We finally got a camping trip in with my parents at the end of August...it's been 6 years!! I couldn't believe it when we figured out it had been that long! We grew up camping together as a family. My parents made huge sacrifices to make those camping trips happen when we were kids. I definitely did not understand back then the work it took for my mom to pull off the prep for those trips. Not to mention my dad making sacrifices with work schedules and commitments in order to prioritize the family time. Despite the craziness, they always managed to create that time away, together as a family, a few times each summer.
All my siblings still have the camping bug, and it's so fun to have our own trailer now and be able to have these same experiences with our own children. Unfortunately distance has become a real problem with coordinating with my parents for a camping trip. Especially when you factor in hauling trailers across multiple states. That, and having a sister in collegiate sports (Erin, holla!) that took up most of August for the last 5 years, there just hasn't been time to squeeze a camping trip into the summer in addition to our regular reunion in July.
But my parents were determined to make it happen and drove their trailer from Southern Utah to Northern Washington where we met them at this beautiful place: Deception Pass; about an hour north of Seattle on the Puget Sound. Gorgeous spot.
We parents picked up my brother's kids on their way up and we met my sister and her family there too. We had a great group with a lot of fun Grandma & Grandpa & cousin time!
The weather was a little cool, but perfect for hot cocoa in the mornings and just warm enough in the afternoon to soak up the sun.
The one year olds were difficult to contain this summer (age 1 being the hardest year in my opinion for kids to camp!). We tried to keep them in camp with plenty of toys and food.
My mom rocked it out with an awesome dutch oven meal one night. She's the master.
Aunt Reese brought supplies to paint rocks. I have a whole collection in my front yard now :-)
The kids piled into Grandma's "new" trailer (new to them because they don't even remember camping with them before!) to watch a movie.
One of our big outings was taking a ferry ride from Anacortes to Friday Harbor on the San Juan island. The kids loved it! My bigger kids were thrilled to ride their bikes onto the ferry, and the rest of us walked on. (So much cheaper than paying to drive your car on).
We spent about 4 hours in Friday Harbor...a not so kid-friendly place. We didn't see that many kids in general, so our group with 10 kidlets with at least 2 crying at any one point...let's just say we were noticeable in the crowd.
We found our way to a cute (small!) Whale museum.
And spent some time looking at the boats in the marina and the fresh seafood for sale.
A pit stop for ice cream.
The view of the marina.
It was a gorgeous (and long!) day. We didn't get back to camp until really late, but you can't pass up the ferry ride. It was a blast.
The next day we went down to the beach, and we had the typical pacific northwest beach weather...cold! The kids didn't seem to mind.
Not pictured are the mini-golf outing with Grandpa and Trevor, games being played, the flyby sounds of huge jets crossing the sky (the campground was right near an air force base), smores, campfires, biking around camp, and plenty of cousin time roaming the camp ground.
On the last day we walked out onto the Deception Pass bridge. A shot from one side.
And a shot from the other side!
It really was a beautiful place. It was such a treat to be able to camp with my parents and family. I'm so glad we snuck it in just a week before school started up. It was our last summer hurrah, and it was great! Thank you to my parents for booking the sites and coordinating the effort and for driving that far to meet us...that was huge! Love you guys!