Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A-Camping We Will Go

Well, I'm home, showered, and rested (as rested as a person who slept on 2 inches of the bed because her 3 little kids climbed into bed with her and hogged 99% of the mattress can be), and ready to tell you about camping last week.

We got to the campground Monday evening after a quick, uneventful ride. We set up camp and sat down to relax around a fire with the kids. Not five minutes after sitting down, a truck pulled up at the site next to ours. A family got out and began to unload the truck and pitch a tent. As they made many trips carrying loads of supplies from the truck to the tent, they apparently lost track of their baby as he had wandered over to our site. Well, I completely understand how this can happen. Your child is standing next to you one minute, you turn around to grab something and in mere seconds, he's taken off for parts unknown. I understand how that can happen as I've been there and done that, but I have no idea how a one year old, wearing nothing but a dirty diaper, I might add, can leave a parent's sight for twenty minutes without them knowing. This mom and dad continued to set up camp seemingly oblivious to the fact that their one year old baby, barefoot and half naked, was toddling through our campsite and onto the road. This pattern pretty much continued the entire week. Now I don't know about anyone else, but I was not interested in babysitting their kids while I was on vacation. I have six of mine own to watch, for crying out loud.

The kids were pretty good all week. I only yelled at my dh once when the bowls he was looking for didn't jump out and bite his butt and he whined to me that he couldn't find them despite the fact that they'd been in the same spot in the camper all week. Spaz was attacked by mosquitos, Boo was stung by a bee twice, my dh got two flat tires on his bike, Spaz dumped the whole salt shaker on his eggs, we goofed up and accidentally parked in the wrong site necessitating a game of musical campers Friday night, and our air conditioner broke the last night we were there. In an attempt to fix the air conditioner, my husband, rocket scientist that he is, moved a picnic table over to the camper, then stacked a couple chairs on it, Wiley Coyote style, and climbed up the wobbling tower onto the camper. The kids made a sling shot out of the old inner tube from dh's bike and used it to shoot rocks across the campground (one guess as to who taught them that). We learned what Goji berries were, and that you don't have to go to England to see bad teeth - just go camping. We got to visit my best friend from high school and her husband and boys who live out that way and they generously treated us to Chicken George and Catfish Charlie (apparently they like to name their food in the small town in which they live) and let me use their washing machine. They invited the kids to play at their home while we chatted and loaded us up with firewood when we left. Thank you SO very much, Julie and Ron! We met a shirtless old man with a British accent who drove around in a golf cart asking people if they wanted to pet his puppy. We swam at the pool and went down an old fashioned twelve story high, metal slide of death at the beach. Our close friends, and camping buddies, joined us Friday through Monday and made the trip more entertaining. We've been camping with these friends since 1994 we always have a wonderful time together.

I got to read, a pastime I truly enjoy, but don't usually find time to do. I finished How I Write by Janet Evanovich, a book my good friend, Gin, gave me for Christmas. She insists I should write a book, but she has much more faith in me than I do. I finally read The DaVinci Code. I also read Cypress Point by Diane Chamberlain and Sea Swept by Nora Roberts. Lastly, I read the directions to get to the campground because, let's face it, if I left that task to my husband, we'd have never made it there.

I make fun of my husband, but really he does a ton of work when we camp. He oftentimes washes dishes, he dumps the gray water and starts the fire every night. He even gets up with the baby who insists upon rising at 7:00 every morning (she obviously doesn't understand the concept of a vacation!) so I can sleep in a bit. And when we left, he cleaned out the holding tank, which is a polite way of saying the poop tank. As he dumped and rinsed out the toilet, he informed me that I was very lucky that he let us go in the toilet instead of making us use the campground's facilities. He said that his father never let the family use the camper's toilet.

I stared at him for a minute and replied that "lucky" was a relative term. "I'm sorry I'm not more excited about the fact that we can poop in the camper's toilet, but consider this, hon. When you were bummed out that you weren't allowed to use your camper's toilet as a kid, I was bummed out when we had to stay at a Holiday Inn as opposed to a Hilton. You're lucky I ever agreed to go camping because honestly, my idea of a vacation is laying in the sun on the deck of a cruise ship as tanned men with accents bring me rum drinks with little paper umbrellas."

In the end, it was an enjoyable and relaxing trip and I'm thankful for the time spent with family and good friends and hey - our truck didn't even break down this time!

My best friend from H.S., her husband and one of her little boys (the other one was napping) in front of their beautiful new home

Her son giving my baby a kiss. Awww so cute!

Just relaxing with a popsicle after a long day

The old fashioned, 500 feet high, burn-your-butt-off metal, "slide of death"
Part of the gang making a tidal wave


Laurie said...

OMG! Is that Lake Louise in Byron, IL? We had a camper there for years when I was younger!

mcdillie said...

As a complete stranger and mother of 3 under 4, I will give you my honest opinion...you are the next Erma Bombeck. You need to write books, you will entertain hundreds of thousands. Look at how many you have entertained since posting on EBAY? I bet the Today show contacts you for this!

Katrina said...

I live in that small town and love to have Chicken George! I hope you had a great time! I found your blog from a listserv where someone had posted your E-bay link. I suspected after reading a few posts that you might live close by. You are an excellent writer and should definitely pursue it(with all that extra time you have!). I will be visiting your blog frequently in the future. Thanks for the laughs! Have fun with your kiddos!

Katrina in Sterling

Jill said...

Amen, Amen, Amen to the camping vs. Hilton comment. When my husband and I were registering at Target when we got married, he started gunning tents and sleeping bags. I looked at him like he had 3 heads. I have used the fact that we have 2 kids as a way to get out of camping so I will make sure he never reads this blog and discover that you go camping with 6.

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