Wednesday, August 6, 2008


So our camping story begins with packing. Lots and lots of packing. We had to buy a trailer this year to fit everything. Al took the day off on Friday to Commence Packing. I did laundry constantly to make sure we had clean clothing. (Please don't ask how much laundry I do on a regular basis, it will shock and amaze you). Packing and unpacking and packing and unpacking to get the weight right on the trailer took an extremely long time, so we went to bed at around midnight.

The next morning we woke up fully chipper and rested from so much sleep. So we began the Process Of Leaving. This is an entire process with about 4 hours of work. Don't ask me to explain it, because I have no idea. It's all a blur. Finally we were ready to leave. We made it as far as the drug store (can't camp without vitamins you know). When we began to get out of the car for the store I noticed Aisling had no shoes on.
"Where are your shoes?"
"I didn't bring any!" (like, duh)
"I didn't bring any!" (said more slowly and loudly because clearly I am an idiot)

We got our directions from Google Maps. Now, if you've ever used this, you know it has options like "avoid highways" or "avoid tolls" or things like that. What they need is a "two tired parents, three small children, and a trailer over packed with crap" option. Our campsite was in the North East Kingdom of VT. If you've never been there, it's exactly what you are picturing right now. Google Maps thought that we should take the scenic route (avoid highways...). We found ourselves looking for a road called Hudson road. turns out, Hudson road should be called "Hudson dirt path covered in pot holes". It was a typical back country dirt road. However, these are not so fun with a trailer. The conversation between Al and Connor went something like this:
"Dad, what's falling off the trailer?"
"nothing, it's just rocks and stuff hitting the bottom of the trailer"
"Dad. I think something's falling off the trailer"
"NOTHING is falling off, we're fine"
"NOTHING..... wait something is falling off the trailer"
Oh yes, we were losing a piece of wood used to hold things onto the trailer. (Ironic, I know) So, that crises over we resumed bumping along this path driving toward the campsite.

We finally made it, and began to set up camp. That night, it rained. So we all sat in the lean to and played card games all night. This might sound like a cozy time, except when you are also trying to cook with two gas camp stoves and you've got Connor running back and forth, narrowly avoiding the camp stoves.... good times.

The rest of the trip is a bit of a blur, from one soggy day to the next. We really enjoyed it, it was just really really wet. We do this camping trip every year, and have for the past four years, with a group of close friends. This year the kids were these ages: in utero, 11 weeks, 4, 4 1/2, 6, 6, 7, 8, and 10. I think the one in utero was the least trouble, but something tells me she'll be up to no good next year.

Connor and his friend Hunter (7) both learned how to ride their bikes this week. Both had some prior knowledge, but they perfected it this week, down to the serious racer looks on their faces.

Of course perfecting riding a two wheeler brings with it an assortment of bumps and bruises, something with which Connor is well familiar. He got some super road rash on his elbow. He would have handled it totally fine, but then he saw the blood, and well, let the screaming begin. That child gets injured so often you would think he would be used to it, but no, a sight of blood sends him into hysterics. He screams so much I think he's broken a bone. Someday he's going to be really really hurt, and I am going to shout over to him to just get up and come see me. Over he'll hobble with his shin bone totally broken or something. Aisling also got in tons of rides on her bike. I bet next year she'll take off the training wheels.

Over the course of the week the kids also perfected their uno game. Really perfected. They played it constantly.

We did get a few beach days in, and we were able to take a hike as well as a bike ride. Maidstone park is really really beautiful, and it was nice to just be out in nature away from all the things needed to be done at home. I love camping and actually find it to be quite relaxing. Due to the rain, we were able to spend a few days just hanging out, and I was actually able to read a book. That was really nice. Connor and Aisling are old enough now to be off playing and not be underfoot constantly. That was also nice.

At the beach on Friday we brought sandwiches for lunch. It began to rain so we had to head back with no one having eaten their lunches. Well, since we were all hungry we bought some different sandwiches on the way home... massive ice cream cookie sandwiches. Oh yes, we are such healthy eaters we are.

We really did have a good time camping. We brought home tons of wet smelly laundry.... (don't ask me about our beach towels.... it's a sensitive subject) and by the last day our entire tent smelled like mold, but, hey, I wasn't home! Enjoy the sideshow of assorted pictures. (Don't think for a minute this is all of them....)

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