1. So the last few weeks have been kinda crazy around here. For the first time (I think ever) I have been gone from home for 3 long weekends in a row. I loved all of it but am happy to now be home... doing my housewife thing... getting my babies off the bus, reading on the couch by the fire, spending hours sorting through tubs of clothes for the next season (this twice yearly event nearly sinks my ship every. single. time.)... making lunches ... doing all the homey things. I realize how lucky I am to do what I do (and love what I do) so I never want to take that for granted!
2. Two weeks ago we went on a camping trip with two other families in Ohio. We have 10 kids between us and although none of them had met before, they hit it off fabulously and spent hours and hours playing the woods, making forts and being adventurous. It was all around a really really fun time. I love camping! And reconnecting with old friends was so great as well.
3. When we got home Sunday night from camping I had 2 days to unpack all our camping gear, get all the laundry caught up, restock the fridge etc. etc. ...and then repack (this time all in my hiking backpack) for a 5-day (much planned & anticipated!) overnight backpacking trip to Canyonlands National Park with my SIL Liz. I was in a slightly elevated state of anxiety all Wednesday morning... sweaty pits and all. Rabbit trail: Ever since my botched start to our Rwanda trip three years ago (recap here for my newer readers) I get anxious about the beginning of trips. Once I'm actually through security and ON the plane, I'm fine. But up till then I am increasingly nervous. What if my ticket is somehow for next week? What if I'm an hour off due to a time zone change? What if there's a accident on the highway and I can't make the flight? What if security is slammed and I'm stuck in line when my flight closes? Haha. I realize these are very privileged problems and since I am usually a very chill person and don't really worry about much else in life, I'm kind of resigned to the fact that having had issues with travel in the past means I will stress about it in the future. I'm blessed to be be able to travel and having sweaty pits the day of isn't the worst thing in the world.
4. For all my pre-travel stress, ironically I made all 3 of my flights without a hitch... while Liz got stranded in Denver overnight! This meant that we would have a late start to our hike on Thursday, but it also meant that I was able to get our camp fuel (can't fly with it) at REI so when I picked Liz up later we could hit the road west. We were able to start our hike around 5pm, and with 6.5 miles ahead, this meant we would be hiking into the dark. We got to our backcountry campsite around 8:30, at which point we made a quick dinner, and hopped into our sleeping bags & tent. Once the sun goes down it gets cold fast!
5. The next day we hiked 13.5 miles through the canyons (with a quick spur hike to see an arch/refill our water. We were moderately dismayed at one point to find that we had hiked a half-mile past our stashed packs on our way back to the main trail so we had to backtrack to retrieve them. Could have ended badly but thankfully it didn't! When we got to our campsite that night there was another group already there... they had accidentally hiked to the wrong site and had another 2 miles ahead of them! (We were just happy that it wasn't us, lol)
6. The final day we had a short few miles of hiking out of the park. We were only about 1.5 hours drive from Arches NP (and had to pass it on our way back towards the airport anyway) so we poked around there for a few hours. The landscape out west is so unbelievably unique and awe-inspiring. I can't wait to go back! Zion NP is next on my list. :)
7. I ran into my dad in Phoenix! He and randomly had the same connections home through Charlotte. :) Since I was traveling sans kids, I got to watch two movies uninterrupted (Julie & Julia and The Theory of Everything--the first was cute; I loved the second!) I also listened to the 4-hour Broadway soundtrack to Hamilton ... twice. Lin Manuel Miranda is a genius; that is all.