Monday, August 28, 2017

Field Trip: Camping with Hipcamp

Are you going camping this coming weekend? We were able to get our one camping trip in this summer thanks to a friend of ours and a new system called Hipcamp! She booked the trip on a Tuesday and we were camping Saturday night! The bummer part was she was unable to join us. The best part was Steve was available to join us. 

I equate Hipcamp with Airbnb. It's a similar idea with camping. You sign up, put in your dates and locations and find your spot. We ended up at a space called Forests, Fields, & Creek - Oh My! near Concrete, WA. 

 It was an organic farm on acreage with a funky, relaxed vibe. Chickens running around, an old dog, and a cat that joined us a dinner time. We were one of several groups camping there that evening. 

Knowing that there was an expectation of rain in the night we set up in one of the areas in the woods. They had casual clearings in various spaces including the woods near the meadow where we set up. If we were feeling like hauling our stuff further they had sites cleared near a creek. We could have chosen to camp directly on the water! 

The day was gorgeous, the water was wonderful to explore. It couldn't have been a more tranquil setting so close to home. It felt like the middle of nowhere. 

We spent as much time as possible at the water. Just taking a deep breath. Making the time count. It's easy to forget the beauty of the area when you get taken in by your routine. 

The cool thing about the website is that you can choose your amenities, area, price and even lodging. There are campsites, yurts, and even treehouses! We brought our own water and were prepared to take our trash with us, though there was a receptacle. Unfortunately there is a burn ban so there was no chance of a fire. And the outhouses were comfortable enough. 

And then there are sweet surprises. There was a honor system table with fresh veggies and eggs available. There were hula hoops and a net available to play badminton. Room to roam and chill. 

We made a typical camping meal including s'mores (cooked over the camping stove!) and a couple of drinks refreshed with the addition of Baileys! 

So, I could leave this social media perfect and end this right here. The reality is that it started raining about 11pm and didn't stop. And though the rain never got into the tent the noise made me ready to pack up and leave by midnight. We held out until 7am, where we were packed and ready to go home by 7:30. 

We are already talking about the next time we will try Hipcamp. Steve got wind of a site on a   sheep camp where they create cheese! Animals and cheese? We are so in! Have you ever tried the site? What have you found if you have? 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Be Right Back!

I will be back next week with a new post! Hope you are careful and enjoy the eclipse if you are watching today! Talk soon! 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Field Trip: Garbage & Blondie in Raleigh, North Carolina

It all started with a text..."What are you doing on August 5th?" No plans on my part ending up meaning a BIG adventure with my friend Pam Selle. Flying out on a Friday to go to Raleigh, NC for a concert with Garbage and Blondie! All her treat! Really? 

How does this kind of thing happen? I have known Pam since college. Stood with her during her first marriage. She has hugged on our babies. Shared with my married friends about her dating/lifestyle that looks a lot different than theirs. And that's what I value about her. That we can appreciate our differences. And connect over our similarities. Like our love for music! 

So, off we went on a red eye on Friday evening! Which led to us arriving in Raleigh on Saturday morning. Thankfully we were able to get an early check in after grabbing a coffee and we hit the bed for a "nap!" Then I awoke to Pam telling me that we had an "appointment" with Shirley Manson. I was still groggy and had no idea what she was talking about. 

Turns out she had set us up with an extra VIP experience with Garbage. It started with watching the soundcheck of the band with a small group of others, then we were able to take part in a question and answer session with the band. They were incredibly well spoken and had a lot to say on the state of rock music today, bands they love, and the difficulties they have had as a band. They are warm, funny and easy to connect with. It makes me a bigger fan then ever. And seeing a woman in rock that is my age is inspiring as hell! 

And then photos with the band! There was a lot of teasing and easiness between the fans and the band! And this is where Shirley told Pam she was crazy...which she is. And I am still in shock...! We left the meet and greet with an arm full of goodies. A signed book, a signed set list, a set of drumsticks, and a couple of guitar picks! I'm feeling pretty spoiled at this point. 

But it wasn't over. Because Pam bought us front row seats we were given a wristband that allowed us to stand on the barricade with no one bugging us. We were able to just stand thru the entire show and enjoy unobstructed views. I've been on the barricade before at a crowded show and this was heaven! 

The show was held at the Red Hat Amphitheater and though you would expect it to be hot and humid it was perfect, with a breeze coming thru, the sun going down, and a full moon rising.  The venue just added to the evening. Watching Duke Erikson work his guitar (and catching another guitar pick!) was amazing! 

And then, the Queen. I would never thought I would get the chance to see Debbie Harry in person. Much less up close. She actually waved to us at one point. I think I died a couple of deaths. She sounds amazing! And she is crazy sexy at 72! I can only hope to be so cool. 

Hearing the songs I grew up with...'Hanging on the Telephone,' 'The Tide is High,' and of course 'Heart of Glass' was amazing. I may have screamed and fan-girled a lot! What a rush to see some incredible, women led bands up close. 

Then it was back to the hotel lobby to have a drink and a snack and review the night before we hit the hay to get ready for a day of travel back home. It was a quick and crazy weekend and I have to admit it took me some time to recover. But it was so worth it. And I am so grateful to Pam to taking her love of sharing music with friends and treating me! It was an incredible, inspiring weekend! 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Guest Blogger: Sam on how to Support Your Senior

I'm recovering from a crazy adventure that I will be sharing soon. In the meantime I asked our daughter Sam to do a guest blog post. It was a stretch coming up with a topic that would be interesting for her to write, and meaningful for you guys to read. This is what we came up with! Hope you enjoy! 

Hello y'all! It's your girl Sam here to guest blog...You may have seen me in many previous blog posts but you have yet to hear my voice. So here's a little bit of what I've got to say for you all! We came up with five things we thought would be helpful in this coming senior year. So here we go! 

1. Let's talk curfew and freedom:  

First of all, let's start taking baby steps into the freedom I will be surrounded by when I leave. I understand the need for a curfew and the reasons for it. I'm hoping we can extend it, or include a little more leniency with it. Doesn't it makes sense for me to get used to these freedoms now, knowing there is still a safety net? 

2. Don't be melodramatic

I know that next year is going to be a lot of "lasts" for all of us. I for sure know this, it's in my mind that a lot is going to be changing. I don't need to reminding me. I'm already feeling stressed as it is, without you poking at me. Capture the moments, take the pictures, but lets all enjoy the moments and be present in them. 

3. Be a support when asked

I am not very good at asking for help. When I do ask you, again please don't be melodramatic. Just be there for me. It's a learning curve for all of us. I'm just as new to this as you guys are. Let's communicate clearly what expectations are, and who is dealing with what. 

4. Validate meeeeee!

I'm still shaky on a lot of decisions, so I need even the silliest of my suggestions to be given some weight. Please help me process things out loud. Some thoughts might sound wild, but lets not rule anything out. There is a lot for me to figure out right now, and I need you to inspire a little confidence in my decision making! 

5. Not all work! Some play! 

There is going to be a lot of things coming at me this year! Let me not forget to breathe a little bit. Let's make sure to have fun in the midst of all the big decision making. Help me take a step back when I'm obviously overwhelmed!