We took the kids on our first family camping trip Wednesday afternoon. We went to Guadalupe State Park and the plan was to stay for two nights. Jake and Emma Mae were so excited to "go out of town" and sleep in a tent. We just had the best time.
We got there in time to put up the tent and set up our chairs before dinner. We had hot dogs and brats and some grilled veggies. Of course, all of this was just a precursor to making smores which is really why we went camping. Unfortunately, the wood we bought for an outlandish price at the campground was damp from all of the rain we've been getting around here lately. So we had a whole lot of smoke but not much fire. We did get enough flames to toast a few marshmellows and stick them on a graham cracker before the fire went out though. Then before bedtime I made up a scary story about a marshmallow monster and spooked the kiddos. Note to self. Don't tell little kids scary stories before they go to bed.
I wish I could say sleeping in a tent with my family was the best sleep I've ever had in my life. But I can't. Because it sucked. Mike and Emma Mae were out as soon as we turned out all of the flashlights. Jake and I were up for a long time after. He kept turning his flashlight on and off. Repeatedly. It was like being at an outdoor discotech. Normally, I love the sounds of nature. But I swear there were these big old bugs making such a ruckus. All night long. And then the frogs joined them. And then the birds joined them. I thought birds slept at night. Well, not these birds. They sang all the night long. Also, our air mattress (yes, I made Mike take an air mattress! so what?) had a hole in it so by the time blessed morning arrived we were pretty much on the flat ground.
Oh, and then there was the raccoon. We are brilliant and left a cooler with peanut butter and bread sitting out on our table. So around midnight just after I had finally dozed off we heard a crash. Mike went out to find a furry little masked friend trying to open up that cooler. Guess he wanted to make a sandwich.
Anyhow, when I did sleep I had dreams about baby bears crawling through our tent. Not my finest hours.
But the next day made up for it. We basically ran into town to buy some tubes and get me a Starbucks because I don't feel I need to rough it too much on camping trips. Then we took the kids down to the river . They had so much fun throwing rocks in the water and splashing around. They even enjoyed floating down the river on our tubes once their mama stopped worrying about it.
My favorite quote of the trip? Jake was sitting in a tube with me floating down the river and we started talking about water snakes. I asked him what we would do if a water snake decided to bite us on the booty. My son said "I don't know, panic?" The way he said it was so deadpan. He just cracked me up. We ended up coming home after dinner on Thursday night because Mike and I are not crazy. We just didn't have it in us to spend one more night in the tent. Maybe next trip.