I took the kids camping earlier this month. By myself. Because I'm a slow learner.
Here's how I remember camping: hiking, playing in rivers, s'mores, helping to make a fire, staying up late, playing in the woods. All fond memories. And do you, dear reader, know why I remember those things and only those things? Because I was never the responsible adult before. I've been an adult, even one of the responsible ones, but never THE responsible adult. And let me tell you- it is significantly less fun being in charge.
We decided (okay, I decided) to go to a family campground rather than just finding random wilderness. And I'm glad we did. The campground we chose had tent sites in the woods with an easy hike to restrooms, a pool, and... other stuff. Tayler has some sort of weird fear of natural bodies of water, so the pool was for her benefit.
Anyway, we got there early and began set-up. I did this:
And the kids did this:
|I have no idea why this shot was necessary.|
And finally, we (I) accomplished this:
I was impressed too.Then we went to the pool, where we learned that 2+ years of swimming lessons for Taryn was completely and utterly pointless. Retained nothing, that one. We went on a wagon ride and got sprayed with giant hoses and maniacal children with squirt guns. We swam some more. And then we went back to our camp for some dinner. At least, that was the plan.
I set up the fire pit. I lit the fire. We watched the fire go out. Repeat for 3 hours.
Around 9:00pm I figured the kids were probably starving to death and I decided to beg for help. The guys at the next site were drunk and spoke very little English. That's typically how it goes for me. Anyway, they were very nice and they dumped a completely unreasonable and possibly insane amount of accelerant on our wood. Then they lit it. And we had fire. Then they walked away and the fire went out. Repeat 3 times. I'm not kidding at all. These poor guys were looking at my hungry kids and accepting responsibilities that weren't theirs and trying their damndest to get that fire lit. It simply wasn't happening. So we used their fire to heat up a few hot dogs and called it a night. I was pissed. Not at them, of course. At myself and my inability to do what freaking cavemen could do.
The next morning I got up early and blurrily realized that fire was necessary for coffee. The battle began anew, but this time I was victorious on the first try. I sang, danced, and acted a fool. Because I had coffee. Which I drank from this, as a celebratory measure-
|Because it's awesome. And I forgot a coffee cup.|
|See that smoke? It's from my FIRE.|
|Somewhere in here is the spider that bit Taryn. Good luck.|
|Bringing drama to the wilderness.|
We swam some more, wandered around, and I made another fire (on the 1st try thankyouverymuch) and cooked steaks for dinner. I also burned my finger. Let's call it an educational experiment, shall we?
After dinner we planned to swim some more and then play with glow sticks and some kind of chemical that makes the fire turn colors. You know, the fire I can now build? Yeah, that.
But none of that happened.
Why? Because there was a mutiny.
My husband- a decidedly anti-nature kind of person- arrived on the evening of day two. He was willing to spend one night with us in a tent. I take what I can get. So he arrived right as we were finishing dinner. And as soon as he arrived those wimpy children started pestering him to take them home, to civilization (in this particular case, civilization turned out to be Friendly's for sundaes). And of course, he's the dad and these are his princesses, so...
We broke camp.
We drove home on the winding, accident heavy country road at night. We arrived on the edge of town just in time for the city workers to set up a barricade and a detour. Awesome. So we detoured through the most heavily populated part of town where literally hundredsof people were out on the streets.
We'd come right into Heritage Day. That's my town's special version of 4th of July. You see, we're entirely too elitist to share the festivities of the 4th with the rest of our nation so we made our own, celebrating our town's heritage on a different, yet suspiciously close to the 4th date. If I haven't yet mentioned it, let me do so now- I hate where I live.
Anyway, we drove straight to Friendly's because that is what the princesses had demanded. I was filthy, muddy, and I smelled like a strange combination on bug spray, chlorine, and wood smoke. I'm sure others felt priviledged to share their dining area with me.
And that was that. But I got these pictures too and I kinda dig 'em so there's a plus.