Thursday, September 26, 2013

Under the stars... and into the woods

Ever since I was a baby the end of summer meant camping, at the same camp ground in the same camp site each year. My parents have been taking my brother and me to Sand Flats since I was a baby, and my grandparents started it all by taking my Dad and his siblings to this same site since my Dad was a baby. Whether it was just my immediate family or my entire Dad’s side full of aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins, we always made a camping trip together before school started back up.
I hadn’t been camping in years and had really been missing it, plus JD and I had never gone camping together, so we had plans in the works for a while and this year we were finally able to go! So a few weeks ago, JD and I drove to northern Ca, packed my Dad’s truck full of camping supplies and hit the road with him. (The trip fell on our 6 year anniversary!)
It’s about a four hour drive up into the Sierras and once you reach the turn off you definitely need a truck or bigger 4 wheel drive car to get down the “road”. It’s not so much a road as it is a very old washed out river bed, nothing is paved and it is full of dips, large rocks, steep turns and a dusty down hill grade. Getting back up the dry river bed is no easy feat either, it takes about 30 minutes to strategically go down or up it.
We had such a great time while we were there, and it was an amazing change of scenery and temperature to be in the nicely shaded, cool and crisp green woods. I love that is it isn’t a well known camping area; we had the whole place to ourselves. The water and rapids are only a two minute walk, which is perfect when you’re roughing it outside and you need the (freezing) water to clean off and brush your teeth. We took long walks and hikes each day, explored a lot, had some target practice with the BB guns, relaxed, cooked our meals over the fire and woke up to deer outside our tent in the mornings.
Going back to one of my favorite places, and getting to show JD, was really fun and brought back a ton of childhood memories for me and for my Dad. I’m so happy we finally went. Sand Flats is such an important place to my family and has always been popular with the Meier’s; I can’t wait for it to be just as popular of a place with future Poplin’s!


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Aloha love

I am saying adios to August and welcoming September with open arms! September is the beginning of my favorite time of the year! Soon there will be hot caramel cider at Starbucks, cooler weather, pumpkins, sweaters, boots and I will be able to light my fall spice candle! I just hope Arizona actually cools off and I will get the fall season that I love so much.
I was thinking back and last year at this exact time JD was in Georgia, we had just thrown a surprise 50th /85th Hawaiian Luau for his Mom and Grandma and the next morning his parents and I got on a plane for AZ. We flew out here for a few days in the hopes of finding a home for me and JD. We definitely succeeded, within the first two days we saw about 12 homes, I made an offer on one, the offer was accepted and we had the home inspection completed!
I will have to post some before and after pictures of the house soon, but for now I wanted to show off the birthday luau party and pics. JD’s Mom, Aunt and super talent cousin did an amazing job with this party for his Grandma’s 85th (and we even tricked his Momma into setting up for her own 50th surprise). They went all out for this bash complete with a Tiki bar, Hawaiian dancers, and a pig roasting on a spit. It was the perfect way to end summer and his sweet Grandma loved the party and the reunion with family who flew in from all over the Midwest. Aloha!


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