Welcome Summer Break, We've Been Waiting for You

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It kind of felt like summer break was never going to come. I'm pretty sure we're the last to get out, as summer break usually varies a month from the east coast to west depending on weather. It took forrrrever! Anyway, yesterday it finally arrived! I really dream of days where I can sleep in, get coffee delivered to me in bed, and have sweet little children motivated for the day, but let's be real here. I wake up at 6am every day, like it or not. So I figured it was time we kick off our weekly hikes!

I love hiking and since having our baby girl last year, I missed out on a lot of summer hiking. This year, she's snug in my pack and we are planning to ease into kid-friendly hiking with three! We hit our local trails with some friends, and despite a few unsure turns, we had a really great time. We literally made lists of "don't forget" items and "this would be really helpful" as we continued hiking.

I plan to do an informal homeschool summer school this summer break (say that five times fast), because there are simply things they don't learn in school anymore that are important to our family, plus, structure and routine are insanely beneficial for our household. In honor of that, I made hiking journals for the kiddos. I made adventure journals a few years ago when we explored and camped a local island. They were such a hit then, I figured that despite the fact that we weren't traveling far, we could still make this an interactive and fun experience (don't tell the kids they're educational, too!). I was right!

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We're going to continue exploring kid-friendly hikes in the PNW this summer, especially as I build strength carrying a baby again, and our preparedness improves. Three hours is about the maximum time tolerance hiking with kids, but I'm thinking if we plan to have lunch on the trail and a solid break, we could stay a bit longer. Banner Forest is a really great starting point for us, as there isn't a huge elevation gain and the trails are clear and navigable. You can circle around making the hike longer, or cut through and make it shorter, but it's about a solid 4 miles.

Until next time...