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Best Friends, Girls-Only! Adirondack Memories

You guys. This trip was amazing.  It was crazy hard and not really a vacation for the Mommas, but man was it worth it! ;-) There's a really big difference between what you think a trip like this is going to be, and what it actually is. Because when you beg your bestie to ditch her husband for a week for a girls-only trip to Lake Placid with your four kids between the ages of 7-9, you better be ready for chaos hard work amazing adventures! And truly, vacation amnesia has set in and allows me to forget the fact that I was so dead tired by the end of each day I could barely sit by the fire long enough for a glass of wine. Vacation with kids is so much more work than real life with kids. But we had so so so much fun!  And I'm really proud of us all!     We hiked and got dirty and climbed on boulders and found cool creatures.     We had a campfire and smores every night. We

Travel Adventures | A Cautionary [Trail] Tale

Last summer, my sisters and I went on a camping and hiking adventure in Acadia National Park, Maine.   We hiked and canoed and looked at lighthouses and went tide-pooling and swam in lakes and roasted fresh clams over a campfire!  It was fabulous. Except this one thing...     So I may have mentioned a time or two that I'm the least experienced hiker of my siblings. I mean, two are accomplished 46ers, one is on her way to being a 46er, and the other is working through the Appalachian Trail. Heck, if I don't watch out, my siblings will probably end up turning my kids into more experienced hikers than I am!     But really, what I lack in experience and strength I make up for in enthusiasm and optimism!  Spoiler alert - this is where I ended up on the day in question:     Still smiling ;-) So it doesn't phase me at all when my sister tells me this trail she's considering taking us

Local Gems | Camp Cherith of Western New York

Shauna Neiquist talks about "thin places" in her absolutely-wonderful-you-should-own-it book Bittersweet. {affiliate link} She was traveling in Ireland and studying Irish literature and poetry and she learned about this Celtic mystical tradition: A thin place, according to the Celtic mystics, is a place where the boundary between the natural world and the supernatural one is more permeable - thinner, if you will. Sometimes they're physical places. There are places all over Ireland where people have said, if you stand here, if you face this direction, if you hike to the top of that ridge at just the right time of day, that's a thin place, a place where the passage between heaven and earth is a short one, a place where God's presence is almost palpable.     About an hour from Corning is a very special thin place. It's a place where I have memories from almost every year of my life. It's a place that's a deep part of me. You hear whispers here... I think you

National Trails Day | Sperr Memorial Park

Happy National Trails Day!  If you're looking for a great way to celebrate #NationalTrailsDay you should check out Sperr Memorial Park in Big Flats. It's just off 86 at exit 50.      As a part of the rails to trails network, it's also a beautiful memorial park to New York State Trooper Andrew J. Sperr.     We really like Catharine Valley Trail but it's a bit more of a commitment... Sperr Park is so nice because it's very manageable on a beautiful sunny evening after dinner.     So grab your bike (and helmet!) or your sneakers, and check out the peaceful trails around the pond.       There's easy parking and a playground. And in a pinch, there are... ahem... rustic restrooms for those with strong stomachs ;-)     Enjoy your lovely weekend! And I hope you get to enjoy a trail near you soon!     Like this

Pining for My Favorite Summer Spot

I have been daydreaming all week about this moment from last summer... my first time trying stand up paddle boarding.  The sun was shining on Mirror Lake and it was my first time viewing the town of Lake Placid from the water. I had bruised my sternum the week prior in an unfortunate hiking fight with a large piece of a granite boulder in Acadia National Park. So I wasn't able to mess around and try my hand at yoga balance postures like my siblings were doing. Besides laughing at their antics, the main memories from that evening are quite moments like in this picture... where I was just sitting down for a rest, enjoying the water and the warmth of the sun.      I've had a heart full of miss for Lake Placid this week. I want to go camping and feel my lungs burn as I haul my tush up a mountain. I want to get dirty and breathe fresh air and try stand up paddle boarding again. What about you? Sick of this crazy March weather, yet? What's