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Summer faves: What should we do?

I love the summer. Heat wave, string of grey days, whatever. The summer is my fave. And August is typically the month in which I seem to do it all; I start the month with the annual Blogher conference somewhere fantastic (this year was New York City), I spend lots of time with the cross country team I volunteer coach for, I can lots of peaches and tomatoes, I run the Hood-to-Coast race. If I'm lucky, I go camping.

Urbanmamas_camping_cross_country

The best thing I did this year was camping with my boys and the cross country team. Both Cleveland's and Grant's teams go each year to Silver Falls State Park a few hours to the south of Portland. It was incredible; not only did the boys and I have a glorious time unplugged, with the usual joys of camping -- cooking over a fire, going days without a screen in front of us, climbing and wading and running and making stacks of pine cones and looking at the stars -- plus (for me) the running and (for the kids) the bonding with a bunch of great teenagers. It was a great give-back for the time I give to the team; they were like a big family, embracing my kids and taking responsibility, and my kids' appetites for being a part of the team throughout the season and when THEY are high schoolers was whetted.

My two older boys are doing Trackers Earth camps this week, and then the summer is almost over! I've done so many things I hoped I'd do, but I know I've probably missed some great things, too. What was your favorite thing this summer? What is the one thing you can't go back to school without experiencing? Is there anything you mourn missing out on?

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Our families must have summer includes:

Camping at a Mountain Lake : this year, Trillium & Timothy Lakes

Trip to the beach: this year, Rockaway & Long Beach, plus a day trip to Garibaldi

At least one outing to the fab outdoor pool @ Wilson High School

Swimming lessons for the kids (the PP&R free week in June is awesome)

An OMSI Star Party (Held various weekends at Rooster Rock and Stub Stewart State Parks) check rca-omsi.edu for schedule

A day at Oaks Park - Usually for the Union picnic on Labor Day.


I regret not being able to take any "real" vacations, by feel good that we got to the beach for a day trip and a two night camping trip. The kids have asked if we could go to Oaks Park and the creek before school start. It's hard to define what having a good summer feels like, but personally, I wish we had been able to do more. Also I wish the kids didn't have such a patched together summer of child care. In our house, we are very much looking forward to september 4.

Camping is definitely a *must* for us. This summer we camped twice: Timothy Lake & Jessie Honeyman State Park. I regret not camping more, but am thankful for we did.

Our must-do beach trip is to Sauvie Island, which we did twice. Also: berry picking, marching in the neighborhood 4th of July parade, and running through the sprinkler.

For me, a trip to my home state of Montana is an essential summer event. We went this year - after not going for the last two years - and it just felt so right to swim in the lake and gawk at the mountains.

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