That first summer we went camping once. It was before S was born, it was cool for August, it rained, the campground was great and had a private beach on Lake Michigan, and we borrowed my sister's tent. We all had fun, despite some of the downsides and the fact that I was just starting my "all day sickness" at the beginning of my pregnancy so the campfire smell (which I usually love) got turned into a nausea inducing smell that I'm just now coming out of. Amazing how those things linger. It was a decent beginning to our camping career.
Last year, we borrowed our friends' tent and camped near Niagara Falls on our way to Maine. We planned to camp more of the time, but a few different problems interfered so it was only the one day. We had fun again, and learned a little more about the process. Namely, have some food ready to eat when you get to the campground because it is hard to set up a tent, start a fire and cook your food while wrangling little boys!
This year, we made the jump and bought our own tent. Target had a sale on a six person Coleman tent: $69 down from $101. With our Target card we saved 5%, with my Mypoints membership we got free shipping so the total was only $69 and some change with tax! Since it had good reviews and it was such a good sale, we bought it and it was at our door within two days! I set it up before we used it to make sure it was all there and working before we needed it to provide shelter. The boys helped me test it by running around inside and around the outside.
Our first camping trip of this year was to the place we went on our first camping trip three years ago, to Covert Park and Campground in Michigan. We were planning a beach day with my family on Monday, so we decided to camp Sunday night and meet at the beach on Monday. Then I convinced (without too much work) my family to stay at the campground too. The place has these two campsites up on a big dune hill that are secluded from the rest of the sites. There are a lot of stairs to get up there:
Not fun for hauling up all our stuff, but very cool otherwise.
My sisters, nephew and my family had those two sites on the hill. My parents declared that they were too old to sleep on the ground, so they rented one of the cabins available. It had beds with mattresses, a table and chairs and electricity. Plus it was closer to the bathrooms.
The benefit of staying overnight was that we got to swim until the sun set, then wake up and go to the beach for the sunrise! As soon as the kids woke up, we headed down.
The sun rose on the opposite side of the lake, but that didn't make it any less beautiful!
James is the photographer of the family, so I try to take his picture to make sure we have evidence that he does come with us on these adventures!
Cousins hanging out on the beach in their pj's.
My handsome boy.
After morning beaching, we went back up for a campfire breakfast. Then it was more beach! We were too busy swimming for pictures. When S wanted a snack break, we broke out the granola bars and juice boxes.
He was so tired from a late night and early morning, that he actually fell asleep in my arms on the beach. He hasn't done that in a while, so it was nice to get those moments with him.
Meanwhile, James started helping K with a sand castle, then got really into it. K wandered to a different place, but James kept working.
It was a great mini vacation, and the only negatives were a bunch of bug bites (for James), and sunburns (for K and James). Not too shabby.
Back with our second camping adventure soon!