"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Cam appreciates tradition. Perhaps because he enjoys routine, an annual event is something he not only looks forward to, but eagerly anticipates.
On Monday morning, we began the arduous task of packing the van and truck to embark on our week long family vacation to Dorr, Michigan. Just 30 minutes from our home, the Hungry Horse Campground sits on 90 acres and has 96 sites. For the sixth consecutive year, we reserved a cabin. There are only 4 cabins at the campground and the Sedona cabin has a removable metal ramp that the Hungry Horse owners had made just for Cam. We're certain others have taken advantage of it since its arrival, but the gesture will always hold a very special place in our hearts.
We arrived at 2p on Monday to take advantage of an early check-in. Auntie Karen was already settled into her Scottsdale cabin since she had unpacked a day before. The cabins include many home comforts including a refrigerator, sink, bathroom, beds and working a.c. With the unusually warm weather, the air conditioning was most welcome.
Tuesday was Cam's 14th birthday and our first full day at the campground! Cam took part in a morning stroll with Auntie Karen and we all headed to the pool right when it opened at 10am. The definite advantage to being there early is the sparse crowd in the water. Swimming daily at the campground is one of the highlights for Cam. He feels weightless in the water and loves to walk with assistance, sit on the raft or hang onto the pool noodle.
Our evening dinner for Cam's bday was outside cooked on the fire. He requested "pizza pies" created in pie irons and placed directly on the campfire. Homemade bread on the outside with your choice of toppings on the inside created a grilled, tasty pizza. Fresh sweet corn and fruit rounded out our meal with birthday cupcakes sent from Oma for dessert! Cam opened presents from his parents and Auntie Karen and declared his birthday was awesome!!
Most afternoons, we would all enjoy some down time, settled in the cooler air of the cabin. With the new iPad stand Cam received as a bday present from Auntie Leslie, he can sit up better and look straight ahead versus always looking in a downward position.
On a morning field trip, Cam and Auntie Karen embarked on an adventure to find the nearest Starbucks. What they assumed was a drive-thru ended up being Starbucks in the grocery store. They had a good laugh over that one.
Each year at Hungry Horse Campground, we've welcomed the opportunity to relax as a family and hang out with Auntie Karen during our stay. With the two separate cabins, Cam loves his independence of traveling between the vacation homes. Evening campfire dinners followed by tasty s'mores is all part of the experience too. Another bonus is meeting new campers as well. A couple of years ago, we met Rachel and her dog, Moose. Now, we look forward to checking back in with them to hear about the year's happenings. Sitting outside in the evening is a social activity in itself as we regularly chatted with walkers and kids and petting dogs when invited. Once again, the familiarity and new experiences made for a great week!
Saturday's trek to Oma and Opa's found us at the beach for the afternoon. The waves were strong and the warm water felt refreshing. Dinner on the deck overlooking Lake Michigan is always a welcome treat.
We stayed in Grand Rapids on Sunday to attend a work outing with the company Chris works for, Fishbeck. They had reserved the rooftop deck to watch our minor league baseball team, the West Michigan Whitecaps. Although it was a steamy day, Cam was a trooper. Complimentary food and refreshments kept us all hydrated.
This week kept us smiling, reconnecting with others and each other. Dr. Brene Brown once said: "I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard and valued; when they give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship."
Even at the age of 14, Cam still appreciates hugs. He will even request them. Father and son love to joke around with each other and as Chris was carrying Cam one morning, he asked for a hug to which his dad told him he had already received his quota. Cam quickly responded: "Hey, I just snuck a backwards hug! I got one past you."