It was challenging to pick just one summer activi ty to be my favorite for this month's newsletter. There are so many things I love about summer and so many things I love to do I pick just one?! I feel so fortunate to have my boys home from school for the summer months and to be able to take some time off with them. I am so grateful to be able to make my own schedule and fit in both work and play during the summer. For the last several years, we've made it a fun activity to sit down as a family and make a list of summer desires-things we want to do, places we want to go, chores to accomplish. Each of us gets to add to the list, within reason of course. Then we start putting things into the calendar, doing our research, collecting groupons and deals, picking days for different activities and days for projects and chores. This year's list consists of trips to MI and CA, Sky Zone, workouts at Red Rocks, inclines, lunch with dad downtown, pool days, camping, going to the reservoir, painting the baseboards and separating the boys bedrooms! Not sure we'll make it through the entire list, but we have several things already set and we're  looking forward to a full and fun summer! But as I looked at our summer list, I realized I was missing one of my favorite things to do.....  
My favorite summer activity.....a hike and a picnic!
Whether we do something far away and challenging like Hanging Lake, or we take a short, easy hike close to home at Lair O The Bear, I just love being out in the mountains, smelling the fresh air, seeing the beautiful wildflowers and the bright blue Colorado sky.....I gotta say, I am a Colorado girl at heart! And what's better after a challenging hike than enjoying some delicious picnic foods out in nature's beauty!
We don't necessarily have one favorite place to hike as a family. We like to see new things and explore new trails each time we go. I don't personally want to climb a 14er-been there, done that. I like a hike with a little shade now and then, and maybe some pretty flowers or a stream to look at. I do like a challenge, but I want to enjoy the time as well. As the boys are getting older and now that we have a dog, I'm looking forward to trying a few tougher and longer hikes. Here is a link with 101 of the most beautiful places to hike in Colorado. How many of these have you done?
The hikes are fun, but the best part is the relaxing after the hike and enjoying a yummy picnic. We like to pack up a simple picnic of fruits, meats and cheeses, crackers and bread, and a small sweet treat along with some cold beverages and more water. If I have plenty of prep time, a pasta salad or a sub style sandwich are also great options. Click on this article with some fun ideas and helpful picnic tips. I especially like her iced tea and brownie and strawberry skewer recipes!
Before you head out on your next hike and picnic, make sure to check out these great tricks and tips on how to plan and prep for the most perfect picnic experience!
The weather has warmed up outside so that means the hot stones have been put into summer hibernation. They'll be back when temps start dropping again.

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I want to wish a very Happy Father's Day to all of you Dads out there!
I hope you are loved, celebrated and thanked for all you do for your families.  
In gratitude...

Bryn Rath
Tranquil Massage
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