Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I'm Crazy... or, We Went Camping

Last weekend we experienced another "first" for the boys - AND for me.
We went camping.

I had been camping before, but never really did the tent kind. My dad shares a cabin on the mountain with my uncle and some of his friends, and growing up we would occasionally wrestle the four-wheelers up to the top and spend some time up there. It's no luxury pad, but has many amenities that a tent just doesn't have - a wood stove, bunk beds, sink, & outhouse. If dad brought the generator we would have electricity, and they keep huge jugs of water for washing dishes and drinking. So, I never really had to do the tent thing.

The botanical gardens hosted a Family Camp Night on their grounds, and HH and I thought it would be a good trial run for the boys. It was great! We pitched the tent close to the Japanese Water Garden in hopes that the fountain sounds would drown out any people noises and wake up the boys later that night. It worked pretty well except it made me want to pee the whole time.

We roasted hot dogs on sticks:

We made S'mores over an open fire: (a first for me too!)

We went on a flashlight hike through the Enchanted Forest, a hay ride to see all the garden's scarecrows, and threw rocks in the pond (for MUCH longer than I would have liked). Everything was going splendidly...

... until it was time for bed.

Eli was overtired, and when he gets that way we just have to ride the tide until he collapses from exhaustion. Luckily, it doesn't take long, but it's pretty intense until then. There was much fussing and thrashing and throwing himself on the ground. HH was able to get him asleep, but had to carefully extract himself from the Eli Bear Grip in order to get to his own sleeping bag. Finn was happy as a lark and thought the whole thing was "super cool". We all snuggled into sleeping bags and passed out.

I slept really well and deeply, which surprised me. I woke up, all ready to pack up and get some breakfast. I checked my phone to see what time it was: Twelve thirty.

WHA??? You've got to be kidding me.

I looked over at Caleb, who was flat on his back, staring up at the tent ceiling. "That's how I felt thirty minutes ago," he said. "We're trapped in the night that will never end."

To make a really long story shorter, we got through it. Finn woke up around 1:00 AM, did a weird little sleep-walking monkey dance and fell back asleep. At 4:00 AM we woke up to the sound of a military drill exercise taking place on the base next door to the garden. It was difficult to get back to sleep after that, plus it started raining and it was cold. We packed up and headed back to the Hacienda.

Did the boys go back to sleep after we got home and they their own warm, dry beds to enjoy?

Did I make it to my meeting in Birmingham after 3 hours sleep?

Will we be camping in our backyard soon?
According to Finn, we will.

Are S'mores better over an actual fire as opposed to the microwave?
No question about it.


anti-supermom said...

Way to go on the camping thing, I'd way prefer a hotel than a tent any day, my husband is the same, lucky me!

Smore over the stove are *almost* just as good.

The pictures are great, they seem to have had a blast.

Threeboys1mommy said...

What a neat experience. I dreaded camping when I was little, but my greatest memories are of those trips. I can't wait to take the boys out, nest summer.

Mamasphere said...

I keep trying to get my husband to put together a fire pit on our back patio so I can have s'mores the way they were meant to be.

I haven't been tent camping in ages. Might be time to get the four year old out into the forest.

S2 said...

Okay, this is a crazy coincidence. If you guys were making smores last FRIDAY night, so were we! Only we were in as rural of a setting as I can deal with - our backyard!

Spending the night at the Bo Ga sounds like fun, but I'm thinking it would be even BETTER w/a hotel room. Perhaps they'll add those for next year, eh?

I am so NOT a camper. Motel 6 is a close to camping as I can come. Kudos for braving it and actually spending the night! I wish I could say I would have lasted that long but I know that would be a lie.

Random: Are you guys still using Flickr? I bopped over to your page and didn't see many new pics. I was hoping to see some of the reunion we weren't invited to and the like, LOL. I can't decide if I want to keep going w/Flickr or move them somewhere else; I have a TON of digi images...

Again, well done on the camping - at least in the backyard you can always hop inside for creature comforts. =)

Shannon said...

The smores must have made it all worthwhile, but the rain - well, that just sucks!! Rain is the worst part of camping, if it happens. Good for you for giving camping the go ahead!

Artist Unplugged said...

I'm happy to hear you did the camping thing! The waking up all hours sounds miserable but the rest sounds great!

AmySandy said...

I am so excited that you guys got to be "Happy Campers"! I hate that it rained on you...though the sound of rain on the tent is zen-like, I think. And the fact that you can smell the morning the minute you wake up...you can't do that from inside a house.

All of it makes me want to go! I've seen that the Nashville Zoo hosts camp nights, too, which would be fun. Sandy and I went camping together this time last year, and we took Kieran over Mem. Day weekend...I think Connery's due, and what an adventure that would be!

The White House said...

Love camping and love smores. What a fun trip!

I, like anti-supermom, would rather have room service in a hotel than hot dogs over the camp fire though!

Anonymous said...

How cool! We've never done the real camping thing either -- we have a very very old R.V. that is still up in Nashville that we kinda camp in!

Anonymous said...

Fogot to say sounds like fun and now I'm craving those smores!

Carol said...

Wow camping. I know it'll be in my future as a mum of boys but so far I have managed to avoid the pleasure.

The fountain would have been pure torture for my bladder.

Glad you escaped from the night that never ends.

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

I have said this so many many times...to me camping is when you see your car outside the hotel window ;)
Kuddos for trying, I know I could never do it.

Hotwheel Hacienda, 2008. All Rights Reserved.|Blog Design by JudithShakes Designs.
Graphics hosted by Flickr.