Monday, September 17, 2007

Happy Camper?

I have an interesting relationship with camping. I kinda hate it. Just kinda.

Camping has some good things going for it. It's outdoors. Beautiful surroundings. Camp fires. S'mores. Relaxing in a lawn chair. Walks in the woods. But most of makes Mr. B. happy. Like, really happy.

Camping also has some pretty stinky things going for it. It's outdoors...always. I can't seem to ever get clean. Bugs. The food is usually pretty nasty. (except for S'mores) No comfy beds. No plumbing. No temperature control. Tents are less than adequate shelter for me. Wild animals.

I try to put on a brave face.
Evie? Not so much.

Our trip this weekend was a very last-minute type of thing. As in, Mr. B. said, "I'm ready to camp, let's go." And I sputtered, "Umm...but...uh...okay?"

We only went an hour away to a really beautiful state park. Since we've never camped with the kids we decided on a sort of "trail run" for our longer, further trip planned in October.

Yes, I take a down comforter camping with me.

Cozying up by the fire with a baby on each lap was probably the highlight of our time.

The low point? All night long.

Evie woke up every two hours. Beck snuggled nicely between Mr. B. and myself but he's got a nasty habit of kicking in his sleep. It was cold and I strongly dislike sleeping in my jeans and with my bra on. Somehow it's not so comfy.

Sasha - our loving Labrador - had an ongoing feud with a raccoon that wished to raid our camp site in the middle of the night. At one point Mr. B. and I stumbled from the tent to shine our car headlights on the little guy perched high in a tree. Did you know that raccoons growl? They do. Loudly. For long periods of time.

Sweet Sasha and Grumpy Evie.

Camping, for me, is the very worst in the mornings.

Hot chocolate and cute mugs make mornings a bit easier.

I wake up stiff and still tired. Things only start looking up after I've trekked to the dirty bathroom and had my coffee. By the time I'm sitting in front of the fire, cozy in my blankie, I'm usually in a better frame of mind.

A camping breakfast tradition: Biscuits with Honey & Blueberries on top.

A bit of breakfast prepared us for a pretty walk on the nature trail that meanders along Cuivre River. We saw boys catching catfish and met a very shy turtle. The weather was beautiful, endless blue skies and a perfect, cool breeze.

We learned that Evie has the same feelings toward camping that I do and that Beck shares his daddy's sentiments.

Beck had a hard time staying upright on the uneven ground. And sometimes you need a time-out. Even while camping...

So, I have determined that children should probably not go camping until after they turn two. I think the entire campground agreed with me around 2 am when Evie was up and screaming for the third time in the night.
As you can see, I was not fibbing when I deemed my camping outlook "interesting." Each paragraph in this post has had a different twist. Lovely nature walks one minute, detestable nosy animals the next. Cozy campfires at night, grimy bathrooms in the morning.
Camping: A paradox of senses for ages 2 and up.


The Arnold Family said...

Thanks for sharing. I share your feelings on camping. I absolutely cannot handle it in the summer time. But, it looks like you were all in "cold" clothes. Im so jealous!

Beth said...

Tee hee - great post. I'm not sure I'll ever be brave enough to camp, in a tent, with little ones. :)

Jamie Willow said...

GIRL! you are so going on my next cruise! trust me, someone else making your bed every day, endless food prepared by others and the need for only a bathing suit is a way better vacation than camping! but you do manage to make camping look bearable so good job on the blog! luv ya