Tuesday, July 31, 2007

home sweet home

***WARNING*** This could be a rather long post as I have a lot of ground to cover, so please bear with me. (by the way, it's also good to be able to blog again -- this was my longest hiatus in my 3 month blogging history)

Well, I have been back from my camping adventure for nearly 24 hours and I AM GLAD TO BE HOME!! I have already been able to cool off in air conditioning, enjoy 3 meals without being attacked by flies, use my own c-l-e-a-n bathroom, have a much-needed SHOWER and sleep in my very own bed. Ah...there truly is no place like home.

Unfortunately my weekend did not get off to a very good start. I talked to Les on the phone from work at around 4:00 to get some bad news. The signal and brake lights on the camper weren't working properly due to faulty wiring in the van. So as soon as I left the office I had to rush out to Canadian Tire to get Les the proper wiring part that he required. Well, wouldn't you know it there were two options, depending on what month the vehicle was made in!! If the van was made prior to November 2002 I needed one particular part, and if the vehicle was made after November 2002 I needed a different part. I tried calling Les to get ahold of him, but he wasn't answering the phone. As it turns out they only had one of them in stock anyway, so that made my decision easy. So I grabbed it, paid for it, prayed that it was the right one and a hundred dollars later I was on my way home.

Once I got home (after driving for 1/2 an hour in our non-air-conditioned Jeep), I was in a bit of a foul mood. Les had to spend about an hour getting everything re-wired and up and running -- with the help of our friend who had lent us the camper to begin with -- and I spent that time scurrying around the house getting the last-minute things done that Les hadn't been able to do since he had been tinkering around with the van, feeding the girls supper and tidying up the kitchen. (and yes, I had gotten the correct part...phew!!)

We were finally on the road shortly before 7:00 and we headed into the city to pick up one of Les' sisters. Les and I were going to pick up some food at a McDonald's or something on our way out of the city since we hadn't had time to eat anything before we left, but we were too busy looking at maps and debating the fastest way to get there that we missed most opportunites to stop at a fast food restaurant. Then, we hit a train. But not just any train. A stopped train. Dead - In - Its - Tracks. Fortunately, it wasn't stopped for too long. After a minute or two it started up again but of course it was a terribly long train and it took awhile for it to pick up speed.

F-I-N-A-L-L-Y we crossed the train tracks and I breathed a sigh of relief. Les took a quick little detour to find ourselves something to eat. We picked the first place we saw -- a Burger King. I ran in to get our food and ended up having a not so positive experience!! I was the first person in line to place my order, yet it still took at least 5 minutes for somebody to acknowledge me. Then I had to wait another 10 minutes for my order. I had ordered my burger with no mayo and I always check my order before I leave the restaurant. But I was in too much of a hurry and I was not about to wait another 15 minutes if they had indeed made an error. So I foolishly trusted that it was good, and hopped back into the van and we were off. Well, what a surprise -- my order was WRONG!! Instead of giving me a burger with no mayo, they gave me a burger completely slathered with mayo but no lettuce!! Not only was it already 8:00, but my supper was practically ruined. I was fuming by this point and was just ready to get there and get settled for the night.

We did eventually get there, but by the time we got the camper set up and the girls to sleep it was 1:00. Yes, you read correctly...ONE O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING!!!

At least everybody woke up happy the next morning, so I was hoping that the worst was behind us and that we could enjoy the weekend ahead -- it was, and we did!!

The girls were definitely excited to be camping and they loved re-uniting with their Uncle Greg, Auntie Tammi and cousins Hannah and Abby, who they don't get to see very regularly.

The weekend was full of experiences -- good and bad. Some of my biggest reasons for not enjoying camping came into play this weekend.

  • Too much hot weather with not enough places for escape (but we tried!)

The boys cooling off in the hand-made pool that Grandpa made on our camp-site.

DeeDee and I trying to cool down with ice on our heads...ahhh...that felt nice!!

