Camping With the Kids

This weekend we really got away from it all, away from cell phones, away from iPads, away from anything and everything electronic, and it was great! We went camping at Memorial Park with another family, and even though it’s only a 45-minute drive away on some really twisty roads, it felt like a million miles away.

I mean you really can’t beat setting up your tent among huge redwood trees.

 
Our home away from home

Yes, all five us slept in this tent for two nights. Van and I did not have high hopes that we would get much sleep, but it wasn’t the kids that interrupted our sleep. It was our air mattress deflating at 2 a.m. on the second night. Our backs and necks are way too old to be sleeping right on the ground, and man did we feel the pain when we woke up in the morning.

The kids however, they loved the tent, and they were raring to go early each morning.

Good Morning!
Ready for breakfast!

And with humongous redwoods as your playground, I can’t really blame them for wanting to get up and play.

Perfecting her yoga moves in the redwood tree

Even a mundane morning task, like teeth brushing, is way more fun in the wilderness.

Always rinse after you brush
Carter shows you're never too young to practice good oral hygiene

When you go camping, you’ve got to expect the bathroom facilities will be less than ideal. That wasn’t the case at Memorial Park. The porcelain commode was sparkling clean. I was quite impressed, but Carrie, well, she apparently has higher standards than me.

Potty Time!

Instead, she opted to do her business in the wild. My friend Esther was nice enough help out while still giving Carrie her privacy. By Saturday, the novelty of peeing in the woods wore off, and she declared that she didn’t want to pee like a dog anymore and decided to use the very clean bathroom.

This was our first camping excursion with all three kids, and they exceeded all of our expectations, and then some. They loved checking out all of our “neighbors.”

One of two dozen plus banana slugs we spotted

Erin kept count of the number of banana slugs at the campground. I think she got up to 27.

And who needs to go to a petting zoo when you can pet a mole while taking a nature walk?

Petting the mole

You know the kids are having a good time, when you only hear, “I’m bored” one time from one kid.

Memorial Campground made it really easy to keep the kids entertained without any of the modern conveniences. It has plenty of nature trails, and a really cool swimming hole.

Too cool for a real swim in the swimming hole

There’s also an amphitheatre which showed, what else, a Yogi Bear movie on Saturday night.

Outdoor movie night

Even watching a bad movie is enjoyable when you’re doing it outside. I will confess we didn’t stay too late since the kids were getting pretty jiggy by the end of the night.

Of course you can’t go camping without eating ‘smores around the campfire, and we indulged on this time-honored tradition both nights.

Olivia showing off her marshmallow roasting skills
The backhanded roasted marshmallow move
Marshmallow oozy gooey goodness
"I want 'smore!"

While I have no doubt we would have had fun going solo on this camping trip, it went from a fun trip to a fantastic one embarking on this camping adventure with the Newhauser family.  Once we got the kids more or less down for the night, the adults would kick back in front of the campfire and enjoy adult beverages.  They also made what can be a difficult trip pretty darn easy. We split up the cooking duties, and at any given time there was at least one adult around to keep an eye on one of the five kids in our group. That’s a good thing when you have an open fire going for much of the trip.

We ended this blissful weekend with a trip to the beach on the way home.

Good friends. Good kids. Good food. Good bargain. You can’t ask for much more than that.

3 thoughts on “Camping With the Kids

  1. No, way! I think this is the exact same spot that I went camping last year! Sadly, my friends were unable to book a space for this year. Glad you had a great time!

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