Here are some pics from our camping trip to Erie, PA. Alisa was invited to speak at a purple martin conference there, which is why we went--otherwise I can't imagine we would have picked this place to visit. Erie is a pretty ordinary town, but right at the downtown waterfront is a gorgeous little oasis of a state park--Presque Isle--a penisula jutting out of the urban zone into Lake Erie, with miles of beaches, hiking trails, picnic spots and a few playgrounds. Lots of purple martins too (we saw another roost). So, Gramma and Grandpa E met us there, driving 9 hrs from Chicago, they stayed in a hotel. We stayed 20 miles north at a quiet private campground on the shores of the lake. It was great swimming in a northern lake again, felt familiar since growing up on fresh water--a lot different from the ocean and the sound here in NC. Everyday we would wake up, get organized, eat breakfast and head out to meet the grandparents, we'd stay out all day and drive back to camp at about 9 or 10 and just fall into bed. We had one campfire while we were there, on our very last night, and we ate out every night, so we never cooked on an open fire. But it was nice sleeping in the outdoors--weather was cool and good for snoozing. So, one day we went to the Erie Zoo (very nice!), next day the state park for swimming, sandcastles and a purple martin picnic/roost viewing, 3rd day Alisa gave her talk while Ami and G&G E went to the children's museum (she loved it). The day we left the campground it was pouring down rain and we had to disassemble the campsite in the downpour (luckily we could do most of it under cover of a roofed picnic area. Driving home the entire state of PA all the way into MD was blanketed in stormclouds as we trudged along through 400 miles of rain rain rain. But we made it. Ami said it was "good to be home."
Ami on the shores of Lake Erie.
G&G E building sandcastles with Ami.
Chris and Noah cracking the whip.