Blue Mountains with Sam

[Hello! It's been a while, I know, but I'm hoping to start posting more regularly again here in addition to my writing elsewhere (ahem, Nest & Launch, I'm looking at you). I don't want to forget what we're doing, what I'm thinking, and how life is with us at this point. In the coming weeks I may also tweak things a bit here, too, and transition to include more essays as vehicles for some thoughts rumbling around my head. So fair warning to any of you who still check here now and then!

Greg had a business trip to the states a few weeks ago and took Maddy along as her early birthday present. They travelled to DC and Boston so she had the chance to visit some universities she's keen on (Georgetown and George Washington especially) and she also got to catch up with friends and attend a day at her old high school and a Sunday at our old ward. 

Meanwhile, Sam and I were here at home with an unscheduled stretch of days during school spring holidays. We decided to head to the Blue Mountains (northwest of here about 3.5 hours) for a few days of climbing and enjoying.

You can see why the Blue Mountains got their name! (One of the guides said that the eucalyptus trees release something into the the air that makes it appear blue from a distance.) The view reminded me of being at the rim of the Grand Canyon but with trees.

It was a terrific mother/son trip. He's great company and I feel really lucky that 15-year-old Sam still is willing to spend that kind of time with his mama. We: 

  • hiked the stunning National Pass trail which means we hiked all the way down to the valley floor, across to the adjacent mountains and BACK UP again. That back up part, and the timing of it at the very end of the hike, was a killer. My legs were screaming and by the very end I think I was operating them manually. Totally worth it, though.
  • rode the world's steepest railway and took a sky gondola out over the valley floor. 
  • saw a movie (the latest Percy Jackson) 
  • ate at a very hippy, very yummy cafe run by a local commune
  • stayed at a cozy 1930s cottage in Wentworth Falls
  • relaxed and read when we felt like it (The Signature of All Things for me, David and Goliath for Sam) 
  • took lots of instagrams/photos/videos
  • listened to the (almost deafening) cicada orchestra--it's their once-every-seven-years season right now
  • ate breakfast twice at the local cafe/bookshop
  • finished off two bags of Jelly Bellies on the drive up and back
  • laughed. A lot.