July 13, 2003
MUCH more successfull this time!

We're back! Actually, we've been back for quite a while, since almost 1pm. However, we had kids to feed and stuff to do and laundry and I had to go pickup my laptop (because I left it at work since I didn't go home on Friday before we left). But Ryan's finally tired out and is in bed, and Dani's curled up on Daddy's lap as we watch Trading Spaces.

Digression: Putting Trading Spaces on Season Pass on the Tivo is well... it guarantees Trading Spaces overload!!

I started writing a blog entry longhand (since I didn't have the laptop *smiles*) during some peace and quiet Saturday night. So let's start there...

Saturday, 5pm

It is idyllic.

Boo is napping. Kevin and Dani have gone fishing for a little while. The fire crackles and pops merrily along as I create a bed of coals for tonight's dinner. Children play and adults relax at other sites.

I just killed a bug on my notebook.

Okay, so the bugs are a drawback. This is the third campground I've been to since starting camping again last summer. And this one has the absolute worst bathroom. Admittedly, the showers are free (yes, I mean the bathhouse, not the rain!) but there is only one place to go for them and it's pretty far away. The bathrooms have flush toilets, but that's about the only thing they have to recommend them. They are bug fests. Nasty. And after dark, they are best avoided. Like I said, they flush, but that's about the only thing that places them above outhouses. *sighs*

So far it has been a good trip. We arrived about 6:15 on Friday and had the car better packed. Kev started putting up the new tent while I got a fire made for dinner. We were certainly better prepared (we even brought firewood) but it still took a while to get dinner made, Ry to bed, dessert (applie pies in the new pie irons!) and the camp cleaned up.

[Paused to buy firewood and ice from the vendor guy who drives around. Our cooler's great -- keeps melting to a minimum. But since we filled it Thursday night it needed an infusion of a couple more bags. As for wood -- Dani's a firebug. 'Nuff said.]

So anyway, we had everything almost cleaned up and Dani in bed and we were going to put up the picnic canopy around 9:15 or so. A nd then suddenly it was pouring! I mean complete downpour.

We scrambled to get the last bits done, threw the canopy back in the car, and ran for the tent. I ended up throwing the trash bag in the car a coupld hours later when the rain slowed and I noticed it was still out.

[Note from later, as I transcribe. The tent, when it is pouring, gets claustrophobic. Kevin asked didn't I find it soothing, and I had to say no. I was sitting in a 6x6x6 cube, and it felt like it was surrounding me because the rain was thundering down on us, shaking the walls. Okay, maybe not quite that strong, but the sound of the water coming through the trees and hitting the canvas was more than loud enough.]

We huddled in the tent and read. Thanks to Michael for the Coleman flashlight recommendation! They are great for reading lights!

[NOTE from later as I transcribe -- last night I also noticed that I could clip them over the "walls" that divided our main room from the kids' rooms, creating two hanging lights that really lit the main cabin well. They're great! I'd include a link so you could see them, but I can't find them anywhere on the blood web!]

It wasn't an easy night. Ry woke up in the middle totally upset. We finally figured out he was thirsty and got him a sippy filled with water (the water spigot is right next to our camp which is convenient but weird because people startle me when they come to use it).

In the morning we surveyed the damage.

It wasn't too bad. We definitely did better than in the Catskills. The new tent held up well. There was some leakage around the seams but nothing major (and those can be fixed with seam sealant). The camp stove was fine and served up coffee and hot chocolate first thing. The wood was fine -- water hadn't gotten into the plastic bags. [We used a tarp over it after that!] The only casualty was the new lantern we have -- the glass globe cracked.

The irony here? The camp stove which is about as old as I am, and the other lantern which is far older than me (Korean war era, yes, seriously) were both quite fine after their dousing!!

Morning began early, around 7ish or so, with scrambled eggs (over the fire) and pancakes (over the camp stove). Those little Bisquick pancake mixes are made for camping. Add water and shake. Admittedly, I do remember the crepe incident last year so I measure the water rather than estimate! But Dani has decided she'd prefer pancakes again tomorrow instead of french toast.

Writing longhand is weird. It's taken 30 minutes just to get this far. And I hope I can read it when it's time to transcribe it! [It's been interesting, but certainly doable, which is impressive, because my writing was pretty horrificly messy.]

Break time for some writing revisions. I'll be back for the trip, and the Great Escape, later!

Back to now...

It was a good weekend. Overall, it was a really good weekend. Dani's been dancing around saying that we've got to do it again. Soon! And we intend to.

