Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Camping Trip

Camping.  If I'm being honest is something I only really enjoy because Chad loves it so much.  If the decision were all mine, I am not sure I would actually choose to go camping.  I would probably choose a cozy bed-n-breakfast in a beautiful setting, but I can certainly do without roughing it and sleeping on the ground and worrying about possible bear attacks.  Just being honest.  But Chad loves it and envisions a lifetime of family memories created around the campfire, which I must admit is a lovely sentiment.

I also know that camping is a great option for family vacationing.  If nothing else, it's fairly inexpensive - although if you consider the amount of "gear" Chad has purchased, I am fairly certain we could've gone to an all-inclusive resort in a tropical locale ... at least once if not twice :)  But the gear is an investment and can be used over and over again.  I totally get it.

As much as I love blogging and Facebook and all the rest, I really do like the idea of unplugging and spending time without technology ... making up games with sticks and singing ridiculous songs and focusing on the simple things in life.

And so, we went camping.  For one night.  It was a lot of preparation and then unpacking, but so worth it!

The trip started with our first ever ferry ride.  I am almost embarrassed to admit, we have lived here for five years and haven't taken a ferry until now!  It was a blast, and the weather was absolutely gorgeous - what are the chances!

 Our destination was Scenic Beach, and it definitely lived up to it's name.  I took a ton of photos during our hour on the beach and will try to post more soon!  But this gives you some idea of just how beautiful it was ...

 The rock-and-shell beach and chilly water did not seem to bother Charlotte one bit.  She wanted down and modified her crawl to a hands-and-feet variation.  She picked up rocks and clumps of seaweed and splashed in the water.  Charlotte appears to be an outdoorsy kind of girl! 

Natalie was drawn to the water but didn't really like walking on the rocks and shells.  There was also a pirate birthday party going on down the beach, which distracted her and made her feel left out. She pouted for awhile and then finally decided to enjoy herself.  She tossed rocks from the shore, walked in the water up to her knees, bent over to dunk her head in the water, and splashed with the reckless abandon of an almost four year old!

At the campsite ...
While Chad grilled dinner, I attempted to keep Charlotte entertained and somewhat confined.  She even played in the back of the car for a little while.

 But, ultimately, I had to give in a let Charlotte crawl around in the dirt.  She was beyond happy and filthy!

 Natalie entertained herself with stick collecting and looking for fairies in the surrounding woods.  And, yes, she wore a skirt and accessories ... while camping.  What can I say?!

After another walk to the beach and some time at the playground, we settled in for my favorite part of camping ... the campfire!
 Natalie enjoyed roasting the marshmallows, but did not enjoy getting her hands sticky and messy in order to eat the s'more ... so guess who got to feed her?

Around 8:00, both girls were showing signs of bedtime, so we followed our usual routine ... and then put them both in the tent.  C in her pack-n-play.  Natalie in a sleeping bag.  The next 30 minutes were filled with giggles and chatter as Natalie reassured Charlotte about sleeping in a tent.  There were also many calls for mommy and daddy followed by unzips and zips to check on them.  At one point, I found Natalie in the pack-n-play with Charlotte ... squealing and wrestling!  At that point, it became clear that falling asleep together was not an option. 

Poor Charlotte didn't get a nap, and both girls were so tired.  I strapped on the carrier and walked her to sleep - I toured the entire campground, saw a family of five deer, and ended up at the beach, which was quiet and serene and just showing signs of sunset.  All the while, Charlotte snoozed in the carrier.  I could feel her warmth and hear her soft breathing and sense the relief of finally sleeping.

Back at camp, Chad read books and chatted with Natalie.  She was ready to sleep by the time I got back.  The rest of the night went even better than expected.  Chad and I hung out by the campfire for another hour or so.  And then we all got a decent night's sleep.  We woke up around 7:30 and Charlotte slept another 20 minutes or so!

We enjoyed a leisurely morning at the playground, did a little more exploring, took a family photo, and then packed up and headed home.  And I can honestly say that I am looking forward to our next camping adventure ... as long as things go just as smoothly as this time!


Sarah :) said...

omgosh, what a wonderful story Dana! :) I loved getting caught up on Natalie and Charlotte!:) we're going to scenic beach in august! you'll have to tell us the scoop on what to/not to remember! :)

Emmett Joseph said...

Great family picture! What a wonderful memory...it's funny how my memories of camping are always better than the actual camping. In your case though, it sounds like you really did have a great time! I LOVE NHV's camping wardrobe...that girl is too funny!

Dan Wickenhauser said...

Great Adventure for the whole family. Natalie gives a whole new meaning to "roughing it" with that wardrobe. Glad to see Charlotte loves the dirt as we need one Tomboy in the mix.

Jessica said...

Sounds like a wonderful time. We also "geared up" for lots of camping this summer. We did a trial run in the backyard that left something to be desired. We are planning our first official outing next weekend. I hope it goes as well as yours did!

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