falls to see Beth by around 1:00 Saturday afternoon.  We stopped by and picked up Taco Bell and had lunch with Beth, Charles (well, he slept), and Shelly and Avery K.  After adding some of Beth and Steve’s camping gear to our already jam packed car, we got moving and made the long and not-so-interesting drive to Boston.  Green, rolling hills are lovely, but that’s all there is for 220 miles.  We got stopped in a jam because of a car accident, but arrived in time for grilled veggie burgers for Anna and me and a hamburger for Aaron. Charlotte is a tad selective about her meals, so she had some of the leftover noodles and parm Sara had in the fridge.

Yesterday (Sunday) was something.  Charlotte, who had stayed up until midnight (?!?!?!) our first night here, was still up at 6:30, as she usually is.  So she and I got up and hung around the house while everyone else slept.  Thankfully, there are all kinds of fantastic kid toys here and she was fully engrossed in Star Wars Legos until the others woke up.  Once the others were awake, Sara made chocolate chip pancakes and we prepared for our day on Dave’s new 23 foot fishing boat.  We packed snacks, lunch, beers, and headed to Beverly to load up head out.  The plan was to take the boat all the way into Boston to see the Tall Ships from Boston Harbor, but as soon as we got going fast, we had an extremely nervous, near panicky ten-year-old on our hands. She had a really difficult time with the waves and speed, which were both a lot more than what we get on Lake Hortonia.  Thus, we decided to stick around the North Shore and explore Marblehead Harbour, Misery Island, and other areas nearby.  It was a little disappointing not to be able to get into Boston, but given that the ride down would have taken about an hour, none of us was ready to have at least one kid so upset for that long.  Naturally, by the time we’d been on the boat a little while longer, Anna had found her sea legs and the ocean and speed became completely thrilling!

We came home for an hour or so and the kids played around.  Charlotte discovered Tess’ American Girl dolls and stuck with them the whole time, while Anna and Tess made friendship bracelets.  Dinner was al fresco at the Border Cafe right on Route 1, then we came home and took it easy until bedtime.

This morning, Charlotte is again up early.  I hear movement upstairs; Sara’s family needs to be up and out by 8:00 to go to work and day camp.  We’ll stick around after they are gone and do laundry and perhaps a little organizing and shopping, then it’s off to meet Jeff S. for lunch in Newburyport and then to Shane and Allison’s for a couple nights.

So far the trip has gone smoothly – of course it’s only been two nights!  I’m really excited for the girls to experience camping and slowing down our pace and cutting the cords of electronics for a while.


Vacation from vacation.

In just a few minutes, we will kick into gear and get ready for our three week trip.  It’s going to be quite vintage in terms of our equipment.  We’ve got the old wooden kitchen kit, down sleeping bags, sleeping mats, cooking gear, and many other items from the 1970s when the Campbells did a decent amount of camping.  I had wanted to sleep in the old bunkbed cots in the tent but after erecting them in the big bedroom it became obvious that this won’t be possible with tents our size.  Darn.  I had this vision of the four of us in cots being all campy and cozy with our bags stored underneath.  All this means is that we need a few more thermarest mattresses and a couple decent sleeping bags for the girls, which they need anyhow.

Today’s plan is to pack, load the car, clean the house, and head to Glens Falls to see Beth and say goodbye.  Steve might be there, and Shelly Kelley and Avery will be around as well.  Then we need to get to Melrose, MA by dinner time.  Tomorrow we’ll go with Sara and Dave and their kids in their fishing boat to see the tall ships in Boston Harbor.  Should be pretty amazing.

I’m so ready for this trip.  Since we arrived in the area on June 1, everything has been a blur.  We’ve had guests, babysitters, new babies, and a heck of a lot of rain.  Vacation from vacation.