Lala and I went kayaking last week for her birthday. I'd forgotten how much fun it is, just paddling a boat. (It always makes me think of Ratty in the Wind in the Willows, "there is nothing–absolutely nothing–half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.")
I've kayaked quite a bit, always in the ride-on-top or recreational sit-in kayaks, never the strap-yourself-in scary kind. And wherever I've ended up has been as much due to luck as it was to paddling skills. It's a natural movement, after all. Give a kid a paddle, and he'll paddle with it. That was me.
But we took a class, because Lala wanted to. And what do you know? There is SO MUCH to know about kayaking! I learned what my body was supposed to do (if you're doing it "right," you're using your feet and your core as much as your arms). I learned how to turn in place (turning of any sort had always been a mystery to me) and how to paddle backwards.
The class took us through the estuary at Jack London to Alameda, where we boated around the marinas, and then wound up at the Grand Street marina for lunch, and then we paddled back.
It made me think about the summer fast approaching. I realized that not only is it almost here, it's almost too late to start planning. Gah. I went through our calendar and we really only have one free weekend available for a camping trip, and when I went online to reserve something, it was all booked. Of course it is. I've been saying for months I should get on it, but didn't.
So are there places you can go camp that aren't campgrounds? That's a weird question. But you know what I mean. Anyone used AirB&B? (I just looked at their site and couldn't find camping-friendly things, just rooms in houses. Maybe I'm using it wrong.)
What other ideas do you have for summer close-to-home? I'm thinking a campout in the backyard might actually be fun. Campgrounds have quiet hours, and they make you stop playing music by 10pm. Our backyard? We have cool neighbors on one side and none at all on the other, so we could play all night!
I'd love to hear what you do in the summer for unconventional fun. (Or any kind of fun, really.)
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