Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wrap the night around your shoulders

This past weekend, I crossed number 17 off of my 27 List and went camping!  Growing up I had my fair share of vacations in an RV at a campground but to the avid camper, that’s not considered “camping”.  Honestly, the whole camping in an RV situation was perfect for me since I have never been a big fan of mosquitoes, bees or any of the other pests that are found in the great outdoors.  Even as a kid, I would choose playing in the screen house over playing in the back yard!!  It all stems from the “bee not a butterfly incident”.  When I was about 5 years old I went on a family vacation to my great grandparent’s camp.  I was quite interested in the insects around the camp.  So interested in fact, that I reached out and caught what I thought was a butterfly.  I quickly discovered that it was not a butterfly when it started stinging the palms of my hands.  I had caught a bumble bee and that bad boy stung me 5 times!  Since then, I haven’t been a big fan of the outdoors and haven’t been a big fan of the whole camping concept (unless it involved an RV).

I decided to put camping on my list because the truth is that I really love being outside and as I have gotten older, I have learned to tolerate the insects, etc.  The opportunity arose when Toph invited me to join him and a few friends on his annual memorial weekend camping trip.   I instantly said yes to the invitation but  I was super nervous leading up to the trip!! A million questions ran through my head.  Was I going to have to pee in the woods?  How long would I have to go without showering?  What kind of wild life would I encounter?  What do I pack?  And the list goes on…and on…and on!  I silently stressed about these things for about 2 weeks but once we got in the car Friday morning at 5:00am the excitement took over.  
The weekend was absolutely wonderful!!  It was by far the most relaxing vacation I have ever had.  I could go on forever about the trip but instead of typing up one gi-normous post, I’ll just share some highlights & things that I learned!
  • Our campsite was right on the river which made for one beautiful view
  • There was a cabin within walking distance of our camp site so I didn’t have to use the great outdoors as my restroom!! There was a toilet available which made me uber happy!! 
  • It turns out that ANY food cooked on a campfire tastes deeeeeeeeeee-licious
  • I learned how to set up a tent and I slept in one with nothing but a sleeping bag & a pillow - that's right, I am one tough lady! ;)
  • Bug spray is a necessary evil.  End of conversation!

  • I tripped over a log in the woods and it turns out that I fall in slow motion.  I would like to call it a graceful way of falling but thinking back on probably was not very graceful! (Do not be concerned - there were no injuries just some mud on my jeans and a bruise on my leg. I reiterate, I'm tough!)
  • Tippy Canoe = NO FUN AT ALL!  We didn't fall into the water but I was terrified of getting into the canoe as well as getting out of it which made for an interesting experience
  • I learned that camping trips involve A LOT of improvisation.  For example: If you don't have a boat you will probably find one by the water that is not chained up to a tree!  If said boat has a leak, you simply patch it up and voila! You have a boat!
  • Moose look really funny when they run.  I didn't get to see any full grown moose but I did see a baby which was really neat
  • Bananas + Peanut Butter + Chocolate + Marshmallows wrapped up in foil and set on a rock by the campfire = An amazingly yummy fireside dessert

  • The night sky was gorgeous.  I even got to see a shooting star which was pretty exciting...
  • There were a bunch of chickens and roosters near our campsite.  The funny part is that the roosters walk around "cock-a-doodle-dooing" all day long.  It's strange how a sound that stands out so much originally, easily becomes background noise within 24 hours.

All in all this trip was amazing and I cannot wait to go back.  I'm almost sad that I didn't experience true camping earlier because I truly enjoyed it but I must admit, this was a pretty fantastic first camping experience!

Lots of Love,

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