We’re just a few days away from leaving the country, but it feels like we’ve been on the road for a month already. Because we have been on the road for a month already. We packed up and left California in June, heading first to Seattle, where Henry, Kyle, and I visited with friends and stopped by old favorites like The Ridge and Nutty Squirrel Gelato. Meanwhile, Max went on a 5-day backpacking adventure on the Olympic coast with The Evergreen School and some of his best friends. He was not nearly as happy to be back at the end of the week as we were to see him.

 

Next, we headed to Kelly’s Resort at Lake Chelan for our annual PEPS long weekend. Some iteration of our original PEPS group has been getting together there for eight years now, so I think it’s officially a tradition. Like any good vacation, it was swim, lounge, eat, and repeat for three days, with lots of good conversations and laughs along the way.

 

July 3rd (our anniversary!) we said good bye to Washington and drove to Montana for a couple of weeks of cabin and cousin time. We took full advantage of the perfect weather, spending time at Lake Como, on the Bitterroot River, and enjoying the wildflowers and wildlife. We also managed to eat burgers and watch the World Cup at Nap’s, gorge on huckleberry shakes from The Merc, and make s’mores almost every night. As a lucky bonus, one of Henry’s best friends from San Carlos had just moved to Montana this summer, and we spent a super fun day and night with them on Whitefish Lake.

 

When our Montana time was up, we flew to Chicago for round two of family time – this time the cousins on Kyle’s side. The first few days we stayed with Kyle’s sister and her family. After one marathon Xbox session with the cousins, Max and Henry helped out with their church car wash, went go-karting and mini-golfing, and again with the s’mores. My highlight was a crash course in greeting card making, which is a surprisingly meditative exercise. I didn’t excel, but as Karyn said and I think I’ll use in other areas of life, “If you don’t like it, it just means you’re not done yet.”

 

As I write this, we’re in Galesburg, home to Knox College (where the fifth Lincoln – Douglas debate was held), Carl Sandburg, and Kyle’s parents. They’ve organized a bit of a family reunion to send us off, so Kyle’s four sisters are here with part or all of their families. The head count is currently 22, and it’s been so nice to catch up with everyone. I think once we hit Lisbon, it will feel very quiet with just the four of us.

 

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