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Vacationing Under the Stars

You know how I grab a hold of a theme and run it into the ground?  I’m about to do that with my new foray into the world of camping.

To prove my newfound dedication to the sport of tent camping, we’ve booked a two night stay at Fort Wilderness in Walt Disney World next month.  Our last stay at Fort Wilderness two years ago included a cabin.  With maid service, air conditioning, and internet access.

It was what we used to call roughing it.

But now we are thriftier, and a whole lot more adventuresome.

This will be our first experience camping as a party of 5.  One of the many reasons that we chose Fort Wilderness is that it becomes a winter wonderland around Christmas time.  There are RV’s that show up in October and begin decorating their rigs and campsites for the Christmas holidays.  They put the Griswolds to shame.

Fort Wilderness also hosts a family movie night every single night, replete with an open fire and an opportunity to set your siblings ablaze roast marshmallows.

But possibly the biggest draw is the pool.  In December.  They have a wonderfully big HEATED pool with a fun curly-cue slide for the kids.  Part of Jensen’s skin therapy is that he needs to soak in cool water for 20 minutes, two times a day.  And yes, a pool counts.  In fact, the chlorine is extremely helpful in healing Atopic Dermatitis as well as for warding off bacterial infection.

A few months ago, we slacked off of this regime and his skin turn a turn for the worse.  For a time, I feared that it was because of the dog.  His doctor reminded us that we need to step up to the plate and enforce the soaking, no matter how much our stubborn son fought us.

Within a week of re-implementing the twice a day baths, he was 400% better.  (We’ve also taken him off of gluten and are restricting dairy and soy.)

So, any vacation we take must include a bathtub.  Which is just hard to pack in the van.  So a pool is the next best thing.  And I strongly suspect that he will give us no trouble at all.

And as a bonus, there is a jacuzzi for the weary parents.

I’ve created a comprehensive camping list and have even started menu planning, as I will be cooking on a Coleman stove.  Just like Ma Ingalls in prairie days.  And btw, I have ordered a French Press coffee thingie because of all of your wonderful suggestions.  We’re also sleeping bag price shopping and I tell you, the prices for camping equipment from Wal Mart seem to be the best deal.

But I did spot this little item at Sports Authority the other night.

And NO, I did not bring it home.  I have a perfectly good KEG for that sort of thing.  (Just kidding…..)

If anyone has experience camping at Fort Wilderness, I’d love for you to impart your wisdom!

14 Responses to Vacationing Under the Stars

  • I would love to see your comprehensive list! After our first (disastrous) attempt at tent camping, I started a list and have been modifying it after every camping trip we take. It has gotten quite long and detailed, but that just makes everything easier. I’m always up for suggestions!

  • http://www.thepetersengraph.com/camping/
    Check out this handy dandy website where you can personalize your camping checklist and print.
    I am not sure if anyone recommended bringing table cloth clamps. Very handy. Coleman makes them.

  • An addition to your camping list:
    Buy a 6-pack of Yoo-Hoo bottles.
    Drink them all.
    Refill with Chocovine.
    Apply as needed.
    Guiltless bliss…

  • The number one thing to take camping to FW: money! Even thought that is the case, it is my very favorite camping destination! Don’t forget to take your own roasting sticks for the marshmallows – they are a fortune at the campfire/sing along. And if it rains or is super cold (heaven forbid) you can always take Disney transportation around the World. We love to ride the monorail at Christmas time and marvel at the decorations. If you can work it into your budget, renting a golf cart for one day will enhance your light-viewing immensely. We like to make it a goal to travel through every loop and enjoy the decorations at each site. So much fun! Enjoy your trip!

  • We tent camp every summer. Great basic dinner ideas for our family are: 1) chicken fajitas(pre cooked chicken, peppers, onions already cut up and bagged, add seasonings and heat up in skillet), 2) Spaghetti and meatballs (can even cook the noodles at home, bag and heat up with the sauce) Though if you have a coleman it is easy to boil the noodles while the sauce heats up. Sounds like a fun place to camp, we live in the PNW so a heated pool sounds wonderful in December.

  • I believe this is the 1st time I’ve actually posted a comment to you. I love your site and don’t miss a day. I’ve been reading probably a year and a 1/2. I have a coffee press that we use for our coffee and wouldn’t go without it. Our is a silver contraption that we got at Tuesday Morning, so theirs no worry of breaking the glass. Love it, Love it. But we also have 2 Starbucks Press thermal Cups/Mugs. You just put your coffee in, then cover with hot water, add your sweetener and creamer if you use it. Then you close it up, wait just a minute or for the magic to happen and press into your mug, then enjoy. This way you can keep that coffee hot for hours, unlike using the normal press and it getting cold on you quickly. Hope ya’ll have a great time!

  • Over the past two years, I have spent a startling amount of time camping with the Cub Scouts. And NOOOOOOOOOOO we don’t have a pool or a…jacuzzi. We have a port-o-pot. With a sink. So I have little sympathy for you. I do, however, have advice. BUY THE FLASK.

  • I say buy that flask and fill it up. You don’t have to use it, but you’ll have it if you need it, and that can’t hurt the overall experience. As a matter of fact, buy two. OR, get a small bottle of hersheys chocolate milk. Drink it and refill it with chocovine. Not saying I know that from experience, but, just not saying, wink wink.

  • PS: if your camping experience involves hot chocolate, that stuff is even better with a shot of chocovine. As is coffee.

  • We love Fort Wilderness!! My parents have been taking their RV, (a.k.a. the Silver Bullet, it’s a vintage aluminum trailer) for the last three years. We’ll be there in two weeks!! This year my fiance and I opted to go see Universal Studios and see Harry Potter instead of Disney, since I’ve never been, but we are still taking our tent and sharing a site with them 🙂 My parents always stay for at least 10 days and they absolutely love it. They watch the fireworks from the beach at night, and take the boats over to Magic Kingdom sometimes just to ride the monorail around, lol. The bathhouses are nicer and cleaner than my college dorm bathrooms!! There really are some impressive Christmas decorations, our tiny tree in the front window is a drop in the bucket 🙂

  • Nothing to offer, but I’m enjoying the comments!! 😉

    Have a fantastic time!

  • If your campsite has electricity, a great thing to take is a rice cooker. Besides the obvious (cooking rice) you can use it to heat up soup, chili or baked beans. It also will quickly boil water to cook noodles (spaghetti, mac and cheese, tortellini), and when you’re done use it to boil water for dishwashing.

  • We are going to the Wilderness Lodge on the 12-16 of December….my family would love to try camping (my family of 1 husband and 2 boys), but I just don’t have the gumption! If it’s too cold to swim, Jensen would be welcome to soak in our tub if our trips coincide 🙂

    Thanks for all your homeschool tips, I am definitely planning to go to the Convention in May.