The leaves and temperatures are dropping and already our camping trip from all the way back in August seems ages ago, but such is the life of an irresponsible blogger. I am determined to share these photos, even if time won't slow down enough to afford me currency.
We were able to squeeze in a handful of camping trips this summer, despite the demands of buying a house and moving. There really is no better way to get away from the daily pressures and reconnect as a family than piling into a tent in the woods.
One of our go-to spots is Tolland State Park in western Massachusetts. If you scroll through the camping posts, you will see a whole lot of this place, and here was our very first visit (that baby face on Little Smith is such good incentive to put back on my blogging pants!). We love that there is a kid-friendly beach and lots of great camp sites right on the water, and this year was even better because we got to enjoy the company of great friends for just shy of a week's adventures.
There is nothing better than watching your children be free and wild and push their limits, add to that bonding with the children of close friends that you don't see nearly enough, it was a pretty amazing couple of days. Our whole group included five adults and five kids ages 7, 5, 4, 3, and 2... and while everyone took turns having a melt-down or two (and yes, that included me!), I can honestly say that these families and kids were totally easy going, well behaved, curious about the world and courteous to one another. I don't think things would have gone as smoothly in any other environment (zero screens!). We also wouldn't have shared great meals or stayed up way too late night after night, chatting and drinking by the fire. I did learn that those day-break wake-ups are way more brutal when the fun doesn't end at sundown.
We all have plans to schedule this as an annual trip, and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy that even if we don't connect more than that once a year, the quality of time shared and relationships formed while camping for a few days can sustain that gap. I am already missing crawling into our big yellow tent, can't wait to see her again in 2016.