The Great Escape was a great time. Ry did three rides, and loved one (the Convoy) and was terrified of the Carousel and apparently wasn't sure about the Jumbo flying elephant ride. Dani, on the other hand, was desperate to get onto Jumbo (and loved it) and had a GREAT time on Raging River and the flying balloon ride. We enjoyed the Raging River as well. Yes, both Kevin and I. The Great Escape has a great "baby swap" policy. If parents wait in line for a ride, one can go while the other stays with the baby, and then they swap and don't have to wait in line a second time. So we waited with Audrey and the girls and Ryan, and then Kevin and I stayed with Ry, and then Audrey took Ry when they got back and Kevin and I went on. It was the first time I've been on a ride in ages.

Audrey was thinking someday we should all go back in the middle of the week. Minus the kids. *grins*

Wind kept blowing up, threatening downpours, but it never actually rained. Which was very cool. Oh, it sprinkled later, back at the campsite, when I pulled out a book. Threatened me. So I put the book away and the rain went away.

Kevin and I have decided that if there is a drought, we'll just plan a camping trip. Sure to bring rain. *laughs*

We had a peaceful evening. Neither Dani nor Kevin caught anything while fishing. Kevin DID fall into the Lake, slipping down the rocks and has a bruised hip (on the bone -- I can't see it) and is all achy and sore today. Dani was bummed not to catch any fish (with her new Barbie pole and hot pick plastic worms) but is jazzed to go fishing again. And Kev bought a license, so of course they have to go!

When they got back, Kevin went exploring and checked out the next closest bathroom. No bugs!! Or at least, a lot LOT less. Which is good -- my tolerance for buggy bathrooms was at an all time low by Saturday night and I'd been going to liberally spray the close one with OFF. I doubted it would help, but I was getting desperate.

Dinner was simple -- pizza pies (yay Jenn's idea from the camp! Dani was SO thrilled to get to make them again). Followed by s'mores later on. Of course, we were also totally stuffed from earlier and all the junk food at The Great Escape.

We kept zoning out in front of the fire last night. Very peaceful. Very tired. Dani was asleep literally moments after going to bed. So we sat there and stared at the coals until we could bank the fire, and passed out by 10:30pm.

Can you believe it? I was asleep at 10:30 pm!

Of course, then Ryan woke up again. A couple of times. I think he was cold, because it was BLOODY cold last night. But we haven't been able to come up with a way to really keep him warm. No matter what we do, his little lips go faintly blue from the cold. And I feel like a horrible horrible mommy.

But when I thought about it, I realized that it was REALLY cold. I mean, think about it this way.

In the winter, in the house, I keep it about 65 at night. And this is cold, and the kids wear feety pajamas. Last night, while camping, it was colder than that. It wasn't as bad as the Catskills, when it was about 40. But I'd say maybe 50-55 last night. So when I realized that I had him in feety pajamas, but it was even colder than it is during the winter, I knew I had a problem. We've been layering him, but I think we need mittens and a hat to keep him really warm at night. I just can't figure out how to do it and keep them on him!

Peaceful breakfast this morning, except for the drum music from the campsite down the way. Sounded like a shamanistic retreat! They turned it down finally, but not too far, so I put on our own tunes so we could cover it up. Drums just weren't doing it for me this morning.

Camping is a trip and a half with kids. Ryan loved digging around in the leaves. But he has no limiters in his head and the fire and the lanterns were like huge danger zones for him. I actually caught the lantern stand on the way over one time, saving the lantern. Eek!

It took a lot of time to break down camp this morning. We're getting better at it all, but it still took time. When we were done, we were ready to head home. We went to the beach to look around (no swimming today) and then bundled into the car to head out.

Like I said, it was a success. Fun, even. Peaceful. There is a stress to camping, but it is a pleasant stress. I love cooking over campfire. I love playing with the fire. *grins* We've got good equipment, and each time we do it, we figure out a few more things about how we want to do it better.

Hopefully, next time won't be too far from now!

Posted by Deb Atwood at July 13, 2003 08:51 PM | TrackBack

Huh....you're right, no mention of that cool little Coleman LED flashlight at either the Coleman site itself or at Walmart (where I, and probably you, bought it). Weird. Glad it worked out so well though!

Posted by: Michael on July 14, 2003 10:22 PM

Thanks for that insightful comment! It makes interesting reading, especially when I need a payday loans.

Posted by: payday loans on November 26, 2004 12:01 AM
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