The Perfect Ending…

…to a perfect summer. Labor Day weekend marked the unofficial end to our summer. School starts for The Girl and the smell of fall should happen any day now. (I keep telling myself that even in 100 degree heat).

We took off for The Mountains. A good place to go on the busier weekends. We don’t need reservations and we have our guaranteed spot.

Giant Sequoia

We spent Saturday with friends. We met at Big Trees State Park to hike with the kids. Our friends aren’t big on camping. Meeting for a hike was such a wonderful compromise. The kids loved the big trees. They even found a few to climb through.

In A Log

We visited the White Pines Lake Logging Jamboree later that day. This is one of our favorite Labor Day weekend activities. The kids love the chainsaws and the proceeds support a small local logging museum. The kids ate watermelon and we enjoyed some time with The Mister’s dad who met us there.  Smokey Bear even came by to visit with the kids.



Smokey Pin

Fun things were happening at the campground on Sunday. A gunny sack race, carnival with a bounce house, and lots of play time. The kids had a blast.


We try really hard to limit television time at our house. We do allow for a movie night once a week, but lately we have been having too much fun in The Westy for any movies. The Girl was dying to watch Frozen, so we made an exception and let the kids have a movie night. They loved it and so did we. A few rare minutes to sit down and read.

Movie Night

Al in all – what a great way to end an epic summer.


Fourth of July – The Mountains

The Girl’s 5th birthday fell on Sunday of the big holiday weekend. We decided to take a short trip to The Mountains so we could be home for her birthday. We spent Friday and Saturday camping. We even have a friend come with us. Our first guest in the Westy. He slept upstairs. First trip camping in ten years. We were honored he spent it with us.


Lots of swimming, playing, and celebrations. We made rockets and hung them in a pine tree.


The kids dressed for the holiday. The Girl insisted on a dress.

Fourth of July Clothes

There was a golf cart parade. Decorations and all.


And we tried out some new games. The kids are ages two and a brand new five. They want to play games but still have trouble with anything complicated. Go Fish was getting old for the adults (you can read about that here), so The Missus picked up two new games. Don’t Spill the Beans was hit.

Don't Spill the Beans

We also really like Rory’s Story Cubes.

Rory's Story Cubes

It was a great get away.  Just the right amount of time and a nice way to celebrate July 4th.

Do you have a favorite place you go to for a quick trip?  What are your favorite camping games?

The Mountains

We needed to make a trip to The Mountains to clean up our site.

Pine Needles

We didn’t have any solid plans but it turned out to be an awesome trip.
We stumbled upon the Jumping Frog Jubilee in Angels Camp.  The best county fair we have been to in awhile.

Jumping Frog Jubilee

Jumping frogs.

Frog Jump

Smokey The Bear.


$8 French fries.  We probably should have skipped those.

$8 Fries

It was pretty hot out but the kids didn’t seem to mind.  A cold beer back at camp set things right.


That evening we BBQ’d a tri-tip, tossed together some broccoli slaw, and roasted some potatoes.


Couldn’t let the evening pass without some S’mores.


The next day we explored the Arnold Rim Trail.  An easy paved trail started us off.

Arnold Rim Trail

The kids rode their bikes.  Well The Girl did.  The Boy had to stop a lot.  Rocks, sticks, and other things that two-year-olds like seem to distract him.

The Girl and The Mister

The Boy

We probably went two miles round trip.  We really need to keep the backpack in the Westy for impromptu hikes.

Looking at the view

We picnicked at White Pines Lake.  A beautiful spot.  The weather was gorgeous.

White Pines Lake

Kids Enjoying the Lake