Summer is our busiest season of the year. I can be a hermit from September to April, but May to August is when the adventure happens. A lot of adventure.

We went camping twice in May– both just state parks within a few hours of us. I still need to blog about the second trip, which was our very worst camping trip ever.

June was out to Colorado to pick up N and enjoy Rocky Mountain National Park. 2015-06-30_0017

In July, we visited Aaron’s family in Missouri. I had a work trip in Wisconsin. Aaron and the kids drove out and met me in Illinois and then we headed East, stopping for a few hours in Chicago, very briefly at Cuyahoga National Park (Ohio), a quick morning swim at Lake Erie (Ohio), an overnight in the incredible darkest spot east of the Mississippi, Cherry Springs State Park (Pennsylvania), and lastly at The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania before we reached our destination in Eastern Pennsylvania. Whew. I needed a nap.

Chicago was a lot of fun. Through the adoption community, I have a made a wonderful friend, Amanda. She invited us over to her apartment for Chicago style pizza. Then we took the train to her office, which has an incredible view of the Chicago skyline.

We had so much fun with her. We just want to come back another time when we have more than a few hours for a real tour. Amanda was an awesome host and tour guide!

The next day, we stopped at Lake Erie for a quick swim.

Aaron and I had been looking forward to going to Cherry Springs State Park in Pennsylvania for months. It’s the only gold-rated (highest rated) dark sky park East of the Mississippi. They had an sky tour, where they used a laser pointer to talk about different constellations and we got to look through telescopes to see Venus, Saturn and Jupiter. Unfortunately, it was a bit cloudier than we’d hope, but we still were able to enjoy it.

(There are more photos from Cherry Springs on my photography Facebook page.)

The next day, we made a quick stop by the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania. We found it to be a little bit underwhelming.

Just a few more hours of driving + one tunnel (always exciting) and we reached our destination.

We are now semi-unpacked here for a few weeks, enjoying family time!

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