July has been a busy month, full of fun plans, visitors, and road trips. I'm planning to share all about the whole month sometime around August 1, but this past weekend was one of those weekends that really deserves its own post.
Early Saturday morning we loaded up our car and made the 5+ hour trek to my uncle's cabin in the Virginia mountains. His cabin is located by a creek, and, every summer, my family meets there for a day of crayfish catching, creek splashing, and picnic-ing. We haven't made it to Creek Day since the first summer we were married, and we've really hated that, so we made it a top priority this summer [read: I emailed my family back in February and suggested a date]. Thankfully the date I suggested worked for everyone else, too.
We ran into some traffic, so we arrived well after everyone else, but we still had time to enjoy lunch and play in the creek for a couple of hours before a massive thunderstorm hit. We fled to my sister's house nearby just minutes before the downpour began. We had the best time catching up as a family, eating way more than we probably should have, and wrapping up the evening with volleyball on the lawn and other games. Sweet A was in her element. Not only did she spend about an hour swimming in a creek, but then she spent the night with a bunch of her cousins, three dogs, three cats, a rabbit, and some chickens! She adores animals, so she honestly spent most of the evening going from animal to animal giving kisses. I have a feeling it'll only be a matter of time before we make the plunge and pick out our own puppy, but we'll see how long logic and reason will hold out!
Sunday we spent a lazy morning watching the sun come up over the mountains, eating a delicious breakfast, taking a long nap (for A, at least), and then saying goodbye and heading a little further up the road. We stopped in the town where I went to college to have lunch with a dear, dear friend and meet her baby, managed to fit in another stop to visit with another dear, dear friend and meet her baby, and then we were off to camp.
This summer, Husband's family decided to have their summer get-together at Highland Retreat. Highland is one of our favorite places on earth and just so happens to be where Husband and I first met (11 or 12 years ago!!!!). It's located in the heart of the valley and is one of the most beautiful places I know. We spent the next two days swimming, hiking, and hanging out with more family and reuniting with old friends. Of all the places we go, Highland will always carry with it an essence of home. It's where I first learned to really love myself and made some of the friendships that have shaped my entire life. If you have children and are looking for a quality summer camp program I encourage you to check out Highland. If you're a teenager needing something to do one summer then look into being a camp counselor or kitchen helper or maintenance manager; Highland is a great place to start.
Finally, after an incredibly long and sometimes painful drive, we made it back home late yesterday evening just in time to catch some fireflies with A and call it a night by midnight. It was a busy vacation; we crammed as much into those three days as possible, so I think we may have returned home more tired than we were when we left, but what a good tired it is. We're already looking forward to next summer.
Also, just wanted to add another shameless plug for my article on Her View From Home. If it does well over the next couple of weeks there is the possibility that I'll be asked to become a regular contributor. I would really love for this to happen, so please, please, please read it, comment on it, and share it! I can't tell you how much that would mean to me!