Saturday, July 24, 2010

Creative Camping

Earlier this week, my DH decided he would take our boys camping. He spent a couple of days thoughtfully preparing while we girls contemplated what we might do while they were gone. As they pulled out of the driveway, we were still undecided, and DD12 said, "We should go camping, too, Mom!" DD8 enthusiastically seconded the idea, so we set about figuring out if it could work.

DD12 jumped online and found a campsite that, unbeknownst to her, happened to be in the area where we used to live, making it comfortable for me because at least it was a familiar place. (I'm not the most adventurous sort, so it was reassuring to at least know where I was going and know that it wasn't far to get back home if things didn't work out!)

The only major difficulty we encountered was the fact that the boys had taken our only tent (well, except for the Ikea kiddy play tent). "No sweat," I thought. "We have tarps -- we can create our own tent -- or  we can always sleep out under the stars." Driven by my girls' enthusiasm, I decided, "We can do this!"

After a quick trip to the grocery store, we were off. Here is the shelter we created for ourselves:

Not bad, eh?
We used the little kiddy tent as our "change room" :)

Supper was delish!

We had no grill, so this is how we cooked it:
(DS11 was envious -- that's what he had wanted to do!)

We also had fire-baked brie with mustard and strawberry jam. It was the BEST baked brie we have EVER tasted! With Vinta crackers -- oh, it was yummy! We had to create a make-shift "sling" to get the cheese in and out of the fire -- but we managed without burning ourselves or the brie!

Prince Caspian joined us, and we had to make him "one of the girls" by giving him one of the stylin' hair clips we all wore to commemorate our adventure:
(Don't ask me why he was on the picnic table. He seemed to think that's where he belonged.)

And here is DD12 dreamily toasting her socks. She said it made them extra cozy.

Looks like we had a great time, doesn't it?

And we did.

Until bed time.

When the mosquitoes started harrassing us.

Sigh. We didn't sleep a wink. Well, DD8 got an hour or two between scratching bouts. We even tried sleeping in the car -- but the dog over-heated and steamed up all the windows, and I was afraid he was suffering -- so I went back out and built up the fire again. The girls followed me and we sang "99 bottles" (softly, so as not to disturb other seemingly slumbering neighbours) to wile away the time. DD12 said that was a highlight for her. (Seriously -- she wasn't being sarcastic. I guess working your way entirely through that song at 3:00 AM is somehow fun:)

We considered up and leaving in the middle of the night, but it was a gated campground, and I was afraid we were locked in. (OK, I'm daft. I admit it.) Besides -- I didn't want to wake other campers by revving the car engine as we made our escape. And besides again -- I'd promised DD8 she could swim the next day, and in the wee hours of the morning she was still bent on doing that.

However, after we ventured out for a walk around 5:30 AM, she admitted that she really was tired -- and ready to go home, since we'd still have to wait until 9:00 before we were allowed to go swimming.

And so ended our little adventure.

At least we didn't get wet.

But really -- we made some memories that I think we'll all cherish for a long time.

Next time, though, I think we'll hit the spa instead!

Do you have any great memories that were created under less-than-ideal circumstances?
What conscious efforts do you make to create long-lasting memories?


  1. Wow you camp in style! It looks like you all had a special time. Lisa~

  2. Yup! Thanks for stopping by, Lisa:) I really enjoyed visiting at "your place" today, and know I will go back for lots more inspiration!


Sincere responses . . .

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