Tonight we are doing something we have never done before. We are taking Haven camping with us. We're not really sure if this is a good idea, seeing as how there are such things as fire, sticks, sharp objects and our daughter's ability to get hurt while sitting down. But we're doing it anyway. Actually the thing that strikes the greatest trepidation in my heart is sleeping, or the lack thereof, by all parties staying in our tent. Haven is an absolute crazy sleeper and I'm just not sure how that's going to play out in a three-man tent. I think it's going to be a long night!
Cale and I haven't been camping for a few years and have not had the best experiences when we have gone. We both grew up camping, but our families did things a little differently. Cale was a tent camper. My family had a pop-up camper that we used to travel all over the place with. I have many fond memories of sleeping on the couch/dinette/my bed with my brothers on the pop out double bed beside me and fighting with each other and thus, getting into trouble. We used to play Uno like it was going out of style when we went camping. And for some reason, Uno=eating licorice in the recesses of my memory.
After several years of being migratory campers, my parents decided to buy a park model trailer and settle down at one campground. So then we had a "camp" that we went to all summer long. We built a deck and bought patio furniture and enjoyed not having to load the car down every time we wanted to go camping. That camper (that my mom still has) had a bunk room in the back and I could not even begin to recount the hours spent by me and my friends talking what weighs on the mind of every 12-16 year old girl: boys ("What did he mean when he said that? Do you think he really likes me?"), our hair and painting our toenails. Deep stuff.
After we got married we thought it would be fun to go camping together. And the first time we went, it started out pretty well. My always thrifty husband thought we should stay at the horseman's camp which basically means, no electricity, no real bathrooms. Lovely. It unfortunately meant that night drunk, mean people as well. We had a nice dinner and had enjoyed a small fire for awhile. Then it started to rain. So we got in our tent and decided to just go to sleep. Easier said then done as the drunk, mean people got louder and rowdier.
When three hours had passed and it was now 1am, we decided to call the park ranger and have them come down and shut the partiers down. Generally speaking, we would have tried to deal with the problem on our own, but seeing as how there were several men who had been drinking for several hours and only one Cale, we thought that wasn't the way to go. I don't know if you know this, but drunk people are hard to reason with and Cale wasn't up for it. Actually, I wasn't up for it! So anyways, we called the ranger and they said they would be right down. At 2am, the ranger had not yet showed up and it was starting to pour down rain. We'd had enough. We started throwing everything into the back of the car and were getting ready to leave, when guess who got there?! You guessed it! But it was too late, and we headed home. Not the best night for us, but it makes for a good memory.
It took us several months before we decided to try again and let's just say it wasn't much better. This time we didn't have drunk people, we had a speedway! That didn't shut down until after 1am! And we couldn't sleep! It was awful! This time we were much further away from home, so packing up wasn't really an option. We survived, but let's just say I wasn't exactly excited about going camping again anytime soon.
We have had a few positive experiences and I am hoping that we can add tonight to that list. We are going with some newlywed friends of ours that we haven't hung out with in awhile. I'm thinking that as long as I get a pizza mountain pie, Haven doesn't get burned in the fire or otherwise maim herself, and we can get at least a few hours of shut-eye the night will be a success. Good friends, the great outdoors and my family...what more do I need? Well, I'd really appreciate it if it didn't rain and if we had sober fellow campers. Here's for hoping!!