September 4, 2013

"It was labor day weekend, I was 17, I bought a coke and some gasoline and I drove out to the county fair..."

Alright, so I'm not 17 anymore (thank goodness), and I didn't drive out to the county fair, but it was Labor day weekend, so I thought the song was fitting! I'm all about having the perfect song for the occasion. This weekend, I went to Bass Lake with my parents and our closest family friends, because after our last visit (when I was just 15 and a freshman in high school--Man, have things changed since then), we have continuously talked about getting up there again. Looks like we finally made it happen. It was one of the best times I've ever had! We rented a cabin really close to the lake, went boating, drove a jet ski for the very first time in my life, toasted s'mores, had some very entertaining conversation, cranked up the tunes, gazed up at the stars, and soaked up the last few minutes of summer, as I prepare for what's to come in the next few months with school and the unavoidable event of...Growing up. I guess it has just taken me a lot longer than it has for most people.

Being able to get away from it all for a few days was one of the greatest things for me to just be still; to hear what God is saying and to feel His presence, and nature is where I can usually feel the closest to Him. It also gave me a lot of time to think and to clear my mind. How do I want to change the world? What's my mission? What steps am I going to have to take to get there? And in these last moments of summer, I was able to appreciate the sunsets, the trees, the company of those around me, the simple moments of not doing anything and not having to rush, and those wonderful opportunities when inspiration hits and you just have to get it down on paper (or a note on your iphone). I felt a sense of freedom and independence as I glided across the lake, with nothing jumping in front of my path (except for the occasional boat...But, you know what I mean) and I was in complete control. I have never felt so much peace in my life, surrounded by trees and driving on water...Crazy, right?! But, sometimes you just have to stretch out of your comfort zone. And to think I almost didn't want to do it. By the end of the day, I felt like an old pro. I was tired out and ready to go in by the time we returned them to the dock, but boy oh boy, I can't wait to do that again.

Day One//
We stopped at Bravo Farms for a bathroom break, and also got to explore around the gift shop for a bit and see what other trinkets they had lying around! I had never been there before, but I can't wait to go back...And I'll bring a better camera with me to get artsy.

We got to Bass Lake, got settled in a bit at our place, then went out to dinner at a Mexican restaurant, which was pretty tasty! When we came back, we sat on the deck and watched the sun set; talked and laughed, relaxed a bit..It was perfect. Then, my dad cranked up a little Sara Evans and Martina McBride. 

Day Two//

My mom and our family friend, Tammy, made breakfast, and we had a lazy morning around the cabin. I sat out on the deck for a little while, listening to some good 'ole country music and worked on a story for a bit. After awhile, we went out to the lake for the afternoon-cruised around on the pontoon boat (while cranking the song by Little Big Town, of course) and riding on the jet ski's! Crazy times! We came back a little earlier than expected, and had dinner at the cabin-Hot dogs and chips. A few of us went down to one of the pits at the complex we were staying in to roast marshmallows for s'mores and listened to LeAnn Rimes (courtesy of my dad's iPod), then my dad and I sat around, waiting for the fire to go out and talked about some of the changes that I hope life brings me pretty soon and what I'm working towards right now. We took a short walk, and sat up on the deck, taking in as much of the the night sky as we could. You could see billions of stars all clustered together where we were...It's in those moments that whenever I start to doubt or wonder whether God's up there or if He's really everything I read and hear about...That vision of the sky puts my doubt/fear to shame. His creation and beauty is EVERYWHERE. We just have to open our eyes to it. 

This was when I realized my hat flew off...HAHA! 

Day three//

I woke up later than I had planned to, but got ready in plenty of time. As soon as we all woke up, we started cleaning and packing up the cars. I didn't get a chance to hang out on the deck like I had hoped, but still just waking up to the incredible view of the sun shining down on the lake was enough for me. I took in every bit of it as we drove away. We stopped for breakfast at a Vons to get some donuts and Starbucks, then hit the road. The car ride passed off rather quickly, which was nice, because I think I'd had too much sun the day before and wasn't feeling too well. We were all tired and just wanted to be home at that point. We made one final stop at Bravo Farms again for lunch, made a quick dash to some outlets nearby, then headed home. 
I took a shower and shortly after, fell asleep, because the thought of doing anything else seemed exhausting. I woke up, had some pizza and watched random shows like Shark Tank and Undercover Boss with my parents! HAHA! Good times. 

It was such an incredible weekend that I won't soon forget, which sounds so cliche...But, I really mean it. I couldn't have imagined a better way to spend the last official weekend/hurrah of the summer! The trip was everything I had hoped it would be and more.

That's all for now,
Shelby :)

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