First Family Camping Trip
We forgot to take our cameras on the trip, so this will be a picture less post. How sad. We won't make that mistake again!
Two weekends ago we decided to do a test run on camping with the kids. Eric and I used to camp a lot before kids showed up. I remember clearly the last time we went camping. I was quite a few months into my pregnancy with Etta. We drove to Flagstaff and camped with Marc and WeiRong (Eric's brother and his wife) for a night. It's been so long. Now that she can fall asleep with Mom and Dad we thought it would be doable.
We upgraded a lot of our camping stuff when we were at Yokota. We picked up a 7 man tent (because a family of four needs room!), a shade tent (we are pale people), a second queen blow up mattress, a two burner stove, a new camping grill, and several types of lights.
After talking to a friend, Eric decided around about where we were going to camp. Close enough so that if the girls were unbearable we could pack it up and go home; but far enough to get out of Shizuoka. I can't remember the name of the place off the top of my head but we ended up driving further than expected because we wanted to be away from a road and other people. Lets just say we were on a one lane road for quite some time before Eric saw a dirt road leading to the stream. We found a secluded spot that is frequently used for camping as well as dumping of garbage. To make a long story short, getting rid of non-recyclables and non-burnable garbage is a pain as well costly at times. Luckily the garbage was away from where we set up camp, but we joked about it the entire time we were there. Twently two tires and counting. We were just a hill above a stream and little waterfall. It was way to cold to go in and enjoy it, but it was pretty to look at as well as nice to listen too. We've recently been waking up to a dog barking at about 5am every morning, so this was a nice change.
We arrived just after lunch time and didn't have any plans to explore so we spent a lot of the day picking up sticks and branches for firewood. Surprisingly, the girls really enjoyed it. Good thing too, it was overcast the entire afternoon and cold. We had a fire going from the time we arrived to the time we went to sleep. They also spent a good hour just playing in the tent. It took us awhile to put it up since it was our first time with this tent. The girls played in and out of it the entire time we were working on it. We then put two queen sized blow up beds in it and realized we had room for one more. Don't think we need a third one!
We had a feast of hot dogs and bakes beans for dinner which the girls were happy to see. We later enjoyed making Smores. Oddly enough I've had a bag of marshmallows for the longest time and had fun showing the girls how to make and eat them. Chloe would discard my perfectly toasted marshmallow and graham crackers just to eat the chocolate. So, I just gave her chocolate from then on and kept the marshmallows to myself. Etta liked the Smores though, I lost track of how many she ate.
Since Chloe had basically missed her nap that afternoon, she was a little crazy in the evening. We needed to put her down, but forgot the pack n play. Of all the things to forget. We decided each parent would get a child and I reluctantly chose Chloe. Eric put Chloe down to bed kicking and screaming and left the tent. She was pissed off. So much so she made herself throw up in the tent. Lucky for us, she hit the floor and some dirty clothes, not the beds. Chloe came back out and I held her until she finally passed out on my shoulder. During that time Etta announced she was tired and wanted to go to sleep. She quickly fell asleep in the bed she claimed.
It was still early so we sat around the fire just enjoying some grown up time. We get very little of it nowadays. We both surprising got little of each of our beds and pillows since the girls had claimed the best spots. I was cold and kept smelling puke mixed with camp fire which just isn't pleasant. It took awhile, but I finally fell asleep.
In the middle of the night Chloe woke up cold and spent a good chunk of time bouncing on me or just screaming occasionally. It wasn't too bad and didn't last long. Once I found all the blankets at my feet we got warm again and Chloe fell sleep. Surprisingly both the girls slept in the next morning. I woke up and couldn't get to my book without waking up Chloe so I just laid there for an hour. Then I had to go to the bathroom and decided to risk waking the girls up, and I did. Oh well. We had breakfast and hung out awhile since the weather was so nice. Sunny and warm. We cleaned up camp and headed home. All in all our trip was a success.
It's slightly warming up here and should be perfect camping weather so we are hoping to make another trip this weekend. Hopefully a little further away and with the pack n play. We're worried that if we wait too long, it will be mushi atsui (hot and sticky) and won't be any fun camping. I think our window of opportunity for camping is going to be small this year. Say a prayer for us this weekend. Good weather, travel mercies, and overall good behavior from the girls. Oh yeah, and a good night of sleep for the girls too.