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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Camping for the first time ever

There is literally nothing better in this world than camping. For a 27 year old first timer, I can attest that I have waited too long. What has been going on in my life, dreaming up these fantastical vacations over the last few years? Why do we need to go to Aulani when camp sites sit vacant near and far?
My brother-in-law is a major outdoors lover. He told us a few months ago that he was booking a trip to Caspar's off of Ortega Highway, and that we should join them. Once I got word that the sites were $30 (THIRTY DOLLARS!) per night, I got overly excited, as I do when a deal has been spotted. So booked it was, two sites right next to one another. Camping videos were watched, outdoorsy Pinterest boards were made and tents were constructed in the living rooms of our home and the sister's, just to make sure we knew what we were doing once the pressure was on. 

Chad and Bear did ALL of the planning. There were several Amazon Prime shipments of weird things that I had no idea what to do with - bunches of sage? - and the two of them constructed the meal and snack time break down. They told us several times that the women were not allowed to set up - we were strictly on child duty. Hey-o, fine by me, buddy. My great hypothetical annoyance with camping was always the time it would take to set up. Anyway, Gina and Bear got there around 2:00, so they set up and got started on dinner. Chad and I packed (and I do mean PACKED) down the car and arrived around 5:30. Chad then set everything up in 45 minutes while I obsessed over how picturesque the whole experience was. It was beautiful! 
THE priority of every adult there was food. The Fitch's were responsible for night 1 dinner, day 2 breakfast and day 2 lunch. We were in charge of desserts, snacks, night 2 dinner and final day breakfast. SNACKS. My life revolves around snacks. The amount of times I'm asked, "can we have a snack now" is just stupendous. Or stupid. I told my kids several times beforehand to not ask me for snacks while camping. "They will be provided to you as long as you don't ask." Anyway, we all brought so much food. The gourmet meals really were awesome. At one point we all thought that all we were going to do during the trip was eat, but somehow it didn't feel like that. Chad and I learned one pot meals were the way to go, as our bacon, egg and pancake situation really was quite the ordeal. Also, waffle cones are THE JAM. Nothing else exists after experiencing those waffle cones.

Night 1 was spent eating a delish dinner, then campfire time, then Chad scaring the hooligans out of the kids with a Big Foot search (Kota returned in tears), then bed for the littles. In the morning, we ate another ridiculously amazing bfast, loaded the carefully packaged snacks and took off for a 4 mile hike. We were all very impressed by the kids' stamina. Kota had to be cheered-on and prompted during the last mile, but hey, that's quite the fete for her. Proud of those munchkins!

After a bomb lunch, the adults hit a tired lull, definitely the result of our brewskies from the night before. We upped the energy level by playing a few rounds of corn hole and some refreshing drinks. That night we made dinner (quesadilla bar with carne asada yummmmmm) followed by the waffle cones, then sleep for all. Well, sleep for some. The nephews definitely kept the sister up for a good portion of that night, but hey, what can ya do?
So our tent smelled rancid. RAN.CID. It was disgusting!!! At one point the kids were all playing in there when Kota yelled out, "Gina, Asher pooped!" Well he hadn't pooped, it was just our tent. HAHAHAHAHA. It was really, really gross. I told myself that a nice sponge bath with baby wipes should get me through to Sunday, a measly 2 days away (we all bathed vigorously on Friday afternoon), but it definitely was not. The Fitch's had these 5 gallon shower bag things - they smelled wonderful. We were sick, creepy, weirdos compared to them. I can't even describe how gross our tent was by the end. Bahahaha. Next time, showers with real soap is happening. Or at least some form of a sponge bath with actual soap. 

It was super wonderful, though, to see how dirty the kids got. Ain't that the bottom line of childhood? Filth? The filthier you are, the more fun you're having. Carter and Kota were grimy little monsters by 9:30 am both days and it was wonderful. And guess what? NO ONE asked for snacks OR technology (except for Asher who needed some help getting to sleep). Can you believe that though? Cisneros children sans questions of snacks and technology. That really did drive the nail home in regards to how in love I was with camping. Sooooooooo awesome.

Also, I packed super inappropriately. We had Carter's kindergarten meet the teacher before we left on Friday, so I showed up in rainbows, short shorts, a light tank top and straightened hair. The only warm articles of clothing I packed for the kids were their lightweight pajamas. For myself I brought two pairs of other short shorts and two other tank tops. I threw in a workout outfit just for good measure, and that's what I should have done for the whole trip. Next time it will strictly be cute workout gear. I don't know what I was thinking! For some bizarre reason, I kept thinking it was going to be hot from sun up until sun down then sweltering at night. We're in August, for gosh sakes! But no, pants and sweats should be worn at all times while roughin' it.
So now Lake Arrowhead is next. Gina and I kept talking about how much we wanted to do something alpine-based and cold, so it's happening. Wooooooooooooooooooooooo! Camping is the jam!

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