A few days ago we went off to Ellis-Haven Campground in Plymouth Massachusetts with our grandchildren. This was the last summer getaway for them before school starts. We took Stella the Vistabule and all our camping stuff and set up camp on site 83B, way in the back. This was a perfect site. Once set, up we did a quick exploration of the area and sat back and just relaxed.
Ellis Haven Campground is a family campground that really caters to family life with a great swimming area, a mini golf course and horseshoe pits as well as a playground area for the kids. They even have a petting zoo, which is really a just a pen of goats. . .
Grace has just learned to ride her bike, which we brought along, so she had a great time exploring on her own. I remember so well that burst of freedom you got as a kid when you discovered that you can travel freely and go some distance on your bike, and without those pesky adults around to tell you how you should behave. Ah freedom. . . I still get that feeling from time to time on my bike and recently am beginning to get that feeling with Stella the trailer. She allows us to travel to places we might never have considered before.
The day we arrived Ben had got fishing with his Dad. The went on a charter boat out of Galilee, Rhode Island and apparently caught quite a few fish. I think Ben said he caught a couple of stripers, several black sea bass and a lot of Blues. He arrived in mid afternoon and we all had a great time around the camp and exploring. Ben and I got involved in a good game of horseshoes, discovering that neither one of us was any good at it. It didn't help that they had two steel horseshoes and two plastic ones. But we threw until our arms were stretched out and our stomachs hurt from laughter.
This was a relaxing few days. You may have noticed that the quality of photos here is not up to my typical standards, I didn't bring my camera, no paints, no computer so everything you see here is from iPhones and such. Sometime you just have to stop and enjoy where you are and what you have in life. This was one of those times. Spending time with our grandkids is some of the very best moments life can give. That first evening, after supper, we sat by the fire and chatted well into the evening. There are few activities that are better than poking at a campfire with family.
The following morning we had company, Erin (more family) brought her seven year old son Liam to spend the day. Liam and Grace and Ben all get along so very well, which makes for a special day. I made pancakes or rather panacakes as the kids call them. I was testing out a new griddle that fits a bit too well on the stove. It held in the heat so well that it melted part of the knob area of the stove...lesson learned. The panacakes were delicious and I got a slight reprimand from Liam, "My Mom doesn't melt the stove". Around noon I dropped everyone off at the lake for an afternoon on the beach and went in search of a grocery store. (more milk and juice and things) Upon returning from the store I discovered that we were getting some neighbors at the campsite next door. Apparently the site next to ours is a group site and over the course of the next few hours 9 tents were set up and well over 20 people arrived. And as it turned out they were all nice folks and I even ended up giving a tour of Stella the trailer, to a guy named Ed.
Meanwhile back at the lake. . . I arrived and sat up my station, and Nana and I watched as the kids played in the water. They had been in the water for about an hour and a half by the time I arrived. We chatted as we watched them dive from the platform and splash and play. This was turning out to be another perfect day. Our friends (family) Missy and Bobby met us by the side of the lake to watch the kids too. (Liam is their grandson) So all the old farts sat and watched and told tall tales as the kids played. Ben came out and sat in a chair and watched too. I never did get wet, Nana had already been swimming and had dried off and didn't want to go back in, that's just the way the day went. By late afternoon we all headed back to the campsite to continue the conversation over snacks and more wine, water and soda. Erin had arrived at the lake earlier so we had our own little group around the camp. It was early evening before everyone had left. We had was so much fun chatting and watching the kids. Grace was having so much fun on her bike and the camp provided a very nice safe environment for her to practice. She did have a few falls and even got a couple of scrapes but that didn't deter her from exploring. Grace was still riding her bike as Ben and I returned the horseshoe pits to settle the final winner and out skills, such as they are, had deteriorated further. I don't remember now who actually cam out on top but Nana was ringing the dinner bell so we made it back to camp for an enjoyable dinner.
We waited until almost dark before starting the campfire. Constructing the fire was Ben's duty and he did a fine job build a tall structure of small splinters of wood on top of a mound of pine needles. One match is all you get...and he got it right. Soon the fire was crackling and the smell of burning oak filled the air. Grace and Nana had found some 'Color Flames' stuff at the camp store so we had to add that to the fire. For a while we had blue and green flames mixed in the the yellow, red and orange. This was a perfect end to a perfect day. Nana and Grace turned in by nine thirty or so and Ben and I chatted on until about eleven or so. Another perfect day.
The following morning it was up early and get everything packed away to head home. The kids had a family gathering to go to on the other side of the family so we needed to get them home in good time. I was amazed that we packed up the whole camp in about twenty minutes, including a good policing of the area and hooking up Stella to the car. A great few days away.