After promising them for months, we finally took the kids tent camping. They were beyond excited. This was easily as big as Halloween. As a matter of fact, they were so excited and wound up that while Will and I struggled to set up camp in the dark their noise was enough to drive away some fellow campers within about 45 minutes. I felt momentarily bad about that but then realized they were in a camper and were therefore camping poseurs. And who really goes camping for the peace and quiet?! Chumps.
No, seriously, this was a very different camping experience. Will and I used to camp all the time. We both worked retail and had goofy schedules. We never had weekends off. So whenever we could get a few days off mid-week, off we went. And the campgrounds were deserted during those times. It was awesome. It was quiet. That was a lifetime ago – a different life.
But you know, this was OK too. Once we got set up, had a fire going, fed everyone their hot dogs and marshmallows, and survived the 42 degree night, it was pretty awesome. I also won’t dwell on the stupid rain that chased us off early Sunday morning, rendering my container of prepared pancake batter useless as we drove my damp and hastily-packed 4Runner through a Lafayette McDonald’s.
Stella completed all the requirements for a Junior Ranger badge unintentionally, although the aforementioned rain meant we had to bail before actually picking up the badge (no matter, as there are sites nearby we can visit and grab one while we’re there). This meant several guided hikes where I actually learned a lot of stuff about the plants in the area. We saw a speckled king snake on our own. I like that my kids don’t run screaming from shit like that.
Everyone was glad to be home. The kids missed wifi. Hell, the adults did, too. But we made some really good memories and now we know we can do it. No one got hurt. No one went completely mad. The kids had a ball. And we only brought one tick home (shudders).