Into the Woods with the Fam

It’s a pain in the ass packing, preparing, and planning for a weekend camping trip, but it’s worth it. More than worth it. For a second year in a row, we took the kids camping at Memorial Park near the coast in San Mateo County. It’s only about a 45 minute drive from our house along some winding roads frequented by daring cyclists, but it truly feels a world away. It helps that there’s no cell service so we really were cut-off.

When you look up from your campsite and all you see is a canopy of redwoods…..


you really don’t miss checking text, email, and social media for a couple of days.

The kids to be sure didn’t miss the iPad, TV, or computer. In fact, it seemed like they were ready to live like they did in medieval times, swords and shields and all.

Last year the kids were simply content to count all the banana slugs they found. If you don’t want to read last year’s blog on our first camping excursion, they spotted 27 of the slimy nasty things. Not this year. Nope, now they had to pick them up and become one with the slugs.

At least they didn’t ask to bring them home as pets
The millipedes were a hit too

Part of the pain of preparing for camping is stocking the cooler and all the other food, but there’s something about eating in the woods. We were far from gourmet, sticking to hot dogs, sausages, and spaghetti for