Summer Bucket List Item 36: Camping with Friends
We are trying to maintain a tradition of going on vacation with our family friends, the Westbrooks and Campbells each summer. As the kids get older, scheduling gets a little more challenging, but we were able to make it work this weekend. Our kids have known each other their entire lives and are more like cousins than friends. They have such a wonderful time together and are completely relaxed and feel free to be as goofy and silly as they are at home. We explored a new area this year a little closer to home, since all three families are doing a lot of road travel this summer. We camped in the Uwharrie National Forest. It was a nice place, but definitely not anyone's all time favorite place we have ever camped. (Sliding Rock still holds that title with my kids).
We arrived in the evening and the kids helped Chad set up our tent.
We had a campfire that night and enjoyed smores and listening to the children sing silly campfire songs and tell jokes to one another all night.
In the morning, we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and headed to Morrow Mountain State park. We rented rowboats for an hour and enjoyed the beautiful views.
When we rowed into the dock, we decided that we were all hot enough to enjoy dessert before we headed to the top of the mountain for our picnic lunch.
The view from our picnic spot was lovely and there were trees to climb.
We headed down the mountain to go to a swimming hole in Badin Lake.
We hung out there for a while, then headed back to our camp site to eat dinner and swim in our campground's pool.
While we were in the pool, we heard thunder. We checked our weather apps, and saw there was a ten percent chance of rain. We weren't too worried. Then the winds got a little stronger and it started to pour. The kids took cover under our picnic table canopy. The storm quickly became pretty intense. And lightening struck in the campground. We took cover in our van and listened to our Harry Potter audible book while we waited for the storm to pass. Nate had not been able to get off work earlier in the week and arrived during the storm.
When it was over, we went to check on our tent and discovered that it had leaked. A Lot! Leaked enough that our sleeping bags were soaked and we could wring water out as if they had been dunked in the swimming pool!
Begrudgingly we admitted, that there was no way things would dry out enough in the next two hours to be able to sleep there again that night. We called Chad's mom and asked if we could come spend the night there. (We had already planned to go to Pinehurst the next afternoon when we finished camping). While Dave and Nate helped Chad pack up our wet things, the children played together in the game room and on the playground.
It was hard on all five of us to leave earlier than we had planned. We all miss the Campbells and the Westbrooks so much. I can't even type those words without crying. We love our new home, and we know that God led us here, but it doesn't make us any less homesick, and to be honest time hasn't seemed to heal the hurt yet. I am grateful that they were willing to make this weekend work for all of us to be together.
Summer Bucket List #37: Mady's Baptism
Chad had the privilege of confirming Mady.
The rest of the weekend the kids played at the pool with their cousins, played Wii Sports, and had fun launching a rocket.
Summer Bucket List #38: Kindness Confetti Kids at Bright Blessings
Although this bucket list item is out of order, earlier in the week, we went with the Kindness Confetti Kids to volunteer at Bright Blessings. The children decorated wrapping paper and made gift tags for their Birthday Blessings program.
This week's adventures also included swimming at our pool with friends twice, Andrew working on his sixth grade book/movie trailer with friends three days, piano lessons, Ryan completing his summer homework, and dance classes. This next week's schedule isn't quite as full as the past few weeks. I am hoping to have at least one "stay at home in our pajamas day." Fingers crossed.