Painfully Perfect Trip

Do you ever have those moments that are so painfully perfect that it almost makes you sad?  Sad because you know that you can never live it again.  That how I felt about our camping trip.  Last week, we celebrated our 9 year wedding anniversary.  We talked about lots of different ideas for how to celebrate.  We considered taking a trip without the kids.  But truthfully, a lot of our issues a couple years ago stemmed from our reluctance to embraces this new phase in our lives.  We are family, not just Jason and Jaime.  We decided that we needed a family vacation.  The boys are at wonderfully difficult ages.  It is easy to get frustrated with them at home, when we are trying to work or get things done around the house.  We needed to press pause on the world and just enjoy our family. We did manage to sneak in a little date night alone before heading off but we took the weekend to just be us.  The four of us.

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We headed off to Cloudland Canyon State Park. I've been to lots of state and national parks, I must say this is one of the nicest parks I've visited.  We were going to camp but when I went to make a reservation I noticed they have a newly built Yurt Village.  We opted for the yurt.  Besides the fact that yurt is just a fun word to say,  it was this perfect blend between camping and staying in a cabin. They have electricity and furniture.  We had plenty of space to store all of our stuff and actual beds to sleep on (well a futon, but still better than the ground).  Oh and a heater!  We scoffed about the heater but we needed it two of the nights we were there.  We still had to walk to the bathhouse, but they were super nice.  They even had a family bathroom with it's own shower and diaper changing deck.  If you aren't a parent, you won't appreciate what a big deal this is.

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Get it?  For nine or nine years of marriage!

As for the landscape, it was just stunning.  The first morning we got up early and hit the trails (which we could access from our campground). It was still really cool and we had the park to ourselves.  We made it all the way to the first waterfall without ever seeing anyone else. It made it all the more magical.  Like we had stumbled on to our own little perfect piece of heaven.  A piece of heaven that we had to climb lots of stairs to get to. So many, we didn't tackle the second falls. Going to the first water fall (mid way down in the canyon) and then up to the rim made a close to 7 mile round trip hike, on some hard trails.  Surprisingly the boys did great.  We had to carry Alex some but for the most part he walked.  He is hardcore for a two year old. I want to lie and tell you we felt fine afterwards.  I woke up in the morning feeling like I had been punched in calves, and I am in pretty good shape.  Not for the faint of heart, but totally worth the work to see the beauty.

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Oh, and the rim of the canyon was so perfectly lovely.  Photos just don't do it justice.  Not even a little bit. This vista is accessible by car, if you aren't up for the hike :).

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After our intense day of hiking we spent the rest of our three days just playing it low key.  We hung out of the Yurt and let the boys play on the campground in our little part of the of the park.

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Here is an inside shot, if you curious (I was) what one was like.  I should have taken a photos before we unpacked.  Also, bug nets might not have been the best idea.  Mostly, they tried to "catch" each other with them.

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We did manage a little fishing trip.  They had this positively magical fishing pond.  It was tucked into a quiet little corner park. It was like something out of a book.

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Oh, and at night after the boys went to bed Jason and I would sit on the hidden little back porch of the yurt.  They had these really comfortable adirondack chairs.  We would just set and talking or read. Okay, on the last night we might have streamed some arrested development.  We couldn't resist.  Speaking of technology, I spent the whole weekend social media free. It was really nice little break.  I love the internet, but every now and then a little distance is a good thing.

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In the nine years we've been married we've changed more than I could have ever imagine.  I can't even begin to write about all the changes.  It hasn't always been easy but I am so happy we are still together moving forward and making memories.  I couldn't have asked for a better trip or a better anniversary.  It was so amazing.  We are planning to visit the park again in the fall perhaps. I hope it will be just as magical.

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PS.  Right before we left the boys got their first super short hair cut and I HATE IT!  I really regret it.  I miss their floppy hair.  Especially on Henry, he just doesn't look the same.  We are officially growing it out. But, I guess it will be easy for summer.  Still, I can't wait for their sweet blond hair to come back.

P.P.S.  Can I brag on myself?  Cause I'm gonna!  Getting together food for a four day camping trip with no refrigeration was no small feat.  But, I did it (even if I wanted to cancel the trip mid-way through the prep)!  I wish I had taken photos of everything. While there were some hot dogs and marshmallows, for the most part we are surprising well. Pinterest was a huge help.  Below is one of my favorite meals. It was a foil packet we roasted in the coals with sweet potatoes, sausage, squash, zucchini, onions and fresh rosemary.  I know it doesn't look like a lot but it was so tasty.  Jason also managed to whip is big ol' breakfast for us each morning. There is nothing quiet as tasty has eggs and bacon on a camping trip.

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