Mike and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary with a “adult only” trip to the Bahamas back in May. Our anniversary is in July but we needed to have one of my sister’s come watch the kids and since they are teachers – it has to happen in May or August. We chose the cooler month here in San Diego…. knowing we’d fry on the beach in August.
We enjoyed our time on a remote island with only 1,500 inhabitants. We were there for only 5 nights. It was all we dreamed of – very remote beach with fine flour soft white/pink sand. Calm turquoise water. You get the picture.
It was life changing.
A couple of days into the trip we took part in an impromptu adventure including a very risky ride in a 1947 Army Jeep – no seatbelts, heck no windows or roll bar either. It was one of those things that just happened – without thought. And suddenly I was bumping along in this jeep on an unpaved road, inches from certain death, when I realized I was having fun (kinda like the old days!), but equally freaked out about orphaning my children.
When we came home, we realized how far away we’ve been from fun. Unprompted, unplanned, unsafe fun.
And we started to talk about how we grew up.
No parents on bike rides into town
Don’t get me wrong. My parents were strict. Notoriously strict.
But that didn’t stop us from having fun.
My dad had his own small airplane. We flew to Florida all the time. We took a Winnebago and drove from Chicago through Colorado to Lake Powell and then took a houseboat for a week on the lake. We rafted the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon 13 times (we got hooked!). Heck, we hiked the Grand Canyon twice and took the mules two other times (North AND South Rim!). We hiked Havasupai Canyon – and stayed in a Havasupai Indian’s house when we determined we couldn’t make it back out in the same day!
I distinctly remember
-being stuck on several occasions in the middle of the desert with an overheated car and not enough water for survival.
-falling on a cactus on a hike and getting more needles in my arm than were in the cactus in the first place.
-bouncing around in the airplane in the middle of a thunderstorm unable to find an airport and puking into a bucket.
- peeing in a large coffee can on the airplane anytime you had to pee since we always flew for 8 hours before stopping for fuel.
-looking at the stars in the desert sky while sleeping on cots – seeing who could find a satellite first, or name a proper constellation.
-making lifelong relationships with other campers.
Then I grew up. On my own I backpacked through Europe. Para glided and Canyoned in the Swiss Alps. Drove across the country and across Baja Mexico(pre drug-wars, but still, those teenage militia guys were everywhere!). I won’t even tell you the things I did while living near South Central Los Angeles for College!
And Mike – he grew up on BMX bikes, then motocross. He rode with one buddy up and down all of Baja Mexico. His family was a camping family. They were in the desert practically more than they were home.
But for the last 5 years, we’ve been having kids. For the last 5 years we’ve stuck with a routine of napping and eating and not driving too too far.
And now we’ve had enough.
We’re turning over a new leaf!
We've reconfirmed our values and gotten centered about what we want the rest of our life to look like.
We’re going to camp with our kids.
We’re going to take our family on adventures.
We’re going to get away from the “safe” life we’ve created. The one where we don’t think we’ll get hurt or sick but we also don’t form close friendships with the people around us.
And last weekend, we took a daytrip to get started.
Our friends have a campsite up on Palomar Mountain. They actually lease it so they are able to keep a small structure on their plot with all of their necessities in it. It makes for an easy trip to go back and forth anytime they want.
We ate like kings.
We played like kids.
We got dirty, stinky, and eaten by mosquitoes (okay, at least I did – 27 on one leg and 39 on the other – I have SWEAT blood!).
I didn’t take enough pictures to record it.
But we’ll be going back.
Again and again and again.
The kids can’t wait!
And I’m looking more ideas for where to go to completely let loose and stop following rules!!!
Keeping it real! Kathy