This weekend the Goodsons embarked on their first family camping trip. There are lots of good things to report, along with some not so great experiences as well. First, the good things! The weather was FANTASTIC. If you are ever going to spend time in a tent you should have weather like this. It was in the 70's and not a cloud in the sky. The beach was beautiful and just a very short walk from our camp site. The water was cool but there were lots of people swimming. We walked to the pier, looked for sharks teeth and dug a hole half way to China (Andy's idea). We set up camp really well. Actually, Robbie did that part all on his own. We borrowed the tents (thanks going out to the Jenkins fam!) and got there right before dark. He had us up and running in no time.
We also lucked out and hit the very last day of the amusement park being open for the season. If we'd waited one more weekend the kids would have missed out on the rides. They had so much fun, especially the boys on the go-carts.
Now, the downside to camping. Bath houses. YUCK! Not my cup of tea but we survived. It was funny to see what little clean freaks the kids turned out to be. Now maybe they'll appreciate the conditions they live in here at home. Nah. That won't really happen.
I also didn't pack well. Myrtle Beach had a terrible storm come through on Thursday and we almost cancelled the entire trip. It was cold and rainy here so I packed mostly cold weather gear. I have a terrible fear of my children getting cold. The thought is just unbearable. So, my kids were the only ones in the campground in fleece footie pajamas! :) Hey, they kept the mosquitos off!
Tents don't really keep noises or lights out. Last night at approximately 3:10am the car alarm on the car parked directly across the street from our tent went off. Horn honking, lights flashing. I thought the hounds of hell had been released and were upon us! I didn't know which end was up. I finally asked Robbie if it was our car because it sounded like it was RIGHT ON TOP OF US! Someone else in a sleepy stupor must have thought the same thing because they hit the panic button on their key chain and then TWO horns were blaring. When my heart stopped racing I heard a little voice. It said, "Mommy, I need to pee." This involves getting dressed and carrying Natalie to the bath house (which was also referred to as the 'pee house' during the trip). So, we took care of that and went back to sleep. THEN, I hear, "Mommy, I'm wet." Hmmmm.... Hey Robbie, did you remember to put a pull-up on Key??? I didn't think so. Then we had 2 extra people in our section of the tent for the rest of the night (and a load of laundry to do the next morning). Back to sleep.
THENNNN, a strange noise outside the tent. RACCOONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Did you know that raccoons love pound cake? Not just any pound cake, AUNT PEGGY'S pound cake. :( We'd already eaten most of it, thankfully. But that they got any at all is a shame because there is no better pound cake on earth than Aunt Peggy's and there is no way a raccoon can appreciate that. Robbie had to beat them off it with one of my shoes, that is how good this pound cake is.
So, mixed feelings about the whole camping thing. I'd definitely give it another go and see if we can fix some of the fixable stuff so we don't loose any more food, etc. I am sure the kids would love to not sleep in really hot pj's next time too. We may be able to be The Goodsons, that family that camps sometimes. :) Natalie was bummed that we had to sleep in 'the brick house' tonight.