For reference, here is what the kids looked like the last time we met up with Jen and family. Jen and Joe are so nice and laid-back that it felt like we had just seen them as we chatted and hiked through the park.
The boys loved hanging out, climbing on rocks and trying to keep up with Jake and Jadyn.
And of course I had to take some jumping photos.
The rock is granite and the formations were amazing. The science is freaking cool - magma cooled below the surface and hardened. Water got in, eroded the magma into roundish shapes, then flash floods eroded ground cover until the formations were visible. It was quite a surprise to find this gem eroded into a big granite boulder.
Jadyn was happy to be a model, and wanted her photo taken at tons of spots...
while Jake was happy to rock scramble and not have his photo taken.
And my kids? Went to Joshua Tree National Park and made farting noises.
(I kid - they LOVED it.)
It was a really great side trip to see the Funny Noses and I hope we can make it back to spend more time.
After that we hit the road to Phoenix to see my sister and family.
And guess what? Minecraft was a huge hit with these kids also!
It was hot in Phoenix as well, so we spent a lot of time hanging out at the house with the kids swimming at the pool. Both boys were excited to play with their dog (who loves having water squirted in his mouth).
It was great to get a chance to catch up in person, and made me sad that geography is stupid and they live far away. I actually had a chance to reflect a lot on geography on this trip because the southwest is such a different landscape than the southeast. It made me really want to see the pacific northwest sometime soon.
We came back, unpacked, did laundry, then packed the kids back up for Camp Seafarer. Unfortunately both kids puked yesterday morning when they woke up, so they spent the first half of the day in the infirmary. They both took naps then woke up fine so they stayed at camp. We pick them up tonight.
And as much as I thought I was super brave to let my boys go to overnight camp, when I heard they were sick and in the infirmary, I just wanted to get in the car and drive 3 hours to pick them up and give them a hug. I've said it before, but the hardest part of parenting is all the little ways you have to let them go over time.