Oh hey, it’s August. Nuala goes back to school on Thursday. Wait a second…I do believe that means we made it through the summer! Being a family with two full-time working parents, summer presents the challenge of coordinating 9ish weeks of camps and alternative childcare. Most of the camps don’t coincide with normal working hours, so we–and mostly Spouse–had schedule like crazy, then be creative with our schedules. And so we were: 1 week of art paper camp and 1 week of Camp Invention, followed by 1 week with the Louisville family; 1 week of painting camp and 1 week of basically gym-all-day camp, followed by family Lake Day and several days with the Utica family; 1 week of theatre camp–except what now? She’s not registered? You don’t have any recollection of our conversation in April about wait lists and whatnot?–scratch that, back to the grandparents in Utica, 1 week of soccer camp, followed by a week of vacation; and here we are, at the beginning of August and working on getting Nuala ready for her first day back at the Montessori school. In the middle of things there, I traveled to England for 5 days and Oakland for 6 days. Spouse gets a gold star for managing everything and doing it well–baby, big kid, house, meals, yard, a last-minute eye exam when the big girl started squinting all of a sudden while watching TV and reading. And even though all my flights were almost all on-time and uneventful (save for losing my work iPad on the plane in London), I’m pretty sure I never want to travel again. I did a pretty poor job of capturing things on camera this summer, but there are some highlights.
Nuala got to spend a birthday gift card at Toys R Us, and she chose a sprinkler. Good call for the incredible heat we had early this summer; great opportunity for action shots. I never got the lighting or framing quite right, but you get the idea:
Dad got in on the action:
As well as the baby, who caught a little less air and was a little less excited about the cold water:
Let’s skip over June and most of July…because I have almost no photographic evidence that those months happened…and go straight to our for-real vacation! We rented a house on the beach in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with the O’Zees and counted down days all summer until we could get in the car and drive SO MANY HOURS to get there. It was totally worth it, and I’d do it again a dozen times over. Just not next week.
Why anyone drives south from Kentucky for vacation in the middle of summer, I will never know. Go to Lake Michigan, people. Scratch that: don’t go, and leave it for us. We never got close enough to the other families on the lake to make out their faces, and not a single powered boat passed by close enough to hear the motor. It was absolutely magical.
Sunset from the deck and hot tub…and the full moon setting in the morning, later in the week.
Most of the time was spent like this:
In between trips to the beach, the elder O’Zee boy taught Nuala how to play Pokemon.
And BeBe helped Lenore play a song or two.
The rental included three kayaks in the garage, and we made good use of them. I took BeBe out twice and Nuala once. It’s kind of a pain to row a one-person kayak on choppy water with a kiddo in front of you, but awfully nice to have the baby conk out for her morning nap on the waves and to have the big girl lean back and say, “This is so relaxing, Mom.” Uh, thanks, I’ll just keep rowing against the current. Spouse had a great time too, even though he got tipped out on a super windy day and had to wade in waist-deep water all the way back up the beach.
We kept excursions to a minimum, spending one day at the Mystery Spot! which probably cost more than it should, but was somehow well worth the expense? There were zip lines, and harnesses, helmets, heights, and speed are right up Nuala’s alley (ours too). Another day, we went to the GarLyn zoo right down the road. Zoos are pretty sad places when you think about the animals’ lives, but as small-town zoos go–and there’s really no town to speak of in the area–it wasn’t bad. The peacocks were pretty awesome.
There was a beautiful rooster who was intent on doing a good job crowing.
And a very photogenic tortoise:
Also a couple of bear cubs with a lot of energy:One of whom lives in the enclosure with an abandoned dog. They’re apparently big buddies.
I was sort of mesmerized by the foxes’ faces. What is with those eyes?
And as usual, BeBe was among the most adorable things there (although the baby pot-bellied pigs were a close second (no photos, unfortunately).
Cutest baby ever loves her daddy:
We have historically done a terrible job of taking vacations, but we have resolved not to make this mistake any more. Plans are under way for a repeat next year.