Children rise to risk. Give them some genuine risk and they quickly learn what their limits are, and then they expand their limits.
It's finally happened: the boys are at the age to rebel against what their parents want, and for us now that means going camping. Sigh. They actually just grumbled a bit about going and of course had a great time once we set off. That was a couple of hours later than we had hoped/planned; we weren't all packed and ready to go till about 5:30. The drive is about two and a half hours without traffic, and we also had to stop for some groceries and dinner on the way. Traffic getting out of the city wasn't too terrible, but we didn't stop until after 8, somewhere between Islip and Patchogue.
For our second consecutive Sunday of family biking, we decided to check out the new Brooklyn Bridge Park, which we'd only visited briefly in the winter, when it was cold and extremely windy. In June it was the opposite—warm with a welcome cool breeze. Our plan was to bike there, explore, and get lunch from Smorgasburg. Our route, once again planned on the Ride the City site, took us around Prospect Park and down Vanderbilt Avenue.
We went down to see the new Brooklyn Bridge Park this afternoon. It's still in construction although parts have been open for at least a few months.
Although the park area is not large (200 acres), "Andy's Trail," which runs mostly around the perimeter, offers a nice variety of types of terrain and surroundings. The trail is well-marked and features a "self-interpretive nature trail" with ten observation points created by a local Boy Scout as his Eagle project. The full circuit is about three miles of easy hiking, which can be comfortably done in about half a day, with time for goofing around, picture-taking, and observing nature's details, such as birds' nests, moss, icicles, and woodpecker holes.
Cabin "camping" with friends at Betty and Wilbur Davis State Park, one of the newer parks in the system. Actually, in NYS Parks and Rec parlance, a "cabin" is rustic without amenities, this is a "cottage" meaning it has heat, water, power, and a full kitchen. Cottages cost a lot more than cabins, but if a couple of families share it's not bad. This cottage is beautiful since it's less than 10 years old.
Last night we had dinner and later played Texas Hold-'Em. Today we had a nice hike in the morning and warmed up inside in the afternoon.
This past Memorial Day weekend we camped out at the Strange Creek music festival in Greenfield, Mass. Great site, great weather, we all had a good time, and the kids had a blast!
Everyone tried out the "Orbitron" (see one like it here, lower right photo), except Jambandfan, who had cervical spine surgery in mid-April. It is really cool and fun!