Sunday, September 9, 2007

Camping - Take 2

You may recall that I tried a little camping experiment with the kids back in July. It was in the backyard and it wasn't altogether successful. I'd already registered with my Las Madres group to go camping at the beach this month. You can imagine what sorts of scenarios were playing through my mind as I packed for the trip.

Fortunately, I managed to talk Daddy into joining us at the last minute. I'm sure I could have managed the two kids by myself, but it wouldn't have been very fun. It meant I had to go out and buy a new tent. And it meant that when I got home with the new tent and it turned out to be a used tent, I had to order another one online and returned the supposed new tent. Still, it was a very small price to pay for the help I got. In the end, no one looked more surprised to see Daddy on the campground than he looked himself.

And, except for the fact that the new tent was a bear to set up...leading to a bent pole...and a pain in the butt to try and zip closed...leading to a broken zipper...the trip went really, really well. It went so well, in fact, that Smunch woke up on Saturday morning and loudly declared, "I LOVE CAMPING!!"

Really, though, they both had a blast. The campground was dirty and dusty, so they were absolutely filthy most of the time. I suspect some of their clothes will never come clean again. But it was completely worth sacrificing a few ill-fitting clothes anyway.

Saturday morning, after breakfast, we all headed down to the beach. It was foggy and pretty cold in the campground. Fortunately, the beach was warmer. I tried, but failed to convince the kids that they should put on their swim suits before we left. And, although I foresaw exactly what was to happen when we got there, I didn't bring the aforementioned swim suits with me. In typical fashion, Mam ended up soaked in the surf. Daddy actually remarked, "Look! There's a little dry spot in the middle of her back!" Nice.

She ended up huddled in a towel, shivering, with Daddy feeding her Goldfish crackers. Both kids had a great time though.

Unfortunately, it wasn't any warmer at the campground when we got back. In fact, I think it was getting colder. Sometime after lunch, the fog finally burned off, but the wind came up and it seemed colder still. We spent a while in the tent, which was very nice inside, despite the door not closing. We later headed back down to the beach, which was absolutely beautiful in the sunshine. The kids collected sand dollars, inspected sand crabs, seaweed and washed up jellyfish and Smuch dug a that the water would flow up the beach. This time, both kids ended up in their swimsuits. I wasn't dumb enough to leave those behind a second time.

The sun was starting to go down by the time we left, which meant it was lovely lighting for photographs. And, of course, I took a ton of them, but there were far too many to post here.

This was one of my favorites though. Mam, sans glasses, just happy to be running around like a maniac on the beach and thrilled with her new sand dollar collection. I wish I'd gotten a comparable photo of Smunch, but he had his nose to the grindstone with that trench.

By 5:30 or so, it was getting late enough that we were worried we'd miss dinner if we stuck around too much longer. Knowing how little I was able to help out with dinner, I kinda wish we'd stayed for the sunset, but the photo turned out pretty anyway. It was another evening of hanging out by the campfire and eating s'mores. It was much warmer in the campground with the wind gone and it was a nice evening.

Unlike our backyard camping experience, the kids were pretty good about going to sleep in the tent, especially after a full day of beachcombing and walking around. Mam brought some of her "amials" with her...thank goodness. They made good company after Daddy and I both sneaked out of the tent to go hang out at the campfire.

This morning, we just packed up and came home. I'm hoping it was enough fun that Daddy will consider going with us again. Of course, now we don't have a tent. That POS went right back to the store it came from as soon as we got home!

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