"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."
Gandalf, The Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien.
"If you wish to be happy, think not of what is to come nor of that which you have no control over but rather of the now and of that which you can change."
Oromis, Brisingr, Christopher Paolini.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Summer Ramblings

Another fun-filled summer!

The older two kids spent several weeks in June and July attending the KidsU summer camp at UNR. There were tons of choices of camps, and lots of kids they knew there. Good fun.

We camped with my ILs at Brown's Owens River campground for the 4th of July weekend. My FIL is on the Mammoth town council, so DS and DD1 rode with him on a float in the Mammoth parade and threw candy out to the crowd. We had a fun birthday party for my MIL at the campground and watched the fireworks.

Hiking in Bryce Canyon National Park

The following weekend we flew the Bonanza over to Bryce Canyon for the weekend. None of the kids had been there, and DH and I were last there 15 years ago. We did some hiking, took lots of pictures, saw a great ranger talk on trees, and basically just enjoyed exploring the park. Bryce Canyon is two days' drive from here, but totally do-able for a weekend with the plane.

Billabong Koala Park, NSW

Our next voyage was our biennial visit to Australia. We tried something new this time, and rented a motorhome. This was our most relaxing Oz trip with the kids! They are already used to that mode of travel, and we didn't have to deal with checking in and out of hotels or a disrupted schedule. We'll be doing it again in the future.

It would be very easy to take the kids to Australia every two years only to visit the same people and places every time. My rellies are fairly far-flung, so we don't have time to see everyone in two weeks. We try to visit different areas each trip.

This year we made a 10-day loop starting and ending in Sydney, with the following highlights:

The kids and the Bonanza

We flew the Bonanza over to the Bay Area and spent a long weekend in San Francisco. The King Tut exhibition was phenomenal!

Like last year, we spent the last week of August camping at La Pine State Park in central Oregon. The kids have decided that it's an annual visit now that we've been two years running. My parents, niece and nephew came down from Washington. It was a great week of camping. Newberry National Volcanic Monument and Crater Lake National Park were awesome.

We were supposed to stay through the weekend to meet up with some people from PUX, but ended up having to leave on Thursday for an important appointment on Friday. More on that later...