At long last, these past few days we were able to take a break from the world and go CAMPING! Here are some highlights:
The location – We have a gorgeous canyon about 25 miles from our home where you can still just pull over and camp. No campground, no fees, no noisy neighbors, just wonderful nature. We stayed in our favorite spot – a beautiful meadow off on a little side road right next to the river. It’s perfect for playing baseball and night games.
The chilly, rainy weather – Yep, that’s a highlight for me. I spent a lot of time camping with my grandparents when I was growing up. And if you go camping with my grandparents, it WILL rain. It might even snow. In July. Seriously. But my grandma always found a way to make the rainy times special. We would sit inside the cozy little camp trailer and play games, put puzzles together, make craft projects, and tell some great stories. So this weekend, while it rained, we sat inside our warm cozy trailer and played Whoonu and Killer Bunnies, read lots of books, assembled some puzzles, created a monkey army, ate more cookies than should be legally allowed, and had a great time together.
The Indiana Jones adventure – I had to drive Sarah down the canyon on Friday so that she could call her boss to find out her work schedule for Saturday. Daniel and Jakob chose to tag along. On our way back, we decided to explore a dirt road that led up another canyon. It was steep and winding and muddy, but at the top we found another beautiful meadow. We went for a little hike along a deer trail, and then Sarah and Daniel beat me back to the suburban. Daniel told Sarah to start pulling out without me, and when I saw her at the driver’s seat, I just shrugged and got into the passenger side (she has her learner’s permit). Let’s just say those 3 1/2 miles back down the mountain were more terrifying than Michael Jackson’s nose job. It seriously reminded all of us of the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland. We were speeding up, slowing down, swerving, sliding, nearly running into trees, and totally running into tree branches. Sarah was laughing the whole way down. Daniel and I thought we were going to die. We’ll have to do that again sometime.
Josh and Jakester: These two little guys are some hardcore campers. Jakob, our little marshmallow monster, ran and ran and refused to even think about slowing down to take a nap. Joshua was hilarious the whole time. He approaches everything he does with so much exuberance that you can’t help but smile.
The campfire and the “s’mores of destiny”: We always have s’more competitions when we camp. My kids each make me one and then I judge them on presentation, creativity, and taste. It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it. I had s’mores made with fudge-striped cookies, s’mores made with chocolate chip cookies, and old fashioned s’mores with lots of ooey goooey melted chocolate chips and graham crackers. They were all YUMMY! And there is nothing better in the world than sitting around a campfire snuggling a little one on your lap. Even if he is holding an extremely sticky “s’more of destiny” at the time. And smearing it all over me. And the chair. And his hair. You get the picture.
While we were sleeping the first night, Todd kept hearing a strange buzzing sound. It turns out we were sleeping right on top of a wasp’s nest!
After double checking to make sure my camera battery was charged before the trip, I got ready to take the perfect picture of Jakob sitting on a log with a marshmallow in each hand and TWO stuffed in his mouth when the camera informed me that it had no memory card. I had left it in the printer at home. Big oops. So here are a few pictures of last year’s camping trip at the same spot: