Sunday, July 12, 2015

Camping with the Kids

I grew up camping and I knew I wanted my kids to love it as well.  It's good for them to get dirty, experience camp fires, and become one with the bugs.  This summer I finally felt like the kids were old enough so we tried out Yogi Bear's Jessystone campground. It was 30 minutes away and oh so hokey but it was a perfect first experience.  Saturday morning we loaded everything up and we were at our campsite by 10:30.
I was so nervous our kids would be a disruption to others so I was thrilled when our camping neighbors had a 4 year old and 1 year old. Not only that, the dad had run multiple Spartan races and marathons and the mom was a teacher and sign language interpreter. What?!?!  How cool is that! They live in Naperville so we exchanged info for an upcoming play date.

This was our sins camp set up.  The kids were much more excited about setting it up than taking it down.
We were checking the radar since theee was a threat of severe storms.  After camp was set up, we headed off to the pool!

Lunch was at our site and was just sandwiches, chips, and strawberries.  Then I got too hopeful and thought we'd all try to lie down and rest. 
Well...only one person napped and it was daddy!!  While he napped I took the kids to the general store for a treat. They picked ice cream, a bomb pop, and popcorn for daddy.  Jackson was excited about his bomb pop and explained the colors to me.  Red was cherry, white was EGG, and blue was blueberry. 😀 he said he liked the egg flavor best.
After we woke daddy we played frisbee and bubbles at our site for a bit with our neighbors.
And Claire rubbed her face in the mud every time she got a chance.
The great thing about Jellystone is there was always an activity we could do.  While the staff left a lot to be desired in the area of musical performance, the kids enjoyed warchng the Dancing Through the Decades show.

After the show was mini golf and the play ground.

We ended the day back at our site for toasted hot dogs, pasta salad, and s'mores!  And more bug spray and dirt.
As always, Charley got her way and was carried a lot because "her legs hurted."  She doesn't make a very good passenger.
There was only one time that Jackson got a little weepy about not sleeping at home but after we convinced him we would be in the tent too, he was fine.  The kids did really well and awoke with the birds at 6am.
We had cold cereal and frosted doughnuts for breakfast before packing up and heading home.  Now, just 23 hours later, we are all clean, including g Claire, with lots of fun stories to share!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

A City Escape

We had a blast in the city yesterday!  Our morning started with a 7am photo shoot with Mimi at the beach in Evanston.  Our friend Julie is an awesome photographer and she found a great location.
After the photos, Julie rushed of to shoot a wedding and we stayed to play a bit.

Just like always, Daddy played a lot too.

Before heading to breakfast we found a fun park and Jackson was thrilled to see a sign language alphabet chart.

Bryan was excited to try the Walker Bros. Pancake House that is referenced in Mean Girls. The food was delicious!

After breakfast we took a scenic drive down Lake Shore to try out Maggie Daley park. What a cool place!  It's a huge industrial style park with a city backdrop.

Jackson was so brave and went down this big slide!

After we worked up a sweat we took Mimi to the Bean where Charley through a huge fit because, you know, she's three  now and such fits are required to maintain your THREEnager status.

The highlight of the day was Crown Fountain.  The kids loved running around in the water.

We headed home and heard snoring from both car seats within just a few minutes.

After a stop for groceries and a fancy Costco lunch, we pulled in to the garage at 3pm, NINE hours after we left!

It was an exciting and exhausting day!