Since the children are now in “year round” school, our summer break is quite a bit shorter than usual. We only had 6 weeks of break, which seemed like a fair amount of time, but which also flew by quickly. Summer always does seem full, no matter how long or short it is – of work, play, gardening, adventuring, vacations. It can feel too packed, too full – can-you- really-relax full. Sometimes I want to have everyone stay at home and just be. But, I also feel the urge to get out and do – while we can and the weather is good! Three (!) children start school on Monday and we’ve filled this last week with those perfect summer activities (tubing on the river, hiking, waterfalls, friends) and balanced it with days and home and quiet evenings.
Summer is one of my favorite seasons, and summer break is a special time. I get slightly anxious thinking of all the things I want to accomplish each summer, all the places I want to visit, all the activities I want to do or have the children do. It can be overwhelming. But, this summer, though we did not travel much, we made it to some special places. First, the three oldest went to Elizabeth City with my mother for a week of YMCA day camp. Anne was supposed to have surfing camp but it was canceled due to the shark attacks (fyi, you are more likely to be killed driving to the beach than by a shark at the beach). They had a great time at camp, though, and playing in the river each afternoon.
Then, the girls went to manners camp again this year, or ,as the incredible 85 year old director calls it, “House Parties for Young Ladies and Gentlemen”. Their cousins (my cousin’s children) go to manners camp with them each year, and it is a special time. Manners camp was delightful, as always, and I know the girls enjoyed it. It is certainly a Southern Experience.
We left from manners camp to drive right to the Chesapeake Bay where my cousin and her husband have a house. We spent nearly 4 days there and thoroughly enjoyed it. We played in the water and on the beach everyday, walked, biked, paddled, and ate great food. I think this was the most relaxed I’d ever seen William on a vacation. We’ll need to do it again!
That weekend capped a great summer, not too exciting, but pretty perfect.
Figs at my mom’s were just getting ripe. We ate some everyday – just perfect.
William and the boys fished on my aunt and uncle’s bass pond in Elizabeth City. They caught 4 good sized bass and had a great time. The little spiderman rod has pretty good action! I sat and watched them and realized we were sitting, on a summer afternoon, in the shade of a trailer, fishing for bass in a pond, drinking cold beer from a can – it was a perfect Southern moment – and was just wonderful. Fiona, a cousin who is visiting from France enjoyed it (not the beer, though).
We did not see the girls for nearly 2 weeks, since we arrived in Elizabeth City after manners camp started, which may have been a bit much for them. When we arrived at camp for the graduation tea, Anne burst into tears when she saw us, hugging us and sobbing (while smiling, I may add). These girls are so sweet and I love the pastels and bright florals on everyone at this camp-closing ceremony. The house and setting are beautiful and I’m glad they’ve had their time there.
White sandy beaches, on the edge of a Nature Conservancy property, with mild shallow ocean – had to beat. We ate great food (including steamed fresh crabs, cleaned further than “Yankee” clean – thanks Will), had great (and plentiful) drinks. Lots of family fun time on the beach, on walks, bike and golf cart rides, and paddling. And, a salt marsh at sunset. It was a wonderful time.