As the summer winds to a close, it was very important to me that the last major experience the kids had before school starting, wasn’t their lives being turned upside down when their Mom left.
Emmett has been really stressed out in particular because he’s convinced that he will have to write twelve sentences about his summer and he didn’t want to have to talk about what happened. While I seriously doubt anyone would make him talk about what happened in front of his class, I understood where he was coming from and so did my parents.
Lizze and I had been planning to take them to the Great Lakes Science Center before school started and that was still the plan, only less one person.
My Mom and Dad decided that it would be a great idea to take the kids away for the day. He and I discussed going to Cook Forest State Park in Pennsylvania and make it a guy’s trip. It’s my favorite place in the world and it’s been over twenty years since I was last there.
I asked the boys and they were thrilled at the idea of going.
We left early Saturday morning and spent the bulk of the day hiking and exploring. It was an amazing experience and they absolutely want to go back. Maybe I can take them again and perhaps rent a cabin for a couple of days. It’s absolutely gorgeous in the Fall and I’d love for them to experience that.
The moment I stepped out of the car upon our arrival, the smell took me back in time. OMG, I could spend every single day of the rest of my life there and ultimately die happy.
My Dad was amazing as always and we all had the best time. Everyone was exhausted after hours and hours of exploration. Before we left, we stopped at the ice cream place, just outside of the campgrounds, that my parents always took us to when we were kids. It was an amazing experience for all of us and while I struggled a bit emotionally while we were there, it was a fantastic distraction for the kids.
Now when they go back to school, they can share their experience exploring part of the Allegany National Forest. I’m so grateful to my parents for putting this together and for my Dad making it happen. Big thanks to my Mom for spending the day with Ruby while we were out of the State.
I don’t want what has happened to our family, to taint their memories of an otherwise decent summer. They deserve to just be kids and my priority is to ensure that’s exactly what happens as I move forward.
I took over three hundred pictures while we were there and I thought the quickest, easiest way was to turn them all into a gif that will show you our entire trip in under a minute. I’ll be sharing individual images on social media, specifically Twitter, so if you want to see more, be sure to follow me there. 😉