On Friday, I did the unthinkable, and left Guppy in the capable care of her grandparents (with five pages of instruction, which was probably overkill), and the husband and I loaded up the Eurovan and went camping.
We drove out to our spot in our campground on the Chatanika river. We've been going to this campground nearly every Memorial Day/birthday weekend for the last ten years, and we almost always get the same camping spot. Last year, it was still snowed in, and the year before that, we had a 3-month-old in tow. Before that, we were in a tent, and the van is a big step up. It has heat, a fridge, running water (just a sink), a stove, a comfy bed... and it was chilly and windy, which would have been seriously unfun in a tent.
We hiked around a bunch - including where there were no trails - and had a modest campfire each night and ate delicious food. Moronic neighbors attempted to set the forest on fire - big plumes of white smoke and yelling got our attention and we found that they had already set up a bucket brigade to a spot across the river where you could see flames spreading. They got it under control as we were brainstorming ways we could help and mentally adding 'collapsible bucket' to our camping inventory. A chatty little kid came up and said 'We didn't do it!' and then proceeded to describe shooting off fireworks and admitted without pressure that gosh, that probably caused it.
I wasn't sure if I'd be able to handle two nights away, but I made myself trust that my parents had it all in hand and we didn't go home until mid-Sunday. I was by far the most traumatized of everyone involved - Guppy had a lovely time with her grandparents and was not a holy terror, and was able to go to sleep for naps and bedtime without more than token fuss.
I am filled with GLEE over my birthday present, which is a new camera. I had the original Canon Rebel, but it has been sadly showing its age - it snaps photos reeeallllyy slowly now, the battery is quick to discharge, the coating is rubbed off of most of it. I've been relying on my iphone for most photos anymore (because snapping photos fast matters when photographing a two-year-old), though the quality of those photos was still less than the Canon. But now I have a SHINY SHINY new Canon that all my lenses still fit and it takes photos like a possessed demon and also shoots video and is a little more compact and the screen is super fancy and oh, I love it! The shutter speed is AMAZING - way, way beyond what the old camera does. It takes these incredibly crisp photos in low light. I'm going to take a week-long class through the Summer Fine Arts Festival that should teach me how to use it more thoroughly.
We went to buy a chip for it yesterday and found just one of the highest speed chips left at a REALLY good sale price. The package had been mangled and taped back together, but they didn't have any others left in back. So, they gave me 25% off that: a $40 chip for $10.50. Score!
Baby just woke up, so I'm off. Big thank yous for the birthday wishes so far - it's been lovely to wake up to. :)