Our Endless Summer

It all started last summer (2014). The kids were just getting out of school. We had family moving in with us who had just sold their home and were beginning their house hunting journey. We had a full house….. With that being said, the prospect of a full summer right around the corner was exciting.  Adventure, here we come!

So there we were looking at the calendar, ready to take off on our next excursion, when the realization hit…we had no plans for fun. There was one small trip planned for the end of August to visit family up north, but that was it. At the time I thought, “no biggie, things will come up and we’ll have fun.”

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Boy was I wrong! It was a long boring summer that also went by, seemingly, in the blink of an eye.  If that makes any sense…

The week before the kids started school, our one and only planned trip had finally come around.  My mindset was definitely: have fun or BUST. So we visited with family, went wine tasting, and took the kids to Hearst Castle. It felt like a real vacation. And a MUCH needed one at that.

After a great weekend away, and on our drive home, we decided that this was the start of a promise to never again let a summer/day slip by.  Life is too short and we have so much to be thankful for and experience.

Fast forward to 2015 and another summer has come and gone.

This time, however, I’m happy to report that we nailed it! Practice makes perfect.

The first weekend the kids were out of school, we headed out on a road trip to Fresno (I know, not the most glamorous of destinations) for a family wedding, and we had a blast! Keeping with our pact, we made a quick pit stop on the drive home at a fun tourist trap called Bravo Farm. It’s approximately 30 minutes outside of Fresno along CA-99.

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We then parted ways with the family, sending our oldest home with my sister in-law and youngest home with Grandma and Grandpa. You know what this means…. FREEDOM for a whole week!

Before this newfound freedom began, I had every intention of tackling projects that I had on the back burner, but somehow none of it was accomplished (nor started). Go figure!

And before I knew it, I was headed back up North to pick up the kids.

Once I got there, it was full on relax mode: Walking around the village, swimming at the local pool (And by that I mean watching the kids go swimming.  The water is way too cold at those pools).

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Next on the agenda: Lake Nacimento!!! The whole day was full of that kind of carefree, spur of the moment fun that great summers are made of.

We ended up getting home just in time to enjoy the 4th of July together. We headed out to Perris Auto Speedway for some good old American dirt track racing and fireworks.

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A couple weeks later, we headed off for our annual family trip to Shaver Lake for the week.  However; this trip was extra special.  After 8 years of coming here, it was the first year Mike was able to come with us.

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I was so excited we finally got to try paddle boarding. Taylor loved it so much; we couldn’t get her off the board.  She just wanted to give everybody rides.

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When we managed to get her off for 5 minutes, I instantly fell in love with it too. Now to just find a place back home to do this more often…. Mike attempted it as well and his response: “It’s harder then it looks, or maybe it was the board.” I promised I wouldn’t share those photos.

Anytime Copper wasn’t in the water, she was on, what we dubbed, Copper rock. It was her perfect little warm perch where she could just sit and watch her kids play. She may have even found the occasional drink left behind…yet another perk.

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My brother, Sister in-law and cutest ever niece Hazel relaxing.

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Honestly, we couldn’t have asked for better weather.  It was sunny and warm most of the trip, and we got some rain the last couple of days of the trip. But that didn’t stop us!  Here in California, we’re in a drought.  When it rains, we play in the rain.

Copper didn’t seem so thrilled to be that close to the water without getting into the water. But once we got off the boat and hiked to what was a waterfall, she was all smiles. Exhibit A: See picture to the right below.

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We did a little off-road exploring.

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On our last full day, it rained with thunder and lightning for quite a while. Coming from Southern California, this was exciting!

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After the rain stopped, my mom and I went on a hike. The lake was just so quiet and peaceful. It felt like I was in the back-country without a single person to interrupt the silence for miles.  It made for a perfect ending to this trip.

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The moment we got home, the kids and I were off and running back up North to see a train my parents’ friends had built in their yard. Riley was definitely in his element and couldn’t have been more happy to see his Grandpa driving and operating the train.

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As soon as we got home, I received a phone call from our friends from Colorado, saying they would be coming to San Diego. So we made plans to go hiking at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.

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I highly recommend going.  We spent a good 5 hours there and it wasn’t nearly enough time to see it all.  We really enjoyed it.

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A week later, we found ourselves in our motorhome and headed to San Onofre State Beach, per Taylor’s request for her 13th birthday. It’s kills me to think my baby is an official teenager, but I feel so lucky to be able to call her my daughter. She is such an amazing girl, always ready for an adventure, willing to help when needed and just always fun to be around.

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Taylor attempted surfing, Riley dug holes and the rest of us just relaxed, enjoying each others company.

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Side note: Coppers face looks like this anytime I take a picture of her outside. I really think she is smiling.

Two weeks later, Mike and I went on a kid-less journey up to the Sierras to pick up a boat my Aunt and Uncle were giving us.

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The following weekend was Labor Day weekend. Some friends of ours were camping at Silverwood Lake so we drove up for the day.

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When we headed down to the lake I spied a PCT marker andeeeeeeee, it just made my heart sing. I so badly want to hike it some day!

Now, I know Labor Day weekend is supposed to mark summers end, but I really don’t see an end this year.  And I’m planning on it staying that way. With our Nieces 1st birthday and a trip to Big Sur coming up, this is only the beginning.

What I hope you can take away from this is: Every errand that needs to be run, or wedding or birthday party that needs to be attended, anything really, can be transformed into an adventure. All that you need is an open mind and to keep your eyes wide open. You never know what sort of fun can be had at the most random of times. Happy Adventuring!

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