• 2010 Reading List

    What I've read this year:

    "The Other Queen" by Phillipa Gregory (Rating: C)

    "The Welsh Girl" by Peter Ho Davies (Rating: A)

    "Mistress of the Sun" by Sandra Gulland (Rating: A)

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Creatures, campfires, hiking, & waterfalls

How is it that 48 hours of camping makes you feel like you’ve been on vacation for a week? We spent the weekend at Hanging Rock State Park with friends, and had a marvelous time (despite the Ayers having to leave early, and us having to pack in the rain Sunday morning). It was fun, relaxing, entertaining, and much-needed.

Here are the lessons learned this weekend:


Large mouth bass (before being kissed)

Large mouth bass (before being kissed)

1 – Seth will pick-up & then kiss any animal.


Millipede #1 on hike to Window Falls (#2 is still MIA)
Millipede #1 on hike to Window Falls (#2 is still MIA)

2 – While millipedes can provide a ton of entertainment for a 4 year old, they should remain outside of the tent, even if it is raining. (Yes, we seem to have a millipede packed into our supplies somewhere…I’m hoping to find him today while unpacking.)

3 – When fishing, it is always good to be sure someone in your group can take a fish off of the hook! (This realization led to us shouting across the lake for the boys to come back to us for help…not one of our prouder moments.)


Rhododendron's in bloom
Rhododendron’s in bloom

 4 – My parents deserve a gold medal for camping without a Thermarest when they were in their 40’s. At 29, I am calling it quits, and ordering one ASAP.

5 – Everything tastes better when cooked over a campfire…let me just tell you about the asparagus and the potatoes…YUM! (Oh yes, and the dough boys. Seth would have eaten 12 if we let him. We made him stop at 2!)

Eating dough boys by the fire

Eating dough boys by the fire

6 – Finding friends that are really just members of your family is hard to do, but well worth the time!

Upper cascades

Upper cascades


7 – S. has really mastered the art of “let’s take pictures of him from every angle so that we can identify him in the book later.” It is an important skill to have! (And, as a side note, I have never seen so many newts in one place. He caught about 5 during the trip – they were everywhere!)

Belly-side up!

Belly-side up!

Red-spotted Newt

Red-spotted Newt

8 – We need more time in the woods. Camping, hiking, and sitting around a campfire is the best way I know to make your family reconnect. The number of hugs, kisses, cuddles, and secretive smiles I got over two days was amazing. All three of us are at our best during these trips.


One more thing…did you happen to hear the piece on NPR this morning about “Playing for Change?” It is this amazing program that believes that music can overcome language barriers, etc., and bring peace to the world. It is a really cool idea, and the music is great. If you go to the organizations website (here) you can learn more about the group, and even download the music for under $10. The album is a great compilation of street musicians from around the world. Listen to the piece from NPR, and then take a listen online. Also, they have some really cute merchandise for sale, with proceeds going to support this unique idea.


2 Responses

  1. Looks like an awesome way to spend the weekend. I’d really like to get back out and camp (with a thermarest of course!).

  2. Well, of course the Thermarest is required! We did have a wonderful weekend – I wish we were still there.

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