Monday, June 21, 2010

Our New (to us…) Camper

We went camping once when Alex was a baby.  It was a short adventure, as the storms during the night left us floating in our tent!  We gave up, vowed to buy a camper when our kids were bigger, and assumed that would be several years away.

That was before we had this nice deal land in our lap.  Some church friends were selling their 2007 camper, and the price was more than fair.  So we’re the proud owners of this Yuma: a small, cozy camper that’s just the right size for our family.

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After one trip to Walmart to buy food and supplies, we were ready to go.  We chose a small campground about 10 minutes from home.  Yeah, we’re adventurous like that! ;)

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We had a TON of rain on the first evening.  Strong storms came through with heavy rain and crazy winds.  Our first camping meal ended up being hamburgers cooked on the indoor cookstove and served at the dinette table in the camper.  It wasn’t quite what we had in mind, but at least we were comfy and dry!  Weathering a storm in a camper is MUCH nicer than in a tent!

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Eventually it dried out, and we had lots of fun outdoors.  The campground came under new ownership last year, and they have been working hard to make this place nice.  We think it’s a great place to camp, and we’ll keep it in mind as a last-minute camping spot any time.

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This trip reminded me of that phrase “Boy – A Noise With Dirt On It”.  Alex just reveled in all the freedoms that come with camping.  He could get dirty, dig holes, run all over, and be a boy.  June2010 276

We’d brought along a shovel, pail and small dump truck.  Alex chose a spot on the far side of our camper and called it “my dig”. He dug there all weekend.  What made it the “right” spot, we’ll never know, but he couldn’t be swayed from that spot.
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He cracked me up because by saying he was digging for ants.  He told me, “But the ants aren’t home.”  I asked him how he knew, and he stuck his face right down in his digging hole and yelled, “Ants, are you home?”  Then he looked at me and said, “See?  They are not home.”

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If we had one complaint about the weekend, it was the firewood that the campground provided.  It wouldn’t burn.   It had beads of condensation sizzling up because it was fresh, damp wood.  No amount of lighter fluid or fire starters could get the wood to burn well!  We very patiently cooked our pizza pudgy pies for a long, long time.

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It was worth the wait – they were YUMMY!  We even had them again for dinner – although, Daddy wasn’t there at the time to struggle with the fire, so Mommy made them on the griddle!  (Thanks for the loan on the pie irons, Angie!)June2010 251

Alex had his first s’more, and he loved it!  He called it his marshmallow cookie.

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Max fell in love with mozzarella, and he ate a ton of it this weekend. June2010 249

Max was a good little camper, too.  He loved all the outdoor stuff, and he was well-behaved in the camper too.  Other than general baby needs and wanting to be held a lot, he was a good kid!

June2010 216He absolutely LOVED playing in the sand, splashing, and even eating the sand.  Later, Daddy took him out in the lake, and he just giggled like crazy!June2010 239

The lake there is very pretty, with a small island out in the middle.  The owners said it was a pretty nasty swamp when they purchased the place last year, but it's sure pretty now! June2010 257 I forgot my suit, and was too lazy to drive the 10 minute home to get it.  I waded & watched the boys in the shallow water while Keith took turns bringing them out in the deeper water.  June2010 243There’s a lot of excitement involved in trying out a new camper.  While it took great effort to get Alex to settle down and take a nap on Friday afternoon, he was an amazing sleeper for the rest of the weekend.  All the fresh air & activity wore him out, and our little guy slept for THREE hours on Saturday afternoon!  June2010 254

Our church held a men’s night with cornhole tournament and steak for Father’s Day weekend.  Since we were so close to home, Keith headed over on Saturday afternoon. I got to just sit and read a book while the boys napped (ahh, that was nice!)  Later, Grandma P came out to the campground to hang out with us for a while. June2010 255Keith brought his dad back with him after the men’s night, and we all played at the park for a bit.  Even Grandma…June2010 258

Keith thought to use the camera and prove that I came along on this trip.  (I’m grateful for that!)

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Both boys slept fairly well for their first time in a camper.  We’re fortunate to have a/c to drown out the campground noise, but I was amazed at how they slept through torrential downpours and thunder!

Alex woke around 6 both mornings. I’d grabbed our DVD player for “emergencies”, and I was grateful to have that as a way to keep him quiet until the rest of the campground woke for the day!  I doubt our “neighbors” would have appreciated a playful, shouting toddler at 6 AM!

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The baby slept in his pack n play, and he woke early each morning as well.  4 AM on Saturday morning.  Uh-uh, baby.  No thanks!  I pulled him into our bunk to snuggle for a bit, and we both dozed.  Keith grabbed the camera to snap this shot.  Not the most lovely of hairdos for me, but I love snuggling with my sweet sleeping baby.

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It’s not exactly an organized home, is it?  While everything went well this weekend, it was a MESS in our camper by Sunday morning!  Over time, hopefully we’ll get an idea of what’s best for arranging our stuff!  Not that it will ever be pretty & neat, but I’d like to have a bit of organization in here!  June2010 272

On a similar note, we were able to determine what we brought unnecessarily & what we should have brought.  That should make next time even smoother!June2010 273Alex – our “push all the buttons” kids - had to be taught what knobs and levers to leave alone, but he was also a good little helper.  He threw away all his plates and cups after meals.  He cleaned around the campsite.  He removed the tablecloth clips when it was time to go home.  He pushed the sleepy baby’s stroller all around our campsite while we were taking down the camper.  And his favorite?  Alex can crank down the camper all by himself!

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We loved the lake, the beautiful new playground, the quiet/family-friendly atmostphere, and the clean bathrooms.  We never even had a chance to check out the hiking trails…guess we’ll do that next time!

For a first trip, Keith & I agreed that it was a very nice weekend!  We’re hoping to go again next month – haven’t decided where yet.  Who’s coming with us?


jalinluc said...

Oh the joys of camping with boys .... you know those things covered in dirt that make all the noise? ha ha cute.... so glad God placed that camper in your lap :o) Enjoy making memories and avenues for joint family vacations for years to come :o) Looking forward to the churches family camping in August. I wonder if the ants got washed out in a flash flood ... you know being that they weren't home and all lol Better them than you lol ;o)

Sara said...

How fun! I would love to have a camper, I'm glad it worked out so well in the rain! The boys are getting so big, they are adorable.