The camping trip was a great success. Michael and I had such a great time that I am certain this will become a tradition (for a longer period of time, for sure--maybe with Willow added next year?).
After buying groceries on Friday night, we slept over at our friend's house and then left the next day. We got there on Saturday morning, set up camp. It was nice and secluded, although up four flights of steep stairs (which, considering the food intake, probably was good exercise to burn those extra calories off!!)
My friend Ana had all the camping supplies, including a 6 person tent. Michael and I brought our clothes, our sleeping bags (new ones actually) and our air mattress. I have not been camping in a long time and it was great to have Ana the Expert there (I could have never set up this tent!)
Upon arriving, we noticed these warnings all about:
bears were in the area, so they had precautions on how we dealt with our food. Our food could never be unattended and we needed to take our food (and toothpaste) into the car after we were done with it (and make sure there was no scraps put into the fire or left on the ground). This was so the bears would not be attracted to our site. This was thrilling and very camp-like (and logically we had nothing to worry about), but that little undercurrent of fear would factor in later...
Michael embraced all aspects of camping...he loved snuggling into his new sleeping bag (his old one was a child's one for sleep overs--this one was a full adult camping one). He loved playing inside the tent.
Once we arrived, we made lunch on the fire--hot dogs!
Then, swimming in the lake, a ranger education program on turtles...and finally, the start of the really fun parts of camping--the campfire in the evening!!
Ana made shrimp kabobs, and a cheeseburger for Michael...YUM!
While we were waiting for the fire to get hot enough, Ana taught Michael how to whittle...
I love his expression..
As night fell, it was time for S'MORES!!
"Mom, these are the BEST S'mores EVER!! They are so much better on a real fire!"
I made sure to sacrifice one of my marshmallows to a firey death--cuz it looks so cool!
Afterwards, we sat by the fire and just talked. And, every so often, we heard a crackle of leaves in woods right near our fire. We all talked about how, if it were a bear, or other worrisome critter, the dogs would warn us...
Did, I mention Ana's dogs? Here are Ryka and Jack--the bestest dogs to go camping with!
So, every so often, we would say these words of wisdom and talk about the various small creatures that could be making those occasional noises so close to us. (However, you KNOW that BEAR or RABID RACOON was going on in our minds...right?!)
It was time to stoke the fire again. So, I stood up, getting close to the woods to pick up some of our wood...and out DARTS -- Freddy the Chipmunk of Terror!! I jumped a few feet (protecting my son--at least that is what he says--I don't recall).
The rest of the night was uneventful, we looked up at stars, talked and enjoyed the fire. Michael went to bed first, mainly cuz he was anxious to get the experience of sleeping in his sleeping bag in the tent under way. Ana and I stayed up later to enjoy the fire some more, making it last as long as we could.
We slept in the tent all together, Jack and Ryka included. Every so often in the night, I could feel a friendly nuzzle and lick. I woke up this morning, happy to have had this wonderful time with my son and my friend!!
Me, Jack and Michael.
Michael, Ryka and Ana.
Pancakes and Eggs this morning, a'la Ana!
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