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Family Beach Camping Trip | Stephanie Simmons Photography | Akron Canton Northeast Ohio Family Photographer

I do this every summer.  August hits and I start feeling the end of summer, seeing the back to school ads as well as the advertisements for fall shows, and I just panic.  Despite the fact that we had an amazing summer full of fun or the fact that I actually have grown to love fall, the idea of summer being over just bums me out. I’m just not ready to lose the sunshine, warm air, playing outside, wearing flip flops, swimming and all the wonderful things that go with summer. So like usual in August every year, I start packing in even more activities in an attempt to savor every last second of summer.

Back in July, I heard of Presque Isle for the first time.  It looked beautiful and at only a 2 hour drive away, I definitely was intrigued.  We found a campground where you could camp right on the beach of Lake Erie and decided it would make for a fun weekend getaway.  Of course, nothing ever goes as planned.  The kids didn’t nap well on the way up there so they were tired and cranky, and the campground just disappointing.  Tents crammed in like sardines, the water and beach were dirty from all the campers, and everyone had fires going which was awful on top of already super humid 90 degree day.  We hit the water pretty quickly to keep from dying in the heat, but it just felt a little gross.  I think both and Bryan and I were fighting every urge to pack up and go home.  We found out there was an ice cream stand you could walk to right outside the campground, which at that point sounded amazing so we headed over.  The kids loved it.   Of course, I brought my camera and ended up capturing this moment – one of my favorite pictures from the entire trip.

Family Beach Camping Trip | Stephanie Simmons Photography | Akron Canton Northeast Ohio Family Photographer

We realized it was getting late, and one of the reasons I wanted to go was I wanted to see the sunset over the water.  After two beach trips in South Carolina where you can only see the sun over the ocean if you wake up at sunrise, I really, really wanted to see it and get some pictures of it.  So we rushed to get back to the campground and barely caught it in time. I wish I would have had time to change from my fisheye lens so the sun hitting the horizon would have been much bigger and not this little blip in the background, but I still love these pictures.

Family Beach Camping Trip | Stephanie Simmons Photography | Akron Canton Northeast Ohio Family Photographer

The one bonus of a fisheye lens? You can take pictures and actually be IN them.  It’s such a wide angle lens you can hold the camera out and still be in the frame, something I don’t get to do often.

Family Beach Camping Trip | Stephanie Simmons Photography | Akron Canton Northeast Ohio Family Photographer

Somewhere around this time, something just magical happened.  The sunset was gorgeous, it was getting darker so the temperature was getting much more comfortable, and we were able to sit back and enjoy the view.  I have to say, this was one of my favorite parts of the trip.  It’s like the world just slowed down and you could sit and listen to the waves hitting the shore.

Family Beach Camping Trip | Stephanie Simmons Photography | Akron Canton Northeast Ohio Family Photographer

Sleeping did not go as smoothly as imagined. It was not as comfortable as I had hoped sleeping on the sand and the kids didn’t sleep so well either.  We all woke up pretty exhausted the next morning, but even with that, waking up to the sound of the lake combined with this view isn’t a bad way to start the day.

Family Beach Camping Trip | Stephanie Simmons Photography | Akron Canton Northeast Ohio Family Photographer

After making breakfast and feeling the heat started to rise again, we decided it was time to take off and go play in the state park.  We were so surprised how just a 5 minute drive made such a change.  The state park is gorgeous and the beaches so clean and beautiful.  We spent that whole second day there.

Family Beach Camping Trip | Stephanie Simmons Photography | Akron Canton Northeast Ohio Family Photographer

We had planned to go back to our campground that night, make a fire, eat some smores, and relax again before heading out in the morning. However, we heard there was rain coming in that night, and both decided it best to pack up and head home.  Another sleepless night with rain on top of it sounded awful and really just wanted to get some real rest in our beds.  Since we never had an opportunity to make smores, we decided to improvise once we got home.

Family Beach Camping Trip | Stephanie Simmons Photography | Akron Canton Northeast Ohio Family Photographer

All in all, a good getaway but I think next time we’ll just make a day out of the state park and skip the camping part, at least until the kids are a little older anyways.  Scroll down for more pictures of our beach fun.

Family Beach Camping Trip | Stephanie Simmons Photography | Akron Canton Northeast Ohio Family Photographer

Family Beach Camping Trip | Stephanie Simmons Photography | Akron Canton Northeast Ohio Family Photographer

Family Beach Camping Trip | Stephanie Simmons Photography | Akron Canton Northeast Ohio Family Photographer

Family Beach Camping Trip | Stephanie Simmons Photography | Akron Canton Northeast Ohio Family Photographer

Family Beach Camping Trip | Stephanie Simmons Photography | Akron Canton Northeast Ohio Family Photographer

Family Beach Camping Trip | Stephanie Simmons Photography | Akron Canton Northeast Ohio Family Photographer

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