  • WAY too many bugs (flies mostly -- some biting). You couldn't sit for more than 5 seconds without being harrassed by a handful of flies.
  • Bad nights. Sleeping in a one room camper -- although it as better than a tent -- with both of the girls proved to be very challenging. I figured out that in the time span that we were away, Malia should've gotten 45 hours of sleep (her normal routine for 3 nights and 3 naps) -- HOWEVER -- she only got a measly 26 hours of sleep...I think taking her soother away last week was a bit of a mistake!!
  • Dirty bathrooms. I am glad that at least there wasn't outhouses. We had actual bathrooms with toilets. However, camp-groud bathrooms are always very disgusting to me and I can't actually make myself sit down on the toilet seat. Plus, they weren't functioning very well. Most of the time there was at least 1 if not 2 toilets that were plugged. Ugh...gross!!

But there were also numerous positives to my weekend. And some of them were:

  • Spending time with my family of in-laws. I am very blessed to get along really well with each and every one of them. We enjoyed spending the weekend together -- especially the evenings around the fire once the kids were all in bed!!
  • Playing at the beach. The water was wonderfully refreshing and even though it was always a bit of a chore to pack everything up and make the walk there and back, it was well worth it to dip in the water and swim around.

(Hope you don't mind this picture Tammi...although I have to say it's nothing compared to the one you showed of me at my wedding!!)

(On a side note -- I was very impressed with Joelle this weekend. She hasn't always been brave in water. Last year was a lot different than this year. This year she was splashing around, even dipping her head under water, and kicking and paddling to keep herself afloat. I was very proud of my little girl. She had such a great time!)
  • I got to wear J-E-A-N-S-!! I didn't pack along my favorite pair -- you know, for fear of getting them wrecked or stained or something -- but the evenings did cool down enough (and the bugs were bad enough) that it was well worth putting on long pants and I loved that!

  • Another note about the weather cooling off in the evenings...we had the flaps open in our camper and had a fan constantly blowing, so during the nights I was very comfortable. I even got to snuggle up with our big comforter that we brought along. As I have mentioned in other posts, I don't sleep nearly as well with just a thin sheet. So this was an extra bonus to camping, getting to sleep with my big blanket!!

  • And watching the girls spend some bonding moments with their Grandma & Grandpa

Here are some other memories from the weekend....

I had a great chuckle over this one. That chip bag is almost as big as she is!!!

The scary thing about this picture is that
it won't feel too long before she's 16 and is
actually sitting behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Chillin' in the wading pool that Grandpa made

Just playing at the beach.

Chugging back a juice box at
the beach. Gotta keep hydrated!

Giving our stroller a "tush" as
Malia says it

My beautiful Little Miss Malia.

The girls were E-X-H-A-U-S-T-E-D when we left Monday afternoon (as were Les and I...we had a hard time keeping our eyes open for most of the drive). Luckily they both fell asleep for just over an hour.

Joelle fell asleep with her brand new bike helmet on that Grandma & Grandpa had given each of the grand-daughters. It looked so uncomfortable so I reached back to take it off so she could have a better sleep.

And that is the SHORT update of my camping weekend adventure!! And now I'm home and I survived another weekend of camping. H-O-O-R-A-Y-!!

(I spent a lot of time trying to get all of my pictures and writing lined up...it looks like it worked on this screen, so hopefully it will look that way once I've posted it!!)

And make sure you check out Tammi's blog in a couple of days. They were leaving the lake this afternoon and I'm sure she'll have a report out shortly.


Jamie said...

Sounds like a typical camping trip! Ours had similar ups and downs!

ValleyGirl said...

No forgiveness necessary -- just remember, I was there with my camera when you were in a swimsuit too!!!! Actually, I'm pretty impressed with how I look in that pic. I've got a couple of myself from the weekend which are a lot worse. Which I've deleted already, of course.

ValleyGirl said...

Oh wait, you didn't ask for forgiveness, just hoped I wouldn't mind. Well, in that case, I guess you'll have to wait and see how much I minded once my camping entry is posted....

jackie said...

I'm proud of you Andrea! You're really getting into camping (although it has taken a FEW years of marriage!). Yet again, you inspire me!

Pamela said...

You survived another year! Cheers to you! :)