Saturday, August 7, 2010

Camping, take one

This weekend we attempted our first ever camping trip with kids. We used to love camping, back in the days when that meant IM'ing each other at work on Friday with a, "Yeah, let's go camping this weekend!" Then loading up the car with a handful of stuff, arriving at a campground after dark and not caring in the least, and sleeping in the next morning well after the birds started chirping.

This was a far cry from the pre-kid days. I spent several days planning and an entire day organizing and packing. You always have to take a bunch of stuff camping - after all, you're essentially bringing all your basic needs, including shelter. But kids take it to a whole new level. And we don't just have kids - we have three, ages 5, 3 and 11 months. Are we crazy? Maybe just a little.

The weather forecast was iffy, but we decided not to scrap our plans. Our good friends were planning to join us at the state park, docking their boat there. And my dad and brother had an adjoining campsite. The first night went well. We arrived and set up camp, got a fire going and had the requisite toasted marshmallows and such. We let the kids stay up way too late, and we had quite a bit of trouble sleeping once we finally went to bed. The thing with the first camping trip in about 6 years is that you work out the kinks and realize what you need to do differently next time. On that list are new sleeping bags for me and the hubs - we were freezing. Add to that a few wake ups by Miss Bean and Grayson coughing for about 2 hours, sleep was in short supply.

Around 3 am the rain started. We knew rain was possible, but it seemed like it might rain a little, but not torrential downpours. When the kids woke around 7 (and we'd slept a little in between), it was still raining. We decided to go out to breakfast, instead of getting soaked outside and by the time we got back, it was down to a light drizzle. We figured we could stick it out, and decided to stay - at least for a while. The rain actually stopped, and we managed a trip down to the beach and the boys got to do some fishing with Grandpa. Ella took a good nap and we thought we'd at the very least stay through dinner, and then decide if we wanted to pack it in early or spend another night.

Then the rain started again. And didn't stop. The middle part of the day had been filled with short drizzly bursts of rain that stopped as quickly as they started. This rain started, and didn't stop. And still didn't stop. And then got harder. By about 3:30 I knew we were done, so I started packing our stuff.

I'm a bit disappointed that the weather cut our trip short, but overall I actually feel really good about it. If we can survive camping in the rain with a 5 year old, a 3 year old and an 11 month old - heck, we can do anything! More than anything, this felt like a test run to see if our kids are camp-able, and this certainly was the ultimate test. They did awesome. David and Grayson had a blast playing in the woods around the campsite and Ella was her usual magic-baby self. All in all, I'd say the weekend was a success.

And I'm not going to lie, I'm really looking forward to sleeping in my bed tonight.

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