September 5-on-5: One Last Summer Getaway

Guys, I have some crazy news for you. Like- mind blowingly-fall over-type news. Go get your coffee and put that awesome butt of yours in a seat and I'll tell you. 

ok... I really hope you are ready to hear this....


IT IS SEPTEMBER ALREADY!!!! This entire summer flew by in the blink of an eye. Now in another week I will have not just one, but TWO preschoolers. I seriously feel ill thinking about how fast they have both grown up. Just last month alone, my oldest went from needing me to encourage him when faced with something new, to him telling me at the dentist "Mom, can you please leave? I don't need you here." It's only another few blinks before we are packing them up to move out on their own. The reality is setting in all too fast for me. 

I love that their excitement level for this ride is clearly on two different levels. 

I love that their excitement level for this ride is clearly on two different levels. 

I had the chance to actually grow up in the county I live in now. So a lot of the same traditions I did as a kid I can easily pass on to my boys. This year they were finally both tall enough to make an amusement park trip worth the money. So we picked a date and went to a place I went to as a kid every summer- Knoebels. Seriously still an awesome place, most of the rides are still the same, including the Haunted House; same scary features I remember from when I was 10 (almost 20 years ago already-ew) are still there. The park is honestly great because although when it is all said and done we spent the same amount of money there as we would at a place like Dorney or Hersheypark, the park itself is free to get into, free parking, outside food allowed and best of all- dog friendly (though this go around we left our very sweet but hyper pup at home). 

This kid loves his maps. He couldn't wait to find all the rides he NEEDED to ride while everyone else took a potty break. 

This kid loves his maps. He couldn't wait to find all the rides he NEEDED to ride while everyone else took a potty break. 

With the realization that the boys are growing up right before my eyes, I really tried to savor this day with them. It was really our last hoorah as a family before the start of the school year. Since this day we have been trying to get back on a schedule, getting check-ups, meeting new teachers and pretty much all the craziness that comes with this time of year. This really felt like one of our last "summer days" this summer. 
 

yep. totally broke the "no cameras on the ride" rule for this shot. #worthit

yep. totally broke the "no cameras on the ride" rule for this shot. #worthit

The boys wasted no time wanting to get on a ride. They were understanding (in most cases) about the wait, and even so patient while we waited on the train (the kids train no less) for 15 minutes while a mini monsoon came by. (Picture 4 adults with our knees up to our chests and 2 kiddos sitting on a train- thankfully under a roof- while it poured.) They didn't care. They were on a mini vacation to a place they never went before and that fact alone was more than they could have wanted. 

I don't know what was more fun to watch- their anticipation while they waited, or their excitement while they rode. 

I don't know what was more fun to watch- their anticipation while they waited, or their excitement while they rode. 

I think the best part (ok, I probably already called every part the best part by now) was that since the park was free to get in, my grandmother could tag along without paying an arm and a leg to just watch us. My mother also grew up coming to this park each summer with my grandmother. I can not begin to imagine how she felt seeing her great-grandsons enjoying the same thing her sons and daughter did as children. I think I watched my grandmother';s expressions more than I watched the kids'. 

That is the sign of a good day. Exhausted and passed out on the way home. <3

That is the sign of a good day. Exhausted and passed out on the way home. <3

I seriously can't wait to go back next year when even more rides are available to my weed-like growing kiddos. Please do not think I am already wishing away the school year. I am very much looking forward to the schedule structure it is about to bring to our house. I am more than excited to embrace this year and all the craziness it is going to bring to our lives. 

Speaking of bringing things, go bring yourself some more coffee and see what story Amy Thelen (Portland, OR Documentary Photographer) photos are telling us this month. It's the day after Labor Day {if you are in the US}, so take that extra half hour this morning to wake up and circle around until you come back to me. 

Until next month,
Erin Berry, Photographer