I think the only way to adequately tell the story is with visual aids. Let it be known that when we camp, we leave no stone unturned. Not only to we fill the van to the rim, we also bring Fiddledaddy’s Prius, and fill that up as well. Of course we justify the 2nd car because the van is attached to the tent, and making a fast getaway is tricky.
And if you’re wondering where we fit the offspring, this would have been Cailey’s POV from the cheap seat in the back.
It should be noted that the lizard population took a direct hit when we rolled in. Jensen, the Lizard Whisperer, singlehandedly put the lizard on the endangered species list. It didn’t help that he, as the pied piper, enlisted the help of his best buddies in the capture of every single lizard within a square mile radius. At any given time, there was a gang of (6) seven and eight year olds climbing trees and overturning stones in an effort to extricate lizards both large and small.
At one point, you would have overheard Jensen, “Look Mom, his mouth is open.” Knowingly I nodded, “Yes, as in one final silent scream.”
As an aside, upon returning to civilization and visiting with Jensen’s dermatologist this week, she has put her foot down about Jensen touching or even thinking about touching lizards and/or frogs, as they carry all types of diseases, and what with his skin issues and open sores, he is a virtual petri dish.
I am vindicated.
Moving on. For show and tell, I wanted to share how I rough it when camping. It is very important to maintain a clean environment. Therefore, I pack this, (available in hot pink, at your local Bed, Bath, & Beyond):
If you were to look closely at the top of the table, I have my Keurig Coffee Maker, a miniature blender (for my frozen coffee drink), and a small crock pot. My electric refrigerator rests beneath. I’m simply channeling my inner Ma Ingalls.
And in a flash of brilliance, I had been looking for some sort of flooring for the main part of the tent, since the canvas is nearly impossible to keep clean and is suffering from wear and tear. I purchased from Hobby Lobby (with a coupon) a length of heavy gauge plastic and cut it to fit. I was able to leave the store with the plastic on the cardboard roll, so it stores and travels easily.
And last but not least, I wanted to show off my camping kitchen that I bought myself as a birthday gift over the summer. It is extremely light weight, and works like a charm. Although, my camping cooking is limited to mostly plunking something I’ve frozen into my miniature crock pot. But I have a reputation to maintain.
No camping trip would be complete without some sort of horrific accident. The first one occurred when a couple of the dads took the boys out for a joy ride on the golf carts. My boy was included in this venture. When the fellows returned back to camp, I noticed that Jensen jumped off of the golf cart and went about his lizard catching ways with his buddies. One of the dads (a good friend who also happens to be our Chiropractor) strode up to me, “Um, there was an accident. Jensen went through the windshield.”
As the story goes, my friend’s own son ran in front of another cart. That driver slammed on their brakes. When my friend heard the brakes, he slammed on his brakes. My son was sort of standing/seated on another dad’s knee, and the braking motion caused him to hurtle through the plexiglass windshield, knocking it out, and he landed on the front of the cart only because of the lightning fast Ninja reflexes of the other dad who grabbed his shirt in time.
Jensen was fine. The windshield, however, was not.
This leads me to believe that it may be a conflict of interest to allow my son to go joy riding with our Chiropractor…just sayin’.
The men got to work immediately in a vain attempt to repair the damage. I think they were just itching for an excuse to pull these out and put them to some use:
I hinted yesterday that a trip to the emergency room was involved, and I’m just as shocked as you to admit that it was not one of my children. One of Jensen’s buddies got a stick in the eye while playing a rousing game of Blind Man Hunt (hide and seek to you and me) in the dark woods. At night. His parents (the Chiropractor, for the record) had to take him in to the E.R. to get the piece of wood out of his eye. He was a lucky little boy, as he left with antibiotic drops and a really good story to tell.
This was truly a magical camping trip because we were able to share it with very dear friends and their children. I was among my tribe, and I laughed until my sides hurt. A lifetime of memories were made, to be sure.
(Taken while sightseeing at the Grand Floridian Hotel)
Have a fantastic weekend, my friends, and a very Merry and blessed Christmas.