Monday, May 25, 2009

Annual Memorial Day Camping Trip

Every year we head out of town to the end of the road to camp on Memorial weekend. Years ago, when the big girls were small, we set out to camp one night. Over the years we ended up staying two. So now we leave anticipating two nights and really, I think next year we should shoot for 3. We'll see.

WARNING:Lots of pictures ahead!
Night 1

We arrived at the campground around 6:30. It's a good thing it is light outside 'til about 12:30 or better. Grandpa was hanging out at Michelle and Dusty's site and being the good friends they are, they even served us dinner.

Scott made sure Booger knew everything was all right and camping was a good thing!

Amber took the Cori, Cassi, Alli and Cali down one of the trails to the beach. They loved the mud. Cassi and Cali didn't take their shoes off but Cori, Alli and Amber did.

We played a little poker and Caitie won, go figure. It's been a while since I played and I think Dusty started teaching Cait when she was 3.

After losing my money very quickly we headed down to out campsite to make a fire and hang out for a while. AJ tried calling some friends to come out and visit.

He really wanted them to come- enough to stand on his head to make the phone call. I can't believe he got service!

It was getting later and I figured Cali needed to get to bed however once in her jammies, she decided she was a camper-girl and slid her footie jammies right into her mud boots and back to the fire she came.

Booger found a friend in Dusty.

And when Dusty wasn't around he was in anyone's arms who would hold him. We did learn this weekend that he does not like to lay in the dirt! Not happening!

Of course, before we could head off for bed we had to make s'mores. Alli was enjoying the making process as much as eating them!

Day 1

We had a pretty lazy start to the day. Scott started a fire when he got up.

We had a fairly simple breakfast of danishes. There were a few dishes left from the night before that Cali enjoyed cleaning up for me.

The kids took a walk on one of the trails and rode bikes a bit. We were all kind of low key. I think we were preparing for the all-night drinks and poker ahead of us!

We had a GREAT dinner. There were steaks, burgers, hot dogs, baked potatoes, corn-on-the-cob, baked beans, oh and don't forget the super-sized cheetohs!

Once our bellies were full we moved on to fun and games.

Drinks,desserts and poker. There were a lot of us together for the holiday.

I don't know if you will recognize everyone or not. Michelle and Dusty stayed both nights as did we.

Grandpa and GiGi left their camper the first night for anyone who wanted to use it but had to work on Saturday so they didn't stay. They came back Saturday afternoon and stayed that night. Jack and Sharee came out with their two boys and stayed Saturday night.

Jeff and Karen came out for dinner and poker but weren't interested in staying.

And Veon and Kimberly did the same.

Day 2

Amazingly, there were no injuries and no hangovers although since we didn't get to bed 'til well past 1:00 we were all pretty tired come Sunday morning.

Grandpa got the fire started and we made eggs and crispy pancakes in the cast iron skillet on the fire. YUM!

After breakfast the kids played a little Uno spin then we took another walk down one of the trails to the beach.

The kids did a little rock climbing but we left pretty quickly. The trail took us to a rather windy end of the beach and it was a little chilly.

We made a burger and hot dog lunch which was delicious after our hike. The kids (especially those boys) had fun poking at the fire.

The sun was out bright and warm for a bit so they all played a little more Uno spin in the sunshine.

Once everyone was full and the kids were looking for something different to do we set to packing up. It never goes back in quite as nice as it does when we head out but we all work together and get it done.

As usual Scott was determined to get home (this time he had a 3:00 tee-time) so he left and we took one last trip to the beach. We walked the long road to our normal beach hang-out (Big Momma's house, as my girls have named it) and played restaurant for a bit.

The girls made some pasta.

Michelle was chilled so she made a mini campfire ring.

Isn't it cute?

Booger climbed some rocks.

And everybody looked about as happy and healthy as you could ever want to see them.

We tied it together and ended with just a few more s'mores. Everyone was tired and content, and some were simply tuckered out!

It was a fabulous weekend and a beautiful way to begin summer in Alaska.

I will leave you with some of our usual beach art. Look at this star, do you see it?

I do and I have decided it is a star of hope for me. Hope that I continue to find loveliness... in simple moments-like restaurants at the beach, in good friends-like everyone we were with this weekend, in my faith-because it is being tested lately and in my family-I love each of them with so much passion that my heart could burst and loveliness like that, I simply could not do with out!

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