I love camping!
For years and years I have begged my husband to take us camping. He took me before we had kids....
and finally - he said YES!
The second he suggested a weekend camping I got busy preparing.
We planned on going with some friends to a nearby state park. I followed my mom's advice from when we were kids & Ellie & I went on Friday morning to the park to reserve our site.
Apparently, Al Gore invented the internet in the years between when my mom and dad took us as kids camping until my parenting days.
The park ranger informed me that people now reserve their sites via internet. The park had been full for months. My idea to go out on Friday and get ahead of the crowd failed.
Fortunately, the park ranger knew of another park just a few miles away.
Apparently it was a "Jellystone" campground. As in - Yogi Bear and Hey Boo Boo!
I texted R to make sure that was okay with him - it had good sites but had some cheesiness...
he never responded to my texts and therefore learned his lesson about responding to his wife. ;)
We headed out on Saturday and chose our site and pitched our tent.
Ellie and I decorated the tent with pinwheels.
Ellie fell asleep on the way to the campground which was perfect and gave R and Will and I time to set up.
Will was in charge of tent stakes.
He also had to assemble poles.
Ellie enjoyed the hammock.
I learned a lesson too - camping is a lot of work on moms and dads! I had camping memories of reading books, exploring, playing games, and laying in hammocks.
Well. I loved every second (almost) of our little trip but told R I need more time - I felt like I was either setting up, making meals, cleaning up meals, or taking down. There was no reading in a hammock time!
Next time, we're going for more than one night!
(For the record, I texted my mom the next day to tell her how much I now appreciated all the work she and my dad did to make camping fun for kids!)
the "kids" bucket - full of camping themed books and games
(I can't help myself. I do love a theme)
Roasting hot dogs
The kids and moms went for a walk to explore the campground... and found a few cheesy Yogis
making "gravel angels"
Will and his friend spent a lot of time "gold mining" in a nearby ditch
A cold front hit on Saturday... and I was so unprepared. (This seems to be a theme for 2014 outings.)
Around 9pm, the adults gathered around the campfire (the kids were sleeping) and we began to watch lightning as a storm moved in. We broke the no screens rule to check the radar & make sure tornadoes weren't headed our way. The dads completely loaded up the cars with everything except tents and children in case we had to make a hasty middle of the night exit.
By 10:30, we were all in our tents and a huge storm hit.
I love sleeping in the rain... if it's a light pitter patter rain.
This was not a light pitter patter rain.
This was bright lightning and booming thunder and downpour along with high winds and temperatures below 40.
The kids slept through it.
The grownups were awake all night & COLD!
(But not complaining - still so glad we had a successful first camping ADVENTURE!)
By 8am, we were loading kids into cars with heaters while we took down our tents in the rain...
& gave up on cooking breakfast on an open fire in the rain.
We went in pjs to Cracker Barrel and had possibly the most delicious breakfast in the history of camping ever.
I may be cleaning muddy camping gear for the next 8 years ...
which is good since R claims he's not taking me for another 8 years.
It was an adventure and actually a lot of fun (cold, windy wet fun.)