We are home, our laundry has been done, and we have food for the week. We're settled back in, and somehow managed to have the most restful, rejuvenating vacation imaginable with three little ones (plus Selma our dog!) in tow. We headed over to Canaan Valley West Virginia, to the same little chalet my family used to rent when I was a little girl. A small house right on a small lake surrounded by beautiful wilderness. As a child, it was heaven. I loved those vacations, and figured that even if things looked more beautiful through the lens of my childhood, the kids would have a good time. The good news is that it is still breathtakingly beautiful as an adult. Maybe even more so.
We have learned that vacations are always better with an extra set of adult hands and the company of someone we love. My mom spent the whole week with us, and we were joined for the last weekend by my dad and Ben's parents. I feel so incredibly blessed to be surrounded by such love and warmth!
There was much swimming and canoeing, the girls rode on a horse, we saw the cutest little kitten, and we were all in sweaters and vests in the evenings and mornings and wore the few warm things I had packed day in and day out for the whole week. We made s'mores, picked huckleberries, rode a ski lift, and were visited by black bears (thankfully at night while we were asleep!) and beavers. Oh, and we hiked and hiked. With the kids, without the kids, with just the "big kids" (I write this realizing that one day it will seem silly to have called an almost 5 year old and a 3 year old big, but they're big by our family's standards). It is wonderful to see such diverse natural beauty and to have the adventures stored in our legs and our hearts.
We are happy to be home, but I know that there are certain members of the family who are already dreaming of our next vacation. Okay, maybe we all are a little bit.