Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Camping Out

One of the things that Ken and I wanted to do for our vacation this year was to go camping. One of the reasons is that camping is a lot cheaper than other vacation ideas, but mainly because we had both camped a lot as kids and wanted to pass along that joy to our children. We had gotten a lot of camping gear as wedding gifts, but I am extremely embarrassed to admit that most of it had never been opened! The first major decision that we made was that a whole week would be too much for us just starting out, so we chose to limit our first trip to three days/two nights. We gathered up all the gear, wrote lists, packed suitcases, and pulled our hair out got everything ready. We headed out to Sherando Lake on Monday in the early afternoon. The trip is about 45 minutes to an hour and Henry fell asleep just as we were pulling into the campsite. We picked a site that was one away from the bathroom. We were also pleasantly surprised to find showers. We were expecting just toilets. We set up our new 10 person tent and got the rest of the campsite ready before Henry woke up, so it was a very well-timed and convenient nap! We decided to inflate the boat to go out on the lake the first day we were there. That boat was heavy!! Frances enjoyed being in the middle of the lake although the questions she was asking started to worry me. She was so "concerned" about falling in that I could practically see her weighing that option! Thankfully she did not go overboard. Henry actually tried a few times, but we caught him just in time. We paddled out to the far end of the lake and then paid a visit to the island in the middle of the lake. After we got back to the campsite, Ken made a fire for our first dinner-smoked sausage, macaroni & cheese and carrots. After cleaning up from dinner, we decided to take a walk around the area. We saw a path that said "Overlook Rock 0.5" I thought out loud "How long can it possibly take to hike half a mile?" The answer, unfortunately, was "A LONG TIME!!" We made it to the lookout at dusk and then hiked down in the dark. Frances asked enough questions about bears that we finally yelled at her to cut it out! We got back to the campsite and I took Frances with me to take a shower. The sign on the door said to push the button several times for hot water. Not only did we have a shower, but it was to have hot water! Only was SCALDING! I had to wait for it to go back to cold before I could rinse the two of us. I never could figure out warm-only hot and cold. I would have greatly preferred cold, but most of the time it was hot-too hot to stand in. Our first night was interesting, to say the least. Henry took a LONG time to settle down. He climbed all over the rest of us. Frances managed to go to sleep pretty easily, but Ken and I took a bit longer. Sleep finally came, but morning came much earlier than I had expected. The second day we tried to go fishing, but Henry was much more interested in throwing the lures in the water than he was with playing with his new Cars fishing pole. After we gave up on the fishing, we got ourselves ready to go swimming. I was actually dreading this part because Henry HATED the beach and water at the lake last year. He wouldn't go near it. What a difference a year makes!! He jumped right in and spent the whole time running back and forth in the water, chasing fishes, throwing sticks and have a rip-roarin' good time! Frances put on her floatie and twirled around the lake-she even went under and got her face wet a few times! Tuesday evening's dinner was hamburgers, baked potatoes, and bananas. We also got nice a sticky making S'mores. Wednesday morning we woke up and had a nice breakfast of "hashbrowns" (fried baked potatoes, really), left over smoked sausage and cereal. We were supposed to check out by 11, so we started packing up as soon as breakfast was over. We had planned on hanging around for a little while after we packed up, but it took us most of the morning to get everything back in the vehicles, so all we did was visit the Visitor's Center and head home. All in all it was an awesome trip. There are a few things we will do differently next time; but the family will certainly be camping again!! In fact, when we got home on Wednesday afternoon, I asked Frances when she wanted to go camping again. "Ummm...Thursday?" "That's tomorrow, Sweetie," I said. She says, "Oh. Uh...Friday?" Nice try darling, but not that soon!
PS I am being lazy tonight. Blogger has been giving me trouble recently when I go to move pictures around, so I give up. Here they are, in no particular order:

"What chocolate? I didn't see any chocolate!"

"I don't wanna say 'cheese.' I wanna say 'marshmallow, chocolate and graham crackers!'" Casa Del Liebers

"I am the marshmallow monster!!"

"Finger lickin' good!"

"Mommy, please don't take my picture! I'm having a bad hair day!"

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