Thursday, July 23, 2015

Georgia's Camp!

Hi, everybody!  This is Georgia.  I'm going to tell you about my first over-night camp experience.  The first night was really hard.  We were in tents, sleeping on the hard ground and none of us could fall asleep.  Even worse, they had made tent groups and had purposely split up my friend and me.  

We woke up pretty early in the morning.  We thought it was at least 6am because it was really sunny and the birds were chirping.  Turns out it was before six and the counselors had to tell us to go back to sleep.  After that, it was great.  We'd be so tired from hiking / biking / swimming that we'd go to sleep almost instantly.

There were twelve kids in our group.  Most of the boys were a year younger than me but the girls were around my age.  We had three counselors:  a boy and two girls and they were nice.

We went on three hikes, we swam in a resevoir twice, we biked on a trail in New Hampshire and we white water rafted in Florida, Massachusetts.

My favorite part was the rafting because I had never done that before.

My least favorite part was not knowing what time it was.  No one had a watch and we couldn't have phones, so we had no idea what time it was.  If we asked a counselor, they'd just say "It's wake-up time!" or "It's hiking time."  And that annoyed me.

Like everyone else in my family, I REALLY like to know the time so that I can be ON TIME!

I made some good friends who I'm still in touch with now.  

I don't think I'd do THIS camp again because I realized that I'd like to do a more traditional camp with cabins and activities in one place.  

I missed Pippa Middleton a lot, but other than that, I wasn't homesick or anything.

I took these pictures and obviously the scenery was very pretty.

Overall the camp was really fun and I had a great time.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Our Block Island Reunion

For the first five years of our summer vacations on Block Island we shared our rental house (and vacation fun) with two families:  The K Family and/or The M Family.  

This year, we wanted to recreate those wonderful times, so we invited both families to spend a weekend with us on the island.  

The kids are a whole lot older (and there's even one new addition!) and yet we parents haven't aged a day (ha!).

We all took the same ferry over on Friday afternoon and we spent that day relaxing at the house.  The next morning, we packed up and went to Mansion Beach.  Sadly it was overcast, cold and a little gloomy, but we all had fun anyway.

Oh!  And here's a photo from the first night's dinner at Aldo's:

You might be wondering where Georgia was when all these photos were taken.  

She was still at camp on Friday and Gordy picked her up Saturday morning.  Then they rushed (and probably went way over the speed limit) down to the ferry and to the island:

Welcome back!

That night, we had cocktail / mocktail hour.  The kids enjoyed Shirley Temples at the house and the adults had drinks on the beach.

I didn't get any photos of the adults.  Above is E & M

and below are R & E (with assorted Elliots)

And of course, we did a bonfire and made s'mores:

We had a fabulous weekend.  I see the two mothers frequently, but I rarely see the fathers or the kids.  

Everyone has grown up so much since our last trip together and it was wonderful to have the chance to speak to the children and hear what they've been up to.  

Hopefully, we'll make this a yearly tradition again.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Camp Times Three

This was a busy week for us.  We had not one, not two, but three camps to prepare for, to drive to and to attend.  

The first two camps I didn't get any photographic evidence of, sadly.  Josie spent her week at a cooking camp and it was amazing.  The camp was three hours of non-stop cooking and she left each session with an entire meal (appetizer, main dish and dessert) for four people.  Let's hear it for not having to grocery shop or cook all week!!!! 

All the meals were fantastic.  Josie made spinach and artichoke pinwheels (in a puff pastry), a BBQ chicken pot pie with a cornbread crust, a wonderful chicken primavera in a lemon, cream sauce, chocolate cupcakes, a key lime pie, a strawberry shortcake and many other dishes.  Our refrigerator was stuffed to the top and hers was only the half-day camp!  I can only imagine the freezer-filling that will happen if Josie does the full-day camp next year.

Georgia also went to day camp last week.  Her camp was a lacrosse clinic which she attended with two of her good friends from soccer.  The soccer friends arrived at our house every morning around 8am and then all three walked down to the fields together.  And of course, every afternoon (after camp ended), they hung out, went to the pool, had a sleepover... you get the picture.

On Saturday, we met Gordy's sister Cathy and her family in Cambridge where they were staying while our nephew, Zach, attended a football recruitment camp at Harvard.  We had lunch and then walked around the Harvard campus.  It was nice to see them especially since we were unable to go down to the Cape this summer to spend time with them there.

I took a photo of the cousins together (above).  From left to right we have:  Georgia (12 1/2), Josephine (10), Henry (15), Zach (17) and Ned (12)

And then it was time to start camp number three.

We packed Georgia up for her first overnight camp experience and drove her to western Massachusetts to drop her off.

Georgia's camp isn't your traditional sleep-away program.  This camp is a hiking / biking / rafting adventure and the campers move from camp-ground to camp-ground. 

Georgia is doing the program with her good friend, Margaret:

And when we dropped them off yesterday afternoon, they were both excited and eager to get started.  We met their three counselors who seemed really nice and we met a few of the other parents.  

Last night was Georgia's first time ever sleeping outside in the woods, so let's hope it went well!  They certainly had gorgeous weather.  

With the exception of Georgia, we are camp-free this week.  We do have a bunch of doctor appointments, I'm trying to finish three pillows for the Block Island house and I'm meal-planning and organizing for a big party we're having there.  And of course we still have Josie's two weekly hockey practices and endless trips to the grocery store to keep Henry fed (do teenage boys ever stop eating!?!).  

I'll give you a full-report on Georgia's wilderness experience when she gets home next week!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Fourth of July Fireworks ....

... which happened on the Third of July and which I didn't get to see because of a particular pug dog who will remain nameless.

Let's back up and I'll admit something about myself.

Hello.  My name is Martha and I'm chronically, obsessively early.  I have very rarely arrived late to anything in my entire life.  I am always early and always punctual.  The good news is that I can be relied on to be the first guest at a party and to save seats in a movie theater.  The bad news is that I am always the first guest at a party and I always arrive way too early for a movie.  

It's a blessing and curse.

That said, when it came time for the fireworks on Block Island, I had no idea what time people starting arriving.  The schedule said that the fireworks began around 9pm and I figured that with the entire island going to one beach, it would probably be difficult to find parking.  

We packed a picnic dinner and left the house around 5pm.

I know.  

It's sad.  

Obviously, we got there about three hours too early.  

At least we got a good parking space!

We set up a few games and took our time serving dinner.

Henry had brought two friends from high school along with us to Block Island and although they both now know that I'm totally crazy, at least they entertained Henry for the four hours before the fireworks began.

We brought Pippa Middleton to the beach, too.

She loved being on her super-long leash, playing in the sand and chasing sea gulls.

There was a lot of time to kill.

Next year, we'll leave for the fireworks at 8:30.  

It was a crazy evening.  Eventually everyone showed up and eventually it got dark and eventually the fireworks began.

And as soon as they did, Pippa Middleton freaked out (everyone but us saw that coming, no?) and I had to run her back to the car to calm her down.

I missed all the fireworks (except for the bits I could see from our car's moon roof).

The picnic was good, though.

And everyone else enjoyed the fireworks, so that's something.

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