I am now an official camper. I survived the wilds of a campsite replete with toilets, heated showers, and running water. And what is even more surprising?
I had a blast.
I can’t move right now. But I had a blast.
We arrived at the campgrounds to rendezvous with 3 other families who are some of our dearest friends, so that we could procure a spot together. Fiddledaddy helped to get me set up, and then drove away with Jensen in tow, as this was going to be a girls-only weekend.
Because he’s awesome, he did return later that night to murder off a pile of ants that went unnoticed as we were pitching the tent. And he may or may not have brought me something chocolately. And that’s all I have to say about that…
As luck would have it, Florida experienced a cold front that pushed our daytime temperatures down into the 60’s on Friday, while leaving us shivering in the 40’s at night. Before my northern friends mock me, please remember that since moving to Florida, I have developed a rather thin skin that requires a parka whenever the temperature dips below 70.
Pity me, but don’t hate me. And remember, 9 months out of the year my flip-flops have melted into the asphalt as I traipse out to the mailbox.
I was prepared for the arctic conditions because I had outfitted us with suitable thermal underwear, sweat pants and sweat shirts, hats, gloves, and parkas. Fiddledaddy sneaked in some handy hand warmer thingys that you put inside your gloves to keep your fingers toasty. Those may have been what saved me. The directions clearly said not to sleep with them, but as I am a rebel, they stayed in my gloves that night. And perhaps my socks.
Not to worry, I did pack a fire extinguisher.
Because a good American Heritage Girl scout is always prepared.
I will admit that the first night was precarious, because daughter #1 woke me up at 1 am needing to use the facilities. And by chance, we could not have been further from the bathroom. In my stupor, I ended up entrapping us in the tent because I could not figure out how to unzipped BOTH the door and the screen. I feared we’d have to cut our way out with my trusty 1 inch scouting knife.
And then at about 4 am, daughter #2 required a trip to the bathroom.
As you might imagine, I hid all beverages from daughters #1 and #2 the next day.
And with the addition of a Tylenol PM (do not judge me, as it was for ME, not the children), the next night we all slept like camping babies.
The entire weekend was fraught with many activities, a good deal of tree climbing, and lots of giggling girls. My children had a good time as well.
I might have died over the course of the weekend were it not for my own husband and our friend Nathan, who kept us supplied with caffeine. I came prepared to cook my own coffee over my grill. Epic fail.
I’m sure it was user error, and I likely need to use a Coleman stove. Now, you experienced campers, talk to me about the most perfect camping coffee pot. Should a McDonald’s not be close at hand.
The new tent that attaches to our van was FABULOUS. I’m really thinking I should buy stock in the company, because I was giving tours throughout the weekend. I had a lot of room, and even with the addition of the men folk on subsequent camping trips, I’m certain that we’ll all be very comfortable.
(No front porch is complete without astroturf samples and a mat.)
(I used the screened porch as a food/gear storage area.)
(This was the master suite. Notice the handy press-on/press-off light. Fancy.)
I used MANY of your camping suggestions, and while at the camp, I grilled anyone who looked like they knew what they were doing for good camping information. When I got home, I made a comprehensive Camping List. Because I am going to be an organized camper.
I know without a doubt that many wonderful childhood memories were made over this weekend. And as if I’m having an out of body experience, I am finding myself planning another family camping trip over our Christmas break.
Camping. One more thing I can cross off my bucket list.