Monday, August 02, 2010
Just make it through the first 12 hours
A few weeks ago we went camping as a family. We haven't all been camping together since... I can't remember when. Eric has taken the kids while I've stayed home either very pregnant or with a small baby, but we've not gone together for years. Which means that I haven't been camping for years. I don't love it, I don't hate it. So.
We started off late Thursday afternoon. Eric had packed up some things on top of the car. And lets start there. A minivan is not a suitable way to transport 6 people and all of their camping gear. Not enough space. So Eric packed the top and I had to pack the back with clothes and such and the coolers but I had to fit it around an enormous log and the other firewood. It didn't fit and that made me quite irritated.
But we got on the road, mostly on time, ate McDonalds as an appetizer since our coastal camping destination was 2 hours away and picked up Eric on our way south. 30 minutes into the drive we hit traffic that lasted for a long time since it was caused by this tanker truck fire. So that made our 2-hour drive into more like 3.5. But okay. The kids were watching movies on the mini dvd player we borrowed from Chad and Angie (thanks!) so they mostly didn't complain.
While in traffic I realized that I had left the potatoes that I had already baked so we'd just have to warm them in the firepit, at home. When we finally got to our campsite at halfpast bedtime and were unpacking, I heard the girl in the campsite next to us say that they didn't have a spatula. That made me realize that I hadn't packed any kind of cooking utensils, just plastic ones for eating. I assumed that we had these things devoted to only camping, don't know why, and that they were in with the things that Eric had packed the night before. We also didn't have a can opener but we were able to borrow one.
So no utensils. We made do, melting a few forks in the process. Eric got our new 7-man tent set up like the camping champ that he is, but our campsite seemed like it was at the end of a wind tunnel, making the tent pancake to the ground. With a few adjustments, several broken stakes, and turning the tent at a different angle, it was mostly sleep ready.
I had started to boil water for hot chocolate and get the grill ready for hot dogs when Eric approached me looking very grave. The kind of look where you know something is wrong.
"Keys are locked in the car."
Luckily we had taken most of our things out of the car already, but not the air mattress pump and not the firewood. There was no way to get a locksmith out at that time of night, it was 9:30ish. It wasn't funny and I didn't try to be happy about it. Everyone was full enough on snacks so we drank hot chocolate, skipped dinner and got ready for bed. The kids didn't care. But here's another thing, we weren't really ready for the cold weather either. We were leaving a very sunny and warm Seattle and I assumed we'd just be about 10 degrees cooler along the coast. Wrong assumption. More like 20 and major wind. Eric was cold all night since he made sure I was warm.
The wind whipped our tent for most of the night, causing a very annoying flapping sound. I was feeling worried and sorry for us and couldn't sleep for a long time. To keep from crying I established this breathing/thought process.
Breathe in and say to self: water off a duck's back.
Breathe out and say to self: water under the bridge.
Eventually I fell asleep and eventually the wind stopped. We woke to a cold morning but the kids were happy to run down to the sand while we made breakfast and melted plastic forks in bacon grease. We ate, played in the sand and mud, and the locksmith came, his fee only half of what we thought. We weren't too far from civilization so it only took him an hour to get to us.
And we made it through the first 12 hours.
ps -- the main reason we went camping was to tell the kids about the new baby. Eric really wanted them to hear the announcement in a special place where they might remember hearing about their sibling later in life. We told them around the campfire, the second night. Sommer will forget but the others might remember. They were all happy about it and immediately started thinking up the craziest baby names possible and laughing their heads off. Eric said, "mom and I have an announcement." and Ridge immediately said, "mom's having another baby." He was surprised though when Eric told him that he was right.
As we were packing to go on our last morning, Cannon said more than once that he wished we could stay longer.
We also learned that Vienna sausages are really gross. Eric remembered loving them, I remembered that we had them in our emergency backpacks when we were little, but no one liked them, except the seagulls.
Water under the bridge.