8.12.2011

Happy Campers

at the dunes

at the dunes

Back to back camping trips - unexpected, but highly efficient. There was just enough time in between trips to get the laundry done, and all the gear was still piled in the garage and easy to throw back in our rig. Plus, we still had graham crackers and marshmallows left over from Tahoe.

at the dunes

"Camping at the beach" has been crossed off my summer to-do list.

at the dunes

After camping in two such different environments, I can say this: my children are about as different from each other as the mountains are to the beach. I live smack dab in between the two extremes. After all, I am a valley girl. Someone into positive B.S., such as myself, might argue that this dynamic creates balance in our family. It can also be a challenge.

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Aidan was as happy as a loon running across the dunes gathering driftwood to add to the makeshift structure we found on the beach. Back at camp, he climbed trees, discovered nests, dissected owl pellets, and rolled down sandy slopes. At the end of the day he crashed in his sleeping bag, sand and found treasures spilling out of his pockets.

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Avery, on the other hand, just wanted to know if there was a Starbucks nearby and if we'd be driving by any malls on the way home. Last child in the woods she is not. But I do not fret. Growing up, I was not that into nature either. Valley girls are usually most comfortable in highly populated and commercialized environments. And Avery, my little foothill home companion, is a valley girl at heart. The only treasure in her pocket is her iPod.

One day, she might find a latent naturalist growing within her. It is genetically possible. She might even hug a tree. And if not, that's OK. There's always a mall or two on the way home from just about every campground in California.

But my nature loving son and mall hugging daughter do have one thing in common: they both love the Iced Passion Tea Lemonade from Starbucks. And I love that the homemade version tastes just as good as the corporate one.

passion tea lemonade

Tazo Passion Fruit tea + lemonade = a perfectly refreshing drink to sip while unpacking.

We still have marshmallows and graham crackers left, so we might not be done camping this summer. We'll keep our sleeping bags and fishing poles in easy reach just in case the river calls to us.

17 comments:

  1. We almost camped at the beach during our California sojourn. Instead we headed to Sequoia Natl Park for some camping among the giants. I love your banner. I think our camping needs one. We also have a few more trips up our sleeves. Thinking about some Petrified Forests or Volcanic craters soon.

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  2. can I just say - thank you.

    my daughters would rather go shopping anywhere then be found with me on a hike or in the woods. Our most recent beach outing lasted all of like 40 minutes.

    My son. He's so into his friends right now. Wanting to be with them more than me. Again. Anywhere.

    Interesting though. We all love the Tazo Passion Fruit tea too.

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  3. Wow! Beach camping. How dreamy!

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  4. Ohhh this makes me want drop everything, grab the tent and GO! I love your banner and think our campsite might need one too :). Summer seems to be flying by and though i have made good progress on my "summer list" we have yet go camping at the beach. As always, wonderful pictures, thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend! www.aviewfrmoabrowndog.blogspot.com

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  5. This post made me smile. Dylan loves to be outside but in a more "lets play" kinda way and he spends much more time inside than his sister. Fionna would be right there with Aidan exploring all nature has to offer.
    It is fun to see their differences and strengths.
    Leftover marshmallows means more camping for sure!

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  6. After a particularly trying week your post was just the pickup I needed. Camping on the beach - so envious and joyous at the same time = enjovious? Your children are precious.

    xoxo michele

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  7. That photo of your son in the driftwood is perfect! Just perfect! One photo says it all. I'm glad your family is having fun. Sounds like a wonderful trip that will live in their memories forever. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. great pictures! love camping! I've never done it by the beach but it must be awesome!

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  9. That driftwood house is so cool! Aidan looks like a little sea urchin in there. I'm into positive BS too; why not? It never ceases to amaze me how kids just come out different. So different! But, as you said, they're only at the beginning of growing into themselves and who knows, crazier things have happened than a valley girl turning into a naturalist! So glad your family is making the most of this beautiful summer. Enjoy!

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  10. Molly, we just got home a day ago from our annual camping trip on the shores of Lake Huron here in Ontario. Many waves were dove into and many marshmallows eaten. Although our two boys are complete opposites also, when it comes to camping, they are both in heaven.

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  11. Thanks for the recipe - it's a favorite and we just don't get into town as often as we would like to drink this tea. Family is a balancing act for sure. Sometimes I scratch my head and think "how do we all fit together?" But somehow we do! Glad you do as well :)

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  12. Admiring the acceptance you have reached. IN my experience, it's not easy to embrace the inclinations of our children to value things we see as less important. I want my boy to be out in nature, hitting the trail or riding his bike, and usually he'd rather play the Wii. Not easy to accept. Love the perspective you've gained from the two camping trips!

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  13. The photo of the cups and plates is particularly lovely in a group of gorgeous photos. And really enjoyed the honesty of this post. Just today ruminating on the idea that children will most often be what they are, regardless of parental desires.

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  14. Oh, I'd love to try the passion fruit and lemonade tea! Sounds so good. Loved all the photos...loved the shot of the dishes..so colorful! You always make me feel like I am right there!

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  15. Camping in California, can't imagine a better place! and I'm sure you made the Happy Campers bunting!! How perfect!

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  16. love the bunting! i hope you don't mind if i make a similar one for our family camping trips. we dubbed our toddler the un-happy camper last year when we had to come home in the middle of the night due to very loud & disruptive crying! he loves camping this year, and we are heading to the ocean this week camping :)

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