How could I have forgotten one of my favorite 'simple pleasures'... camping in our van!
And that is just what Randy and I did Sunday night.
Randy and I decided to take Tyler up to NAU in Flagstaff to see his best friend Zac. Zac had only been there a week... but Tyler was missing his buddy and we were anxious to get out of the heat.
We left Phx in 104 degrees and arrived 2 hours later in Flag to 74 degrees! After dropping Tyler off at Zac's dorm, we went to the Olive Garden for dinner... waited out in the patio sipping margaritas... feeling ourselves relaxing in the cool evening breeze. Loved the pasta, breadsticks, the new skinny sugar packets (when did those come out?) and the Andes mints with the check. Could the day get any better?! YES... we found the perfect camp site in the forest outside Flag near Marshall Lake.
Now you gotta know that for years we camped in our van on our trips to WI because we HAD to. Not only could we not justify a hotel but it was not worth waking the kids to get them in a hotel, only to have to get them back to sleep. So we'd tuck them here and there for the night.. and often times Randy and Shawn would sleep outside. (yes, we would not do that now)
But guess what? Those have become our favorite memories... sleeping in the van... through awesome thunderstorms surrounded by semi-trucks... or Randy and Shawn finding out at 3 am that they were sleeping only yards from a railroad track as the train came rumbling by... yes, scaring them to death! Tell ME you get that kind of adventure at a Motel 6?
So, do you guys remember what silence sounds like? Well, it is the absence of a humming frig, the AC, ice cubes falling in the tray, dogs, cars, sirens, airplanes... everything! We did not hear a single sound all night! So I did not sleep all night... ok, maybe a couple hours. But it was so fun camping in the van!! By the way, we only brought a change of clothes, deodorant, 4 water bottles and LOTS of pillows and blankets... I kid you not... nothing else!! Forgot the camera and flashlight. We woke up to 48 degrees, drove into town, had the best coffee and scones at Macy's on Beaver Street. Then to the 'Art in the Park' festival... met some real interesting artisans. Wanted to buy this amazing piece of steel work that twirls in the wind... $45.00 was too steep. Went over to the visitors center at the old train depot for some info... found the same thing in their gift shop for $25.00!!! Way cool!
The Indian fry bread for lunch took me WAY back... had not had that since Linda and I would go to Park 'n Swap for some in the late 70's! Yummo! Then we shopped, napped back at the camp site, to Bookmans for magazines, then Barnes & Nobles, TCBY for ice cream... talked, laughed and dreamed with Randy for hours and then picked up the boys for dinner... just the best weekend!
I am refreshed, hopeful and a little better prepared for the next thing. And God only knows what that will be...