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Ponytail, Vertical Style

I thought Lauren’s head would drop in her mashed potatoes at Pluto’s in San Francisco when we went out for lunch. Although people who know her believe it’s impossible to wear Lauren out, Camp Pali apparently did it. They woke her up early, ran her around all day, and partied with her into the night. The kid came back exuberant and exhausted.Gary had a migraine, so after we picked Lauren up at the airport, she and I headed to lunch while Gary rested.

“I learned how to jump off a 20 foot building,” she told me. Kids at Camp Pali aren’t allowed to have electronics, but while we walked toward lunch, she showed me photos on their website. There was Lauren’s ponytail, vertical against a blue sky, tips of pine trees swaying in the background. My thrill seeker jumped off platforms, rooftops and ladders all week. The way camp works is that kids sign up to learn a particular skill, like Hollywood stunts, and they spend every day honing it during the mornings. In the afternoons, they do other crazy fun stuff like go-cart racing, zip lining, trapeezing, and rifle shooting.

Way way back when I was a kid, things were different at camp. One popular activity at Camp Pin Oak was to look at spider webs while they were still decorated with early morning dew before the Missouri's stifling heat kicked in. Or we could melt broken crayons and turned them into candles using holes in the dirt as forms. If we were feeling particularly creative, we could poke extra holes in that dirt to make our forms more interesting. They let us use as many sticks as we wanted.

After lunch, Lauren decided to take a little nap and woke up twenty-four hours later.

The Deets

Camp Pali Adventures - A pricey but spectacular experience even the most cynical kid will love in the bucolic San Bernadino mountains. Check it out here:

Pluto’s, Scott Street - Feel good food and tasty salads served cafeteria style, but they're too cool to have trays. So you go through the line and juggle plates, glasses, silverware, and napkins. Or you can make several trips to your table. But you'll look cooler than you would if you carried a nasty tray. Who would do that?

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