So it's been a really busy week.
I woke up last Thursday, took the boys to martial arts, took class myself, went out to lunch, handed the kids off to hang with their friends, came home, packed and headed for Maryland with a bunch of Girl Scouts.
Had a great time in Ocean City and on Assateague Island.
Came home Sunday, took a shower, did some laundry, checked in with Savageman and the Teen, spent a night in my own bed then packed up Middle and Little for Ohiopyle with our friends early Monday afternoon.
We arrived, checked out the area, set up camp, ate, slept. Tuesday morning we rented bikes and rode 26 miles round-trip on the Great Allegheny Passage Trail before the natural water slides, which were a great hit with the kids. (I didn't slide, but I did enjoy soaking my tired legs in the cold mountain spring water.)
The next day, we got up, broke down camp and headed out to Cucumber Falls for more water fun, then did the guided tour of Laurel Caverns. We took a short hike to a scenic overlook before the ride home, and a stop for dinner together along the way.
Although we did a lot, the pace was leisurely enough that we didn't feel rushed. We took our time. Our friends had taken care of all the planning and shopping and it was nice to be along for the ride this trip.
And now I'm back. Savageman had cleaned the house (particularly the garage) in my absence, which was really wonderful. The Teen had written drafts of his two papers, worked a bunch of hours at his McJob, and had prepared for school, which starts tomorrow. I was impressed at how well they were able to (with the help of my parents) hold down the fort, even during a work week. A confidence-builder for us all.
Today was spent editing the papers with him before his McJob, repacking and reshelving the camping bins, doing tons of laundry, mowing the lawn, grocery shopping, helping Little make his first Boston Cream Pie from scratch, etc. Busy busy, but with plenty of time for reflection alone while mowing and on the phone with my camping friend while we were unpacking. Much to think about as we transition into a new school / homeschool year.
None of which I am ready to write about yet.
So for now I will say that I am grateful for the opportunity to travel this last week and to see so many beautiful places with some truly wonderful people. It reminds me of how much more there is to see and do while the kids are still young. I'm eager to do more as circumstances allow. There's still a bunch of backpacking equipment on the shelf waiting to be put to use and a whole lot of destinations on my travel wish list.
I'm optimistic that I will find the time and the companions to make it happen.