We have a group of friends who do a yearly May Long Weekend trip to Deception Pass in Washington State. This same group of friends used to go to a forestry site past Pemberton but that was back in the day. Back in the day of packing up a tent, 2 sleeping bags and a cooler full of beer n’ smokies. Times have changed.

I know this. I mean we all have kids now. But the full realization of this fact barrels me in the head as it takes me 2 full days of preparation just to be ready to leave Friday morning. Even with the car almost entirely packed the night before, it is a 2 hour process to get out the door. Don’t ask me why. I have two kids. Answer enough.

Oh the car. Damned car. Our family has grown but the car has not. The Elantra is full when the family does a daytrip into the city. Packing for 4 days away took an incredible amount of will, determination and cursing. Lots and lots of cursing.

In the end, the dog had to be kenneled (we are still being punished 5 days later) and adult toys are left behind. (And by adult toys, I speak of Bal’s hockey stick and our bikes, not toys that would inspire the campfire sex-toy-alphabet game of days past!) Kids toys are packed though I learn that sticks, rocks and trees big enough for a cave inside are much more inspired than plastic airplanes and Little People. Next time the toy bag will get left behind.

The only must haves as far as the kids are concerned:

  • Bike
  • Marshmellows
  • Jiffy Pop
  • Air Mattress with which to bounce upon
  • Glo-Sticks! Must, must, must
  • Staying up late enough to see fire, the moon and the first star by which to wish upon.

The only musts as far as adults are concerned:

  • Wine
  • Beer
  • Everything in the kids list. If kids are happy, you are happy. If you manage that, with plastic wine glass in hand, consider yourself blessed.

Good friends, weather and awesome scenery certainly help the cause.

There was a time we would have stayed up til 4am drinking and gabbing around the fire, slept til noon, then enjoyed a 3pm nap after reading trashy magazines and eating chips for lunch. Almost sounds heavenly until you remember it was also the time we tried not to puke up vodka in the bushes, held your breath as you entered the very primitive outhouses,  and felt nauseous most of the time considering all the alcohol and crappy food consumed in a 48 hour span. And don’t even get me started on the kidnapping, concussion, and grad party neighbors we encountered…

Yes, times have changed. We’re in bed by midnight, up by 7am. Full on up. We eat skewers, salads and veggie dogs. There are chips but also a cooler full of fruit and veggies. We no longer lounge. We chase, play hockey, organize scavenger hunts, build forts and play giant teeter-totter. We do it for the kids but sometimes, most of the time, it is hard to pick out who is happier.

Silly Times

Cuddle Times

Rolling Good Times!

We build Forts.

We ride on Giant Teeter Totters!

We ride bikes and play hockey. Again and again and again… The kids learn to be Canadian in the US with their yells of “GAME ON!” after a car passes.

Toys not necessary. Sticks work. Magic trees do too.

And if you are a baby, having the freedom to explore the earth is all that you need. Grass and flowers,

Rocks and sand. And having a big sister by your side, makes it all the sweeter.

Then it is naptime. For about 15 minutes, they giggle and play peek-a-boo and I am certain they will never sleep. I tell Kaya Brennyn needs a nap so if she’s not going to sleep, we all need some quiet time. Not 3 minutes later, this is the scene I encounter. It more than makes up for the fact that I am not the one napping!


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