I can hardly believe that it's mid-August. Summer always seem to fly by while Winter, especially January through March, seems to drag-on-forever. Growing up Summer vacations were always the last week in August and always in Nags Head, NC. I am pretty sure I went down there with my family that week every year up until my late 20's. We gradually moved a little further South each year and finally ended up renting houses in Hatteras, NC the last few years that we went. Since I've been married and had two kiddos we haven't gone back down there the last several years. Not exactly because of the kids though. My husband's parents have a cabin on Lake George in upstate New York so we've been heading North the past few years instead. Being from the South and going on the same vacation every single year, this was a huge treat for me! Not only had I never been to upstate NY, I had never really been anywhere else for family vacation. I'd traveled with friends for weekends in Myrtle Beach or to New Jersey but family vacations were always the same. We liked it that way :) The lake is amazing. I was in awe of how crystal clear the water is. It's a tad chilly but not so much so that you can't swim, especially if you've been sitting in the sun a while. You're surrounded by mountains that dive down into the lake and huge, beautiful, very green trees. Not just any green though, the greens in the trees is very cool. There's everything from deep forest green to nearly neon green. The setting and the views are just breathtaking. The green is probably enhanced somewhat by the sky too, it's always this beautiful deep blue. Probably because there's really not much humidity up there (well this Summer has been the exception!).
Going to the lake the past few years instead of the beach has been great. Although it's been a few years and I am definitely starting to miss the good ol' NC coast! This year we went to the lake for two weeks and started the vacation with my brother-in-law's wedding. It was at The Sagamore and holy.cow.it.was.beautiful! I wish I had pictures to share with you but I was the Matron of Honor so carrying my camera around was not really an option :) Not to mention I had my two boys with me so any shots I would have taken would have probably been blurry due to them constantly crawling all over me. Anyhow, the amazing Tracy Buyce was the photographer and I am dying - literally - to see the pics! She is an amazing photographer!! If you have a moment and want to see something I'm certain you'll fall in love with, check out her web-site!!! After the wedding the rest of our two weeks was spent relaxing on the lake, aka, laying in the sun (or trying to as you keep two little boys from falling off the dock), swimming, riding the boat, visiting with friends and neighbors, EATING my mother-in-laws delicious meals, drinking - yep there was some of that, and just plain old relaxing. Boy did we need it. Relaxing with a 3 and a 1 year old is not technically the same as Webster's dictionary might have you believe. They still most definitely kept us on our toes... but you know how on vacation you don't worry about anything. You don't think about the mundane that is everyday life sometimes. You don't think about what you need to do or should be doing, you just enjoy the day and what it brings. No plans. It's delightful.
This year was no exception. We thoroughly enjoyed our vacation, so much so that I'm hoping the boys and I are able to spend a month on the lake next year! Yep - a month long vacation. If only you could see the smile on my face right now... :) I took a ton of pictures this year and amazingly I didn't stress about it. Sometimes I want 'good' family vacation pictures so much that I stress about it - on vacation I stress, not allowed! And I get so stressed about it that I don't even want to take my camera or deal with having to take pictures. It's nuts. Completely insane actually. But this year I didn't stress, I snapped when I wanted to and didn't when I wasn't feeling it. Good or bad I thought, whatever, it's vacation it's not a job and I'm the only one that has this weird 'must have the best family vacation pics' stigma. And since I let myself not worry about it I think I got some really great, really memorable family vacation shots. I loved a lot of them - so much that I'm pretty sure several are going to make it to printing and hanging - which not many make it that far in my house! (I'm a way too picky photographer) Anyhow, here are a few of my favorites. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed taking them :)