Our annual Father's Day camp out was a blast! All of us mom's had a wonderful time spoiling our husbands with great food and giving them hours of down time relaxing, reading their Kindles, chatting around the campfire, swimming with the kids, taking naps or playing a morning game of horseshoes together. But for me the best part was watching my daughter and her daddy make memories on their second Father's Day together. I tried to "do it all" this last weekend and truly give my wonderful husband the weekend off, but as we all know with a toddler that's hard to do! And of course the cricket wont let her daddy go too far from her. Thankfully her daddy had no problem enjoying some fun times together and making his little girl smile.
What a dad! Making bubbles for the twirly dance show going on in the background that all the girls where so proudly showing the moms. With eight kids running around it was pretty much chaos all the time between skinned knees, a barbie head being torn off, a teenage drama or a child gone too far on his or her bike. Our girl was the youngest and was trying so hard to keep up with everyone and several times I found myself pushing her on her trike at a jog just so she could "go with the big kids mommy". Regardless of age, all the kids had more fun than any carnival out there!
No trip to Solvang is complete without a trip to the many toy stores or the bakery's on every corner! We had so much fun wandering the town with yummy pastries in hand and of course this year the toy stores were a bit more difficult to get out of than last year! Every store we went into our girl kept saying, "WOW!" and "thank you mommy and daddy!" even though we hadn't bought her a thing. I could have stayed all day there just watching her joy.
On this trip we took a little adventure away from all the pastries and sweet shops of Solvang and found a beautiful waterfall just down the road at Nojoqui Falls Park. It was a perfect hike for the kids and the falls were beautiful! Our lazy drive back to the campground led is through rolling hills along a narrow road that was dotted with ancient oaks and old ranches. It was one of those places that makes me smile and fills me with that sense of serenity...nothing there but simple lives and quiet moments.
Last Father's Day we were just a few months home from China and SO very tired. We had a struggling little girl who wanted so badly to trust and have fun but wasn't quite there yet. This year she grasped the experience and took off with it full speed ahead. There was nothing she didn't want to do. There was no problems with sleep. She was filled with laughter and passed on her love to not only her daddy and I but to everyone else who watched her flutter around the campsite. It was a milestone for us for sure!
So now another Father's Day Camp Out is over and reservations have already been made for next year which has plans to be filled with bigger and more exciting things! We'll pass the year counting the days until next year when we pull out the silly glasses and tie aprons for the dads and spoil them for a weekend. And the kids will all of course be another inch bigger and have passed yet another grade in school. Thanks to our dear friends for the fun, the memories and a fabulous weekend!
Be sure to check out more black and white photos at The Long Road To China (and back).