Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Camping is for Cool Kids!

The Du Toits went camping!

Stephan found and purchased this little rv trailer a while back. He's been fixing it up all summer. Twice before, we made super fun plans to take it out and put it to good use. Both times we had to cancel last minute, and our little rv had to wait.
Finally, the time was right! All the repairs were made, the plans were set, and the family was packed. Since it was our first outing with our new-to-us trailer, and we wanted to be cautious, we reserved a spot at a state park a little over an hour away. We went with some dear friends of ours who (praise Jesus) were expert campers and were completely prepared for this mini-adventure, instead of just mostly prepared, as I was. (Soap is a good thing to pack when you go camping. And trash bags. Who'da thunk it, amirite?)
The plan: Arrive, set up, hang out, spend the night, hang out until after lunch, then pack up and head home. Like I said: super short and easy. The mini van tugged that rv impressively well, though I doubt we'll be towing it to Montana anytime soon. We reached our destination and set up our camper with ease. And by "we", I mean Stephan. I helped Sheryl set up a canopy for eating under and chairs for chillin' around the fire.
Once the men had the rv's set up, I prepared the beds for the night and arranged our things as efficiently as possible.
   I love our little rv. Off the front, over the hitch, is a queen sized bed. Off the back is a full sized bed where the boys slept.  Belle slept in her pack 'n play, kinda, which we wedged in there as best we could. In the future, I think we'll just let her bunk with us, 'cause that's where she ended up. It was really quite sweet; getting to snuggle with my precious baby again.
    While renovating, Stephan replaced the floors and we washed the cushion covers, so the interior is homey and comfortable. The toilet-shower works perfectly, which was fantastic for me, since I have a tiny bladder, and for when we returned to the campsite after an impromptu swimming session in a super muddy lake. The microwave popped the kids' popcorn with ease, and the stove worked very well when Stephan grilled some sandwiches for lunch on day two.
   The time we spent there was wonderfully relaxed. After everything at our campsites were in order, our two families went for a leisurely stroll around our neck of the woods. for dinner, we grilled some hot dogs over the fire, and then we made some 'smores, of which the children at, like, one and a half combined. They were too excited about watching a movie in the rv to enjoy all this "outdoorsy" stuff.

So, while the kids watched Despicable Me on our tiny rv tv, us adults chatted around the fire. And ate more s'mores. I love s'mores!
     When the kids' bedtime rolled around, they happily prepared for bed and then settled down. Belle and Jana konked right out, but the older ones were so excited about their temporary sleeping arrangements that they were up well past 8:00. After a tired game of Phase 10, the adults called it a night as well.
   Though the bed we slept on is queen sized, Stephan had to pretty much sleep diagonally from corner to corner so as to fit his tall frame. That meant that I had to either curl up in a corner, or sprawl across Stephan's bossy knees if I wanted to stretch out. Besides the bed-hogging, it was a fantastically comfortable sleep.
    Bright and early the next morning, our kindly camping neighbors, the Brabons, had us over to their campsite for breakfast. we broke our fast with ample servings of bananas and strawberries and scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast.  After dressing for the day, we struck out for the playground, which just happened to be located right next to the swimming area of the state park's lake. Like loud moths to a flame, the children were drawn to the lake's muddy shores. The boys and Lucy practiced swimming, while Belle and Jana splashed, ate mud, and explored the shoreline.
   It was while I was following Belle down the shore that I came across a herd of tiny baby frogs. (Herd? Gaggle? Horde?) As I excitedly called for the others to come see the cute, widdle frogs, I watched, to my amazement and mild disgust, as one fleeing frog was snapped up by a little bitty ribbon snake not even three feet from where Belle and I were standing. The kids arrived just in time to watch a live baby frog get swallowed whole by a snake. Yay, nature!
   Anyways, as Sheryl and I watched the kids splash and play, the men snuck off to surprise us by renting two paddle boats for our families to enjoy. The kids loved it. Us parents quickly realized that paddle boats are a really bad idea, unless you regularly race in the Tour de France. The guys paid for us to have them for an hour. We lasted 25 minutes. But again, the kids loved it, so I'd mark that up as a camping win.
   After returning to our campsites, we rinsed of the dirty kids and then enjoyed lunch. Right after lunch, we broke camp, packed our stuff, loaded up, and headed home. Overall, I'd count this quick trip as a victory. We noted things we could change or do better next time we camp (and we plan to camp often), and we made some happy family memories. In summation: I really enjoy camping. When there's air conditioning.
The triumphant return

No comments:

Post a Comment