Still playing catch up from our summer adventures – 4th of July in Idaho. Where the weather is nice enough for shorts during the day and gets just enough chill in the evening that sweatshirts are an option.
An afternoon in the park with games, snow cones, ice cream and fried chicken.
Followed up with an evening at my brother’s house for more ice cream and cake to celebrate a birthday, shaving cream twister, puppies, paddle boarding on the pond and fireworks.
I know logically fireworks are a ridiculous idea – we burn money. And unfortunately its not like a candle where you get 12 hours of enjoyment out of it. Nope. You can spend hundreds of dollars on fireworks and burn them all in less than an hour. And yet, I love them. I love the smell. I love the boom. I love the light.
I wish we had more firework holidays – Independence day and New Years Eve are not enough (at least in Arizona those are the only legal times to light fireworks)!
Happy birthday to the USA!
What summer road trip is complete without sleeping bags and tents…and boats and fish?
We traveled up the Snake River to Hells Canyon – which is the deepest river gorge in North America. The last time I was there, I was a sophomore in high school and I went on a river rafting trip with my biology class. And the windy roads to get there were just as bad/windy as I remembered and I had to pull over when Cannon threatened to lose his lunch!
There was fishing and tubing and wake boarding. Early mornings and late nights. Afternoon storms. Campfires. Lots of bugs. Cousins. Lawn games. (Aside from the whole campsite being a hill thanks to the canyon – it was absolutely beautiful and lush.)
I’m convinced once Briggs gets a little older and doesn’t require sleeping in a port-crib – camping might not be the most awful sleeping experience. Only time will tell!
We made it home. It was 3:30 in the morning, (16+ hour drive) but we made it home safely and we were all excited to get out of the car and sleep in our own beds. Here’s some stats from this summer’s roadtrip.
We drove 3900 miles. 2700 of those were driven without Steve. Sidenote: On average, I’ve put about 8,000 miles a year on my car. This summer roadtrip is half the miles I drive in a year!
We visited 5 states.
We saw 43 license plates. (We missed Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, West Virginia).
We were gone consecutively for 31 days (Steve joined us when he could) – although we were at girls camp right before which made the trip seem even longer.
We went to four state parks.
We slept on a boat. We slept in beds and on the floor. We slept at friends. We slept in tents. We slept in the car.
The movie of choice this roadtrip was Greatest Showman.
Our roadtrip soundtrack was on repeat for hours and hours and hours. And just when I thought the kids were tired of it and I tried switching it out, they revolted and demanded the roadtrip CD, seems to happen every year.
We visited Costco just once.
One carsick kid.
Washed the car window twice and yet visited countless gas stations. (we had a lot of dead bugs by the end!)
Played three rounds of tennis.
Had snowcones 8 times (thanks to my dad’s snowie machine!)
I listened to a good majority of Atlas Shrugged – Steve’s book of choice two months back – I’m almost done and I’ve really enjoyed it.
In our hours upon hours in the car, Briggs slept for approximately 8 hours – thats it. Oh how I wish I had car sleepers!
We didn’t eat at McDonalds – not even once. We did manage to eat at Subway twice, a local hamburger joint, Chipotle, a local Mexican restaurant and Little Ceasers.
Bedtimes were thrown completely out the window. I can think of one day they actually went to bed at their normal bed time and only a handful of times that they went to bed within an hour of their normal bedtime. It doesn’t help that it was light until 10pm while we were in Idaho.
When we arrived home it was 97 degrees. It was in the middle of the night – I don’t think any of us are quite ready for the Arizona summer that we’ve successfully avoided until now. Excuse us while we slip into swimsuits for the next couple weeks until school starts!
Just a few straggler pictures from our summer adventures.
I’m pretty sure I have 10 pictures just like this – Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Utah – rolling hills and beautiful landscapes all along the way.
We spent a lot of times in the parks – a luxury you can’t very well enjoy in Arizona during the summer. The “death” park is always a favorite – a name we’ve thrown around – but not widely accepted. It’s the city park where all the playground equipment would never pass today’s standards for safety and concern for children. The huge metal slide with a shallow edge. The wooden teeter totters that send you flying in the air. The rickety merry-go-round. Equipment that makes my kid’s eyes light up with excitement. They were really curious about the merry-go-round. “You used to have these at your school?!” Yep – until they yanked them all due to safety issues. We visited the park on multiple occasions.
We played with cousins and then played some more with cousins. Camping with them. Swimming with them. Fishing with them. Summer evening games with them. If you ask my kids, there is never enough cousin time.
I convinced my mom to paint her living room. She’s not one for much change and that color on the wall has been there for almost 20 years. I think the last two years I’ve visited I’ve pushed to paint that room and she’s always denied me the opportunity. I went and got a paint sample and just a few days before leaving she told me I could put it on the wall. (we strategically painted it behind a wall hanging, just in case she changed her mind!) I’m still not sure what made her pull the trigger that afternoon but we found ourselves at the paint store just 20 minutes before closing begging them to mix it up for us that evening as opposed to the next day. Luckily the color match was in their system already and we walked out with three gallons. And the fun began!
I was able to squeeze in some friend time along our journey. I love reconnecting with so many great friends/roommates, I just wish I would’ve remembered to take pictures with all of them. And for those I missed – I’ll be back next year!
I’m sure my parents were more than a little excited to see this rowdy bunch exit the building. 🙂 We’ll be back next summer and hopefully Briggs will be passed the high pitched squeal/scream phase. Fingers crossed.
Every couple years when my family (parents and siblings) get together, we attempt family pictures. Years ago, we had someone come take photos for us. And in years since then, I’ve set it up and used a tripod. There were times when I would push the button and have ten seconds to get in my spot in the picture. As our kids grew older, I trusted them to push the button without knocking the tripod over and they became our photographers. But it’s still difficult. Trying to set up the shot, plugging myself in and then quickly scanning through the pictures to see that so-and-so is slouched funny and we need to retake. Over and over again.
Add to that a myriad of funny and goofy personalities and photo day becomes goof off day – which is why we choose not to torture some innocent photographer.
Here are just a few outtakes from this year’s session. We really only need one to hang over my mom’s piano – fingers crossed she’ll approve one!