When the going gets tough, the tough go camping

We celebrated the (almost) end of our school year with a camping trip to Fort Wilderness at Disney World with two other families, some of our dearest friends.  We were reluctant to plan a camping trip in the merry month of May.  Because this is, well, Florida.  Wherein May is typically known for thunderstorms, sweltering heat, and bugs as big as your head.

Our little family arrived a day earlier than our friends.  Causing us to pinky swear that we will never EVER get there early again, and will never EVER camp without friends.  There is something wonderful about having other children around to diffuse the dynamics between 3 very high strung and genetically different siblings.

We made the best of the situation by hitting Disney’s Hollywood Studios and riding the Tower of Terror until we were green.  I have to say that my favorite part of that ride is the walk through the old long abandoned hotel lobby, replete with dusty chandeliers and forgotten luggage.  The decor reminds me of what the Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells, Texas must have looked like back in its heyday of the 30’s.  The decor also makes me a little homesick for my mother, because it is very much how she used to decorate her home.  Sans the cobwebs.

We topped the night off with a viewing of Fantasmic.  The highlight of the show was watching parents with young children scurry to the exit when all of the evil Disney nemesis (plural) showed up larger than life.  I am easily amused.

The next day brought our dear friends and a good deal of rain.  We had never experienced torrential rain during a camping trip and it was a good lesson in preparedness.  And how to best avoid an impromptu trip to Walmart for emergency supplies.  The only real trouble we had was that water came into our screened porch, where we had ALL THE ELECTRIC STUFF.

Yes, Disney camping comes with electricity and running water.  It also offers an internet connection if you cough up an extra $10 a day.  Which is why you did not hear from me during my stay.

We finally (by we I mean Fiddledaddy, because my contribution was to stand WAY back and offer DON’T GET ELECTROCUTED, ad nauseum) solved the problem by rolling up the tarp floor to form a barrier so that water could not come underneath.

And if you’re wondering what electric appliances one might need on a camping trip, we brought our Coleman refrigerator, coffee pot, fan, phone charger, electric broom, and mini blender for my daily coffee drink.

In other words, we were roughing it.

The rest of the trip was a blur of swimming, much laughter, campfires, industrial sized marshmallows, inappropriate frog behavior, golf carts gone awry, and inside stories that undoubtedly will be retold and embellished for years to come.

The children (all 8 of them) were not in timeout, they simply chose to enjoy the view.

And I’m happy to report, Jensen and his beloved E have rekindled their romance, after many months of marked indifference.

At some point I discovered a potential future conflict, as E is like mensa smart.  At 7, she was solving very complicated math equations for show and tell.  While Jensen boldly pronounced, “WELL, 6 PLUS 6 IS SEVENTEEN!”  A proud parenting moment.  I’ve taught him that even if you don’t know what the heck you’re talking about, SAY IT WITH CONVICTION.

We were all far too sad when our little vacation ended on Sunday.  And because I’ve never physically worked so hard in my life prior to, during, and after, I now pack with guilt free glee to attend our annual Homeschool Convention this week.

My unbridled joy knows no bounds.

May 22, 2012

4 Responses to When the going gets tough, the tough go camping

  • Fort Wilderness is my happy place, with the Gaylord running a close second 🙂 Love the pictures of your trip, both word pictures and digital pictures. You are making memories!

  • My husband and son are both involved with boy scouts and my daughter really wants to be a boy scout…so, we give her a taste by camping when possible. And our camping vacations, BY FAR, are everyone’s favorites! 🙂

    But my second favorite trip is our Homeschool conference! This will be my 9th year at the NC conference and my girlfriends and I have been counting down the days for far too long!

    Enjoy your weekend !!

  • Love the pics of all the kiddos! Looks like a very fun time was had by all. And as always, jealous that you can just pop over to WDW with such ease. Would love to visit Fort Wilderness.

  • Laughing out loud about the piggybacking frogs. Nature. It’s definitely what’s for conversation! That picture of all of the kids looking out over the lake was precious.