It's taken me a few days to get around to writing about our camping experience because I'm still trying to recover from it! It was somewhat traumatic for Cale and me. Haven loved camping and being allowed to run around outside for hours on end. She even did really well sleeping in the tent. I've learned that if you keep her up long enough, exhaustion can be our friend. That's how we played it on Friday night and it was successful. Well, until the sun came up at 5:45am and she decided that seven hours of sleep was more than sufficient. And I really wouldn't have minded her getting up that early if I had gone to sleep before 3am. But I didn't, so I minded. A lot.
We started the trip off with a bang by realizing as we were setting up camp that our air mattress (yeah, we were really going to rough it!) had been left at home (by Cale, I would like to add). I was bummed, but figured we could just sleep on the sleeping bag we had brought for Haven. That was a great idea until we discovered that the sleeping bag was with the air mattress at the top of the stairs at home. We had one blanket for the three of us and two sheets. Not good. Our friends we were camping with took pity on us and offered us their extra blanket so we then had two thin blankets for our bed. It was only one night so I got over it.
We had a lovely evening hanging out with Matt and Ashley and eating some delicious pizza mountain pies. Cale was feeling just a little bit guilty about leaving some critical items behind and so he took extra care in cooking my mountain pies for me. And they were absolutely perfectly cooked. If you've never had a mountain pie, you have not fully lived. Haven loved having so much room to run around and loved playing catch with her ball, playing with the frisbee and her daddy's airplane.
Around 9pm several cars pulled into the campsite diagonal from ours. We knew we were in trouble when we saw the beer getting pulled out of the car (alcohol is prohibited in the park.) Things went downhill from there. There were at least a dozen people at that campsite and they had no regard for anyone around them. Apparently they needed music to help them set up their tents because they started blaring it around 10pm. I could go on and on about their offenses, but I won't. Let's just say that the volume wasn't even the biggest issue- it was their topics of discussion and the language that they used to talk about these things.
Haven was the least of our problems and went to sleep with little fight. Now it helped that it was 10:30pm when we put her to bed and she's used to going to sleep at 8pm, but she had been happy and having fun, so we let her stay up. I took her into the tent and she immediately laid down on the blankets. I sang a few songs to her and she was out. She stirred a few times in the night when she got caught in the corner of the tent, but she did so much better than we anticipated she would. Cale and I were a different story altogether. We hung out with Matt and Ashley around the fire, eating s'mores and talking until about 12:30am. Cale and I tried to go to sleep, but it just wasn't working. About 1:30 we took a walk and sat around the dying fire, so tired, but not able to block out our noisy neighbors. At 3am, they all decided to go for a swim and quiet descended on us and sleep was my friend. Until Haven woke up. But the day was already heating up so we didn't mind getting out of our hot tent.
Cale tried his hand at cooking breakfast over the fire and it was a success. I think we need to go camping more often because Cale seems to take a great interest in preparing our food. I think it has to do with the fire, as he is a bit of a pyro, but hey, if he's the one cooking instead of me, I'll take it!
We spent the afternoon out on the lake with Cale's aunt and uncle and sister on their boat. We had a great time hanging out with them. Cale did some water skiing and tubing and Haven loved watching him out in the water. Haven really loved everything about being out on the lake and kept saying please, please to get in the water. Got a little bit sunburned as I was late in my sunscreen application, but nothing that a little aloe can't soothe. Thankfully, I was more vigilant about Haven's sunscreen and she remains pale and pasty as ever!
We were all exhausted by Saturday night and when Haven got kicked out of the nursery at church because she was inconsolable we decided we should just go home and call it a day. I'm not so sure that Cale and I are going to go camping anytime soon, but if we do, we know that we don't have to worry about Hay. She was great. Despite our other issues, we really did have a great time hanging out with Matt and Ashley.
And at the end of the day, time with good friends and watching Haven explore and learn more about the world around her is definitely worth losing a few hours of sleep over.