Mexico: The Pennsylvania Version

I will preface this post with the fact that I am out an "outdoor" girl in that I like to drink on patios.

I will get dirty, I CAN.  I just don't like to - and if it's my choice, I'd rather have A/C, TV and a comfy chair over anything else.  Call me spoiled or snotty, but that's just me.  Again - not that I WON'T, but it's not my idea of a good time.

Also, I love my husband.

And this is why I packed up my brood and flew to Baltimore, MD and drove two and half hours to Mexico, PA.  Yes, it's a real place.  There's a reason you haven't heard of it.

For a million years (or like 100), Nate's family - specifically his maternal great-grandmother - has been visiting Island Grove Campground.  It began as a church revival week with little cottages.  And by "cottage" I mean a wooden 2-story tent.  The campground has seen the introduction of electricity, a water spigot for cooking showers being installed.  Still no toilets, however.  You go "down back" to do your business and THANK GOD, lately, they've had some "newish" Biffy's placed there for people like me.  Hold your breath, you can make it through.  And if you have to poo - wait and go into town or something :)

The first summer Nate and I were dating (actually, like the 1st month) I took the trip with him.  He says, that's when he knew he could marry me if I could survive there.  Sadly, we hadn't been back since.  What can I say - the drive is 2 days each way, PTO is at a premium and air fare is even higher!

 This year we were able to go (with funds from Nana and Papa Brown), and travel with one of Nate's brothers, Jacob, his wife, Jen and their son (and our Godson) Rory.  Our relationship to them is a whole different post, but let's just sum it up to say that things are awesome now and I am very happy for that.

We were able to introduce Avery to almost all of her great-aunts and uncles (Rachel & David were in France), meet most of the second cousins, and meet Nana and Gaffer (Nate's grandparents).  Olivia ran around like a wild-child for 2 straight days, getting sweaty and dirty, having a blast and most importantly, we got to participate in this tradition that just IS.  Wait.  Most importantly, we were able to get a cabin off-site with AC, TV and a mini fridge (to put my Diet Coke and Miller Lite.)  But the tradition.  It can be a tie for importance.

As I would ask Liv before bed - what was your favorite part of today?  She doesn't really get that "day" concept yet - so I'll follow her lead and do my favorites of the trip:
  • Surviving both plane rides with 2 kids (and Rory survived too!)
  • Having Avery meet her aunties and drool all over each of them to leave her mark.
  • Watching Liv run around with cousins - and sometimes getting to be the leader of girls 3 times her age!
  • Playing Apples for Apples with J&J after the kids went to bed.  GOOD TIMES.
  • Getting some family photos - memories are important to have for us "old folks" and for the girls when they're older.
  • Starting The Help.  Now I just need time to finish it - among all my other hobbies and tasks!
  • Seeing Nana and Gaffer again - age is a funny thing.  You just never know.
It was a crazy busy time, but I'm glad we could do it.  Now if only we could find money to buy this little brick house we saw and turn that into our "cottage."  Complete with DVR, full kitchen and SEVERAL bedrooms!

PS - The iPhone was the best thing in the world to have for each of the kids.  Liv watched "shows" and Avery and Rory enjoyed my "lava lamp" ap during fussy times.  It's the new "baby crack machine."

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