At least I thought I did. We bought a tent, sleeping bags, a lantern, a Coleman cooking stove, all the best stuff years ago with the intention that we would be campers. We wanted to retreat to the quiet of nature and explore with our daughters all the wonders there are to be found.
We went camping this past week (yes, I said "week") in South Carolina at Hartwell Lake. We met my sister and her husband and several of their friends who have huge, plush RV's so I was excited that we had some backup for our first camping venture. I love my sister, her husband, her baby and her friends. You wouldn't believe the food they cook and eat when camping. Smoked chicken, ribs, wings, pancakes, eggs, biscuits and sausage every morning. My sister and her husband took great care of us. But camping wasn't quite the romantic ideal I had in my mind. The sites were tight and we barely had room for our tent. Now I will say that Big Sister LOVED camping. She can't stop talking about it. Little Sister, on the other hand, heard the word "NO!" all day, every day. As in, "No! Don't eat that!" or "No, don't touch that!" or "No, don't stick that in the fire!" We had a lot of laughs but there were some challenges along the way. I learned a few things over the course of those few days. Here are just 10 of them...
1. Camping is not fun when you have a fever.
2. When you have a fever, an air conditioned RV comes in handy.
3. When you need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, an air conditioned RV comes in handy.
4. When the kids are bored, an air conditioned RV with Direct TV (no, I'm not kidding) comes in handy.
5. When your 2 year old is begging for a nap at noon, an air conditioned RV comes in handy.
6. When your 2 year old is begging for a nap at noon, mama has to stay behind while everyone else goes out on the boat swimming, fishing, and exploring...every day.
7. When your 2 year old is begging for a nap at noon and mama stays behind while everyone else goes out, it's the only time there is actually quiet.
8. In the dark of night, lying in a tent, nature is LOUD!
9. When you go camping, you must embrace the dirt. Thank God for it, because it will cover your children, your clothes, your food...everything. Uncle Pete really embraced it by wearing the same outfit every day. I'm pretty sure we will end up throwing away Big Sister's bathing suit.
10. They don't allow fireworks at state parks, not even on the 4th of July.
I learned so much more but I'll stop there. Notice there are no pictures from this trip. Remember what I said about the dirt? And the fever? We'll do it again though...someday.