Tuesday, May 21, 2013


    There are many good things about San Diego that we try to appreciate and enjoy and take advantage of as much as possible while living here.  Great restaurants and parks we can walk to.  Some pretty seriously sunshiny weather.  The beach.  Lots of dog-friendliness.  But all the people and cars and traffic and pavement; pavement and big building everywhere, leave me feeling slightly stressed and claustrophobic and not quite able to breathe deeply without my even always knowing it.  

     Until I get out, into the trees, the mountains, the open for a few days.  I can feel myself breathe deep, exhale, relax, I can feel my heart open up in a way it never does in the city.  

     This weekend's camping trip to Mount Laguna was even better for my heart and soul and lungs because it was Annie's first ever camping trip of her whole life. Her whole life!

     Lacey knows when the sleeping bags come out, the cooler is loaded, the dog food is scooped and the car is packed that it is time for fun, and there is no way she is getting left behind!

     Annie on the other hand has no idea what her crazy parents are up to this time.  At only (ALREADY!) less than four months into her life, we had high hopes, but weren't entirely sure how this weekend was going to go.  Mount Laguna Campground in the Cleveland National Forest is somehow only a 1 hour drive from our house in the middle of the city (and a whole different world,) so we knew if this somehow turned into disaster we could just pack up, get in the car and drive home.  If it turned into an enormous disaster we could leave the stuff, get in the car, drive home and send Dad back to pack up later.  

     Mount Laguna is also perfect because the campground is always filled with nice people, the sites are spread out, there are hiking trails right out of the campground, there are ponds full of ducks, Lacey can run free on the trails (unless of course there are any National Forest Service rangers reading this, in which case of course we kept her on leash the entire time,) and in May it doesn't get too hot during the day or too cold at night.  

     Annie could not believe that we got to spend all day outside, looking at trees and flowers, listening to the birds, cuddling, wrapped up in blankets or under a big hat covered in sunscreen, walking around in the Ergo and eating!

She helped us set up camp,

She tested the comfort of our sleeping mats, sleeping bags and duna in the tent,

She looked up to the tops of the trees,

She watched her dog, who limps slowly along on leash on
sidewalks or paved paths by reservoirs bounce off like a puppy through tall grass and flowers at the first sniff of ducks in a muddy pond,

And she watched her wag her tail and try to catch those ducks,

She snuggled with Dad in the Ergo in the sunshine,

And with Mom in the Ergo in the freezing chilly evening wind,

She made this face,

And this one,

And she made Dad make this face,

She cheered us on as we made cinnamon rolls in a cast iron dutch oven over an early morning campfire for the first (and definitely not the last) time ever,

Just a little burned around the edges, luckily 6 cinnamon rolls leave plenty
of extra when shared between two people.
Next time not such a hot fire, or move the grate a little bit higher.
She looked at wildflowers with Mom,

I know what you are thinking: how, oh how do I get amazing hair like this?
Well, I will tell you, first, it must be kinda short and layered, then you french braid
it yourself in the car with no brush or mirror, then, and this is the most important step,
you sleep on it for two nights in a very small tent with a tall husband, a cuddly,
stinky dog and a tiny baby you are trying desperately not to squish.
I obviously use the term 'sleep' loosely here.
She ate buried in her baby duna on a 45 degree evening,

She motivated us to go on a 5 am, family, sunrise drive

And through all of that she even had time for a little FLT modeling.

Can't help myself!
     First thing Friday through Sunday morning, together in the sunshine.  No phones, TV, computer, buses, airplanes, neighbors, freeways, traffic or pavement.  It was just what we all needed to breathe deeply, exhale and relax.  And we were all ready for baths, showers and some serious naps by the time we got home, minus two sleeping bags, around lunch time on Sunday.  It is back to cooking and cleaning and swimming and sewing and reading and playing and our (incredible) every day life for now.  Planning the next adventure!

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