why i loved summer camping trip no. 2 - the baker's dozen

See those loose corners?  rock.

See those loose corners?  rock.

I admit I was skeptical about the location of our second camping trip for the summer.  The park name had the words "kill" and "bear" in it.  And as we drove in, there was a sign that read "Please brake for snakes".  This weekend was toast before it started.  It took us three times to pitch our enormous 10-person tent because our site was half rock.  And it started raining.  But then our friends started arriving in the adjacent sites and it turned out to be one of the most beautiful weekends ever.

I stole a moment under the refuge of an umbrella during our afternoon at the beach to jot down this next baker's dozen:

•    Learning how to build strong, hot embers for a lasting campfire
•    Strolling the beach with our friends’ 2.5 year old daughter and watching her blissfully make sand angels
•    Gorgeous weather
•    Very few mosquitos.  Yay August!
•    Easy-going, fun-loving co-campers
•    The stars were OUT
•    Amazing conversations with old and new friends
•    The joy of seeing how we’ve all grown up in 20 years
•    Discovering new outdoor gear to put on our wishlist for next season
•    The sound of gentle early morning waves lapping on the rocks
•    Watching the boys delight in the simplest pleasures – playing with rocks, finding sticks, Frisbee in the water, playing in the sand, snorkeling in puddles (not kidding)
•    My teen girls pursuing fun on their own without me feeling like I had to “hey, why don’t you…”
•    Ice cream on the way home (but of course)

the sun setting on day one

the sun setting on day one

I'm sad that we aren't camping again until next year, but we have a couple of big family picnics this later this month and I am eager to discover more outdoor joy as it starts cooling off in the coming months.

I hope you are enjoying this tail end of a wonderful summer!  Now it's time to hunt for school uniforms and replenish supplies for September.