Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Soul Sisters Go Camping ...

Two weekends ago, on a hike at the Eno River, we decided to take advantage of a short period of "off call" time I'm currently on and go camping at Stone Mountain State Park this past weekend. Though Casey and I have stayed at this park before, we've never taken Bea. Since it's only 2.5 hours away and a relatively easy place to camp and hike, it seemed like a logical place to go for a last minute camp out.

We invited along some of our closest friends, who happen to have a daughter Bea's age, Livvy. Livvy and her Daddy Mark were able to join us and Bea was so excited she could barely contain it. You might remember that Livvy and her family joined us at our only other camping trip with Bea. The girls have grown a bit since then...

These two... they're cut from the same cloth:
With age, comes silly smiles ...
Livvy's mommy, Cindi, and I had the same due date in 2010 and we're pretty convinced these two were actually meant to be twins. They're so similar it's scary. Soul Sisters, if you will:
I'll be so thankful when they're capable and willing to smile like normal people ...
Since we decided to go camping 7 days prior to going camping, and didn't actually pack anything or prepare anything until oooooh, the night before, I was incredibly thankful for my husband's anal retentive camp supplies organization. Mark is equally obsessive prepared, so I knew the girls and I were in good hands:
A little supervision never hurts...
Livvy has a little sister who is just a little young for a camping trip this time, so Cindi stayed at home with her and I went with the guys and children. For the most part, I think the girls were happy with just have a Mommy there; they weren't concerned too much with *which* Mommy it was. And, it was only a little awkward when a campsite neighbor came over to ask for some baby wipes and Livvy introduced us all to her, ending her introductions with, "And we're all married!". Umm... not so much.

Naturally, we had all the camp out necessities like firewood like s'mores:
These are tasty and all, but this stickiness just isn't working for me ...
 And campfire breakfasts, like pancakes and bacon (and kiwi?):
Comparing breakfasts. Thankfully I thought this might happen and prepared identical plates ...
And the weather was perfect; just a little chilly in the morning (though not as chilly as my child's attire might lead you to believe):
I swear, she's happier than this picture might seem...
And the girls? The girls were great. They fought and loved in equal measures, like any true sisters would do:
I'll hug you. And then I'll strangle you.
We ended up hiking about 6 miles (maybe a little less) around the Stone Mountain Loop Trail. The girls probably hiked nearly half of that distance themselves:
Bea of course, stopped every 5 feet to look for a new stick sword to "cut down vines" (note: we were not in a jungle):
When they weren't hiking, they were riding in the lap of luxury:
We stopped along the way to check out the views (Side Note: Can I get some commentary on how adorable Bea looked?!? Tiny Work Out clothes! Who knew they existed!):
Casey seriously tested the limits of my anxiety levels a few times, allowing Bea to check out the furthest limits of the edge:
But eventually, I caved and let him lead our girl on a Daddy-Daughter Adventure. I even agreed to be in a few shots:

This one cracks me up, because it's the pinnacle of a Casey Photo:
Hey can you take our picture? You know, with us actually in the shot?
One of the Daddies and Daughters:
So much sass in such tiny bodies ...
Casey and I both grew up in the North Carolina Mountains, so it was a nice re-connection to home to be among these sights:

Look who else tagged along, on his first (and likely only) camping trip:
He's since been sleeping every minute of every day since returning home. On the couch...
Just as we reached the summit, this happened:
Hey Bea, check out the views:
No seriously, it's so lovely. You'll really like it:
She was really impressed...
Thankfully a little lunch perked her right back up:
We also noticed that our family has a slight addiction to Keen footwear:
We like a wide toe box, you guys ...
I attempted to take a "Hey, look at us! We reached the summit and here's a photo of our children to prove it" picture. This is as good as it gets with two wiggly, silly three year olds:
After the summit, it was time to walk back down the mountain. Or if you're Beatrice Kate, it was time to Adventure Walk:

We stopped at the Homestead at the base of the mountain, where Casey's photography skills struck again:
If you look reeeeeeallllly closely, you can see a photo of my only child ...
Finally, finally! We reached the end, where a 200+ foot waterfall greeted us:
Bea asked to have "naked feet" (what she calls bare feet) as soon as she saw the water and despite ice cold temperatures, she played there for the better part of 30 minutes:

After returning to camp, the girls we all were a little tired:
The Campfire Trance ...
Sunday morning, the girls finally got the chance to play in the tents:
Jazz Hands optional ...
Remember what I said about loving and fighting like sisters?
Immediately after this picture, they were wrestling ...
I really, really hope that Bea and Livvy can stay friends for a long time. Several times throughout the weekend they would say to each other, "You're my bestest friend in the whole world. Ever. In my Whole Life". I didn't have the heart to tell them that their whole lives, so far, are just a fraction of what's to come!


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