First day of fall

P and I sent the girls to their grandparents’ house for the weekend.  We were originally going to head to Pittsburgh for a change of pace but ended up staying at home.  I’m so glad we did.  We got lots of sleep, ate out numerous times, and spent all Saturday afternoon soaking up the very best things about living in this area.
We finally got to visit the Inglebean Coffee House in Millheim (after lunch at the always fantastic Elk Creek Cafe).  Over massive cups of coffee, P went over some reading for his lit review and I made some headway on The Great Gatbsy, which I’m reading for work.  Afterwards, I suggested taking the long way home–the really, really long way home.  We love nothing more than to explore new roads to see where we end up.  We stumbled upon the most gorgeous vistas and found a couple of great potential camping spots.  We scaled rocky paths to hidden overlooks.  (The only downside to the spontaneity was my lack of appropriate footwear!) The leaves are turning and it made me want to yell with joy.  Closer to home, we stopped at a stream so P could fish.  I sat on a rock and breathed in the autumn air.
It was perfect and we’re so lucky to live here.

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Wanderlust

I love where I am but almost always have the itch to be somewhere different.  I call myself a restless nester.  I will paint every wall of a house only to move three months later.
We’ve lived in our current house (which we own) for about two years now.  I’ve rearranged every room at least once.  I love our house and our town and really, I love our lives here, but lately I’ve been fighting off a desire just to pack up and head out.

Map tiles by Stamen Design (http://stamen.com/), under CC BY 3.0.
Data by OpenStreetMap (http://openstreetmap.org/), under CC BY SA
Text added via PicMonkey.com

 

In real life

It feels like autumn today.  Finally.  It’s cool, rainy, and I’m holed up watching Dan in Real Life in the middle of the afternoon.  I’m watching this because I love this movie and can watch it over and over (which is something because I don’t generally love watching movies–I’d rather curl up with a book any day) but also because this movie takes place in autumn and I’m relishing anything fall-ish right now.

I love so much about this movie–love Steve Carell and Juliette Binoche’s characters, love the setting (that house!), love the family dynamics (family crossword puzzles!).  We’ve vacationed with friends in Watch Hill, where part of the movie was filmed, so this movie also brings back great memories.

Under the wire

Today is Labor Day and my last day of summer vacation (I begin my internship tomorrow).  We went  on a last-minute whirlwind of a family backpacking trip yesterday, not leaving until late afternoon and arriving back home before noon today.  P and I love the outdoors but have only gone camping as a family once–and that was two years ago.  Camping was one of the things on our summer list we didn’t get around to doing (we figured we’d postpone until autumn), so when we received a last-minute invitation to go on a short backpacking trip with some friends, we decided to go for it (despite the possibility of rain and the short lead-time).

P managed to fit the tent, a camp stove, cooking supplies, two sleeping bags, and two Thermarests into his pack, while I carried Mei in a front-carrier and loaded my pack with extra clothes, additional supplies, and food.  The big wildcard was whether or not Bee (who is not quite 4) would be able to hike all the way to the campsite.  Up to this point, she inevitably ends up on P’s shoulders, but with P’s heavy load, we had to count on her to be able to carry her own weight.  The more minor wildcard was whether or not Mei would be able to fall asleep in a tent–she generally has to be shut in quiet room in her crib in order to fall asleep.
Well, it ended up being a resounding success.  The campsite was two and a quarter miles from the parking area and Bee managed to hike all but half a mile to the campsite by herself yesterday and made it the WHOLE way back on her own this morning.  We were so pleased!  Mei was also amazing; she curled up on my lap in the tent and fell asleep, allowing us to sit around the camp fire for part of the evening.  She did end up waking up again when the rest of the family crawled into the tent, but aside from her wild tossing and turning throughout the night, everything was great–no tears, no fussing.
We had breakfast by the fire and then left the campsite to hike back around 9:30 AM.  We were home by 11:00.*  It was just perfect–short, sweet, and such a wonderful end to the summer.  I am so proud of the kiddos and look forward to tackling more challenging backpacking trips in the future!   

*There are times when I am reminded of how lucky we are to live here.  Our house is only ten minutes away from the beginning of the trail.