It’s hard to believe summer vacation is already over, but with this first full week of school gone already, I also have that feeling that we’ve been in the school routine now for months! It’s an odd feeling that I’m trying to embrace. Embracing that fresh summer feeling still in the air, and also the comforts of routines already set in place for the year and being successful in them. I am my usual chipper self at the beginning of the school year; waking at 5:00am and jumping out of bed to get my morning started. Toward the end of the last school year I found myself craving sleep more than sanity in the morning routine but now I’m remembering how smooth my mornings can be when I give myself that extra half hour and I’m hoping to keep that going this year. So far so good.
With that being said, I have been sifting through all our photos from the summer and sorting out my favorites. We didn’t travel the world or anything but we did make memories and it was fun for me to look back on my first real summer vacation with my kids. There was a lot of sleeping in, farmers market trips, swimming at Nanny’s and other shenanigans that aren’t pictured. At some point, a person needs to put down the camera and just live, right? Here are some of the highlights we wanted to share.
To start, I am so blessed to have such generous parents who take us on vacation with them. Each year, my dad and step-mom rent a beach house on the shores of Cayucos Ca. for the whole family to enjoy. It is literally a week of sitting on the beach, taking naps, watching sunsets, collecting shells and splashing in the waves. We weren’t able to go last year due to my dad’s poor health so this year was a really special time for us all. We left the day after school got out which could’t have been a more perfect way to kick off our summer.
Amelia got to try boogie boarding for the first time. She’s happy in the pictures only because Anaiah told her she didn’t have to do it again if she smiled.
Oh yes, and lots of ice cream was had this summer!
And just like that, our day dream was over and we were on our way home. A couple weeks settled in and smack dab in the middle of summer the whole gang got to take a visit to our friend’s ranch who supplies our families with milk from their own cows. The kids all got to actually milk the cow which could quite possibly be the highlight of their entire lives. It was fun to see them explore and see their little minds blown by experiencing something they’ve always heard about actually happening. We’re not sure we’d be up to having milk cows on the property because of the demanding milking schedule but we have contemplated goats. Right now we just like talking and dreaming of “someday”. Thankfully we have a large community around us to help us make those educated decisions when the time comes.
Of course, Cindy had to squirt milk right into their mouths. So fun. After our field trip to the ranch, we took it easy for a while with some day and evening trips to Pinecrest Lake. The kids learned how to play go fish, and we did lots of hiking, barbecuing and catching the outdoor movies under the stars at the Pinecrest Theater. We got caught in a couple of thunderstorms that couldn’t keep us away. It was so nice to have all the summer rain this year. I can’t remember having this much in a very long time.
Apparently I squeeze too hard…their faces!
It would’t be summer in these mountains without a visit from Smokey the Bear.
The last week of July we got to take a trip to Portland, Oregon. We went to visit my family for the week and ended up getting completely spoiled by them. We had our own guest sweet in their home with a pool, hot tub, gym, and the cutest little labradoodle you’ve ever seen. We seriously could have stayed forever.
In a nutshell, our trip mostly involved hanging by the pool but we did go on a couple adventures including some hiking, the Portland zoo, a downtown date with the hubby, and the Portland food carts.
The whole family and our cousin Thomas. Moltnomah Falls was pretty spectacular and the kids hiked the whole way to the top with us! (3 miles) They were real troopers and we were super proud of them (and myself for doing it in those shoes ;))
If you’re ever in Portland, here are some of our favorite places to visit:
Ice Cream: Salt and Straw
Snack/Lunch: Cheese and Crack Snack Shop
Downtown Portland Food Carts
Once we got back home from Portland we realized our summer was quickly coming to a close. Thankfully we had one last outing planned; a camping trip with my family to Spicer Reservoir.
Another blink of an eye and were living our first days of school. We loved every minute of our first summer vacation together and look forward to what this school year brings us.