New Heights

I know I said those beautiful easy peasey days are a very special treat, and by no means an everyday occurrence. So when I have two of those days in the span of a week, it's like having enough apples for crisp and pie, along with an unlimited supply of vanilla bean ice cream. Sorry. Please try not to hate me.

So. Here's a little peek at the peak of our week, which surprisingly surfaced on a Monday, proving to people everywhere (or maybe just me) that Monday isn't inherently evil.
Larry of course had to work. But Caed had the day off, and thus, we agreed to set off on an adventure so exciting that the expeditions of Columbus would pale in comparison. In other words, we'd go exchange some shoes at LL Bean and maybe hit a playground or two.

We conquered Big Boot territory in no time (hurray for the lifetime guarantee!). It was only 10 a.m., the weather was gorgeous, and we were all in good spirits. So I referenced the Mother's Guide to Uber-Controlled Fun and confirmed that these were prime conditions for spontaneity. Forget the school playground, I thought. "How would you guys like to hike all the way to the top of a mountain?!"

Caed was noncommittal. "Okay, that sounds fun. But is there a playground there? Cuz I really wanted to practice my monkey bars today."

And Dani was already making alternative travel arrangements. "I can't c'imb it, wight Mom? You carry me?"

"Not sure about the playground. We'll see. And no, Dani, I won't carry you. You can do it yourself now that you're a big girl."

When we arrived at the point of no return, or really, just the point of not getting my money back, I began to doubt whether I'd made the right decision. That is, until I drove around the corner and discovered the New World, also referred to herein as the playground with the best monkey bars EVER.
But haste haste. My spontaneous plans will fall apart if we don't get to the top of the mountain in time for snack. So let's motor!

Caed scouted out the rectangular white on the bark and quite literally narrated the entire climb. Dani just held my hand and half tripped, half skipped up the summit trail. She also shouted on several occasions for her babbling big brother to wait for her. "Where you goin' CAED. COME BACK HEEYER!!"

When we eventually caught up with Caed, this is the view that greeted us.
After uttering a "wow" or two, the kids turned their attention to the item of utmost importance. What did you bring us for snack?

Feast your eyes on that beauty, I wanted to say. But instead I sat them down with trail mix (with REAL chocolates in it!) and began the first in a series of lectures about how we don't just pick out the chocolate pieces and we most certainly don't fight over them, or mommy will eat them all. (It was a rare occasion in which I wouldn't have been horribly disappointed if they chose to disobey.)

As we made our way back down the trail in hopes of having another go at the playground, I told them what brave and tireless explorers they were to have reached the top of the mountain so fast.

Caed beamed in reply, "I know, Mom. I could have told you I was gonna do a good job because I'm five now, and I know some stuff about explorin'."

Dani tugged on my sweater, "I c'imb to da high high top on da mountain, all by myse'f, wight?"

I squeezed her hand, "You sure did Darlin'!"

I'm well past five years old, but apparently I'm still learning some stuff about explorin'. Like, for instance, how that "top of the world" feeling follows you even after you arrive back to the safety of schedule and script and sea level.

Have you gone off script lately? Where did it take you?

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