Yesterday was the first day of Summer Vacation for the kids. Lillian and Mitchell celebrated by singing a variety of songs that they could think over about summer. They then headed to grandmas for the day.
We celebrated by going to work.
We have been gearing up for a fun summer of #cricketcamping. We have trips booked from Memorial Day to Labor Day. We’d been looking forward to Yellowstone this summer. When it came time to book, every campground that would work for us was already booked. So we booked a week in Yellowstone for July -- July 2017 that is.
So where are we headed this summer?
Spring time. The weather is perfect for camping: longer, warm days and cool, (mostly) dry nights. The ideal time of the year to go Cricket Camping. Except we are busy with weekend activities: softball, baseball, school functions, Lillian's art show, fund raisers, birthday parties, a retirement party, and... You get the idea -- no time for camping. So what do we do? We plan and dream about the next perfect camping trip.
So what are we planning? With the Cricket, we are inspired for adventure. We hope to tackle two big trips this summer, and also tack on many additional nights via weekend trips -- once our schedules slow down a bit!
Our first trip that we are planning will be to Florida when school gets out. My grandfather lives in Ft. Myers and I grew up spending a week each year on Sanibel Island, at Periwinkle Park and Campground. As a family, we've visited Sanibel and stayed in Ft. Myers several times, but the opportunity to stay on Sanibel and go Cricket Camping at the campground is exciting. Sanibel is a magical destination for biking, beaches, and great food. But the opportunities to explore the wilds of Florida also exist. Sanibel is home to JN Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge and you can drive or bike through the park for some of the best bird watching anywhere. If you want a little more excitement, nearby Tarpon Bay Explorers allow you to rent kayaks or canoes to explore the mangrove-lined creek trail. Along with these things, we can hopefully catch a glimpse of the elusive (and maybe mythical) green flash at sunset. We plan to take a day trip off the island to explore the Everglades, and catch some of our favorites stops in Ft Myers like Lakes Park and Edison's Home. We have never been to Florida in the summer, and are planning on cooling the Cricket with a portable air conditioner we bought for the pop-up. We hope it will do the job of cooling us off after an exciting day of exploring southwest Florida.
At the end of the summer, we are headed to Yellowstone! In August, one of two months each year where it usually doesn't snow, we are going to trek to Yellowstone, the first National Park, Yellowstone is bigger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined. The campgrounds are nestled among this very living destination, where the possibility of bison, bears, and wolves entering the campground exists! Miles of roads, trails, and rivers await us to explore. Wildlife to photograph, geysers to witness, mountains, forests and rivers to hike -- we can't wait! We have to admit the this is an intimidating adventure. It's a long drive, albeit not as far as the Grand Canyon, and we would be camping among some of the greatest predators on the continent. It's a big destination to prepare to tackle in a week!
We are really excited to tackle both of these destinations. If we succeed camping during both of these trips, we will be confident camping anywhere at anytime in the Cricket. Besides these trips, we are planning on seeing things closer to home. Missouri is full of great State parks that look appealing, such as Johnson's Shut-Ins and Washington State Park. Kentucky, the site of our most recent destination, has more to offer at Land Between the Lakes and other locations. Of course we have our home state of Illinois to explore. We meet many campers that often camp just a few miles from home and we have not tried this yet. We continue to get recommendations to camp at Rend Lake and will eventually stay there and some of the many other great parks near home.
We are enjoying are many activities at home while also wishing we were able to be out Cricket Camping. Part of the fun is planning the adventures and we are enjoying this process. It fun to know we have a couple big adventures on the horizon and weekend trips to fill in the gaps.
Stay tuned as we continue to plan our adventure and then go on them in the Cricket!
Shane and Jessica
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