"Some of the best times from my childhood is when our entire family would pick up and go to our annual vacation retreat - Cook Forest in Western Pennsylvania. Sitting in the back of the car with my brother, the ride up always seemed to take forever. Crossing the bridge over Clarion River always seemed like a continent away. Having taken the trip countless times as an adult, the journey seems ridiculously short now - less than 2 hours away. Funny how time changes when you grow up.
Tomorrow my brother (long since married) and I are going to go up to stay in one of the cabins by the river where we once ran around collecting pine needles and racing toy cars down tree branches. As an adult, I live in one of the most beautiful sections of Ohio - the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. I am privileged to have a plethora of trails and nature waiting right outside my door. And yet there is something about the smell of the trees and the crispness of the air in Cook Forest that makes me giddy like no other place can.
For the next few days, I'll be visiting all the old haunts, eating ice cream by the river, and catching marshmallows on fire outside a log cabin with bats twirling over my head. Sounds like heaven to me!"