Saturday, July 28, 2012

I've been itching to go camping ever since the weather hit above seventy degrees but despite all of my best efforts no camping trips easily materialized, so I took things into my own hands and on this day I threw some clothing and blankets into the van, picked Miguel up from work, and headed out to the KOA in Manchester Beach that we had stumbled upon on our last adventure. My main goal was to put as little stress and planning into the trip, and it actually worked out beautifully.

 I am a creature of planning and organizing, but I wanted to recreate the sort of trips my dad and I used to take during the summers of my childhood. We would pack up some clothes, grab the ice chest, and more often than not head up or down Highway 1. As a kid I found some of it a little boring, and I remember my dad's exasperation when we would pull up to somewhere beautiful and I would want to stay in the van reading a book, but as an adult those trips have become one of my fondest summer memories. (Admittedly it still doesn't hold a candle to the weekly August trip I took with my mom's extended family every year until Z was a baby. But that is a trip I cannot as easily try to replicate.)
 For a trip that I could throw together for just my little family, this one was a success. By the time we stopped at the bank, grabbed a pizza, (we thought it would be fun to bring a pizza camping, but then ate most of it during the drive anyhow) hit the grocery store, and then drove a couple hours on the winding country roads it was about 8 o'clock but the kids got in all of the running and exploring that they could before it was time to build a campfire.
 And, in Miguel's case, it was time to bring out the Jiffy Pop.
I was a little worried about getting Az to sleep with our usual bedtime routine interrupted but she was completely enamored with the tent. Just like clockwork, around 10PM she took my hand so I would follow her to the tent and told me she was ready for bed. She nursed for a little bit before drifting off to sleep next to her brother and Miguel and I were left to our own devices, me wishing we had brought more firewood and Miguel wishing he had his Xbox.

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