May 27, 2015
The unthinkable has happened in this house people! Last week I made the joke, emphasis on JOKE, that it would be fun to go camping. Chris for the life of him could not un-hear those words. He kept on repeating them, saying them in front of the children, making lists of new things to buy. He just wouldn't let it go. Maybe it was all that hiking fresh air that made me say it, I don't know. But somehow the wheels were in motion.
Chris is huge on the backpacking, you know pick a spot on a map, only bring out what you can carry kind of adventures. He and Ace have done the recreational camping thing, but me, not really my idea of a sleepover. I went camping when I was younger....in Las Vegas....where the idea of seeing bears and moose come through your campsite were...none! So of course my mind starts racing like, four children in the woods leaving crumb trails right to the tent door. Then my crazy mind goes to the next extreme of...well surely there is a band of murderous outlaws just waiting for a family of six to camp out by a lake. (Feel bad for Chris, he has to deal with this all the time). Of course, Chris assured me that he was well equipped to take out a bear, and if he had a weapon designed to do that, it would be no match for the band of pirates as well.
Nothing gives Chris more joy than being able to go shopping for outdoor gear. Well that's not true, a new suit from J Crew sends the man into a weird state of euphoria. He is a complex individual. Anyway, he made a huge list of things he needed to buy for this family of six to survive outdoors for a mere 24 hours. He took that list and went shopping. Chris has taken the liberty of turning our guest room downstairs into an outdoor shopping oasis. It is like a mini REI down there. The room is organized into sections of backpacking, hunting, fishing, camping, winter gear, you name it...it's down there. After the new stuff was purchased I couldn't very well back out now. I checked the weather and it said rain. Rain for the next two days. I raised my concerns with ranger rick over here and he said "nope, we are still going". Camping is one thing, but camping in the rain is a whole different beast.
The next morning we got up early to pack the car and get ready. I was the last one to get ready as usual and I came down with my camping game face on. Chris said "are you wearing makeup?" I said "yes I sure am", he knew not to question me further and we loaded in the swagger wagon.
We decided to head south toward Seward and stay at Trail River Campground. The drive down to Seward is one of my favorites, so we knew that no matter what campground we chose, it was going to be beautiful. This was a bigger campground than we anticipated for our first overnight adventure with a family of six, but it was surprisingly private and quiet. Except for the noise level that we brought in.
The kids were definitely in their natural habitat. Exploring, running around collecting sticks for their "beaver dam", yelling and screaming, and fighting. It was outdoor exploring bliss. Chris and I were somewhat relieved that they were listening, and weren't attempting to stray too far from our setup. Pierce is usually a flight risk which sends my anxiety into overdrive. But here he was more than occupied with the things around him.
there may or may not be wine in that cup.....as in there was!
We made camp food....we played in the rain....mom had some mom juice to really get this party started, or to calm my nerves...you decide. It was actually all really fun! No cell service, just the family being our normal crazy selves.
I mean it wouldn't be camping unless you brought an ipad or three right? Chris was making fun of me the whole time saying I was simply "glamping" with the dry shampoo, starbucks coffee, and louis vuitton diaper bag that accompanied me! He should just count his lucky camping stars that I even made it this far!
We learned that when camping in Alaska there is no such thing as bedtime because it doesn't get dark. It was well past 11 pm before the kids even noticed a slight difference in the light from outside. But hell....camping has no bedtime. It also makes for very tired parents and some sleeping in. Odette is a champ sleeper and definitely walked away with the happiest camper award. I would have never thought of doing this if she was even slightly a fussy baby. But she is cool as a cucumber. She woke up once at her normal 3:00 am feed me and change me routine, and then back out. I don't even think she made a noise the whole time!! Hoping this is the foreshadowing of the fourth child.
She was however the first one up, which wasn't too bad since Chris was armed with coffee!! Can't go camping without a caffeine resource!
The older kids woke up one by one with hungry bellies and the desire to get dressed right away and go play in the cold rain. I chose to linger in the tent a little longer with the baby and sip on some hot coffee.
After a few hours of enjoying the quiet chaos, it was time to pack it up. The kids were begging to stay another night, and a huge part of me thought we should. But we only packed enough food for one night, and I forgot to bring extra breast pads!! Not good.
Before you know it, we were home and unpacking the extreme overpacking situation that follows me everywhere. I do not know how to pack light. We were going for one night, one night, and I brought four pairs of shoes!! What!! Just unnecessary, but I will never learn. Chris cleaned out the tent, the car, and the coolers, and we got everything ready to go for the next trip. Yes, there will be more family camping. Because just like everything else in our lives, we like to up the level of crazy and diminish our parental sanity!
Camp on campers...or glampers in my case!