Our second year of camping with my brother and his family and a big group of friends happened last week.
My brother John. We are 18 months apart in age. Love him.
My sister-in-law Liz. Love her.
We camp at a spot near Shelton, Washington on land my brother's company owns.
This year I really loved the fires.
Last year I ended up going to bed earlier most nights when the kids went to bed.
This year I put them to bed and headed back out to hang out with the grown-ups.
I also love that time where we transition from day to evening clothes - from swimsuits and shorts to jeans and socks and fleece jackets and hats as the temperature drops.
My cousin Rob and my brother are quite the fire-builders.
Such a beautiful spot.
Anna loved, loved, loved being there with all the other kids. From cousins to friends she was in the thick of it the entire time.
They explored and made up games and talked and talked and talked and occasionally got mad at each other and tattled.
They also ate a ton of snacks.
This guy came dressed as Finn from Adventure Time (complete with white hat and green backpack).
Upon arrival Liz showed him that she had a copy of Swiss Family Robinson (book) and he dove right in. He might not look happy there but that was more to do with the came then reading. He's seen the movie and loved it which usually makes him that much more interested in the book.
Simon likes camping. But he also likes being at home. There's always a push and pull with him between being in a familiar routine/environment and finding/introducing new things that make him happy.
There were moments of great joy and great frustration all in the same day. I think those emotions are confusing to him too sometimes.
Great joy when he caught a fish.
Great frustration when he only caught three and didn't catch any more after that. Enough frustration that he didn't want to pick up his pole again.
He took a couple great afternoon naps on an air mattress in the shade.
And played out in the water with the other kids.
Great joy there too.
He even did a craft where he decorated a mug. Hey cool guy.
One of my best friends from high school, Dana, brought her daughter out for the day. She and Liz have become good friends.
This guy made a couple of appearances into the wee hours of the morning too.
My cousin Rob and his son Aidan - modern camping of course.
And of course there was a little of this too.
Good times. Great people. Can't wait to go again next year!
PS | In case you are wondering we left our dog Lily at home with Chris this year. Last year she got really sick while we were camping, almost didn't make it, and made an amazing recovery and has been doing fine (as fine as she can at age 12) ever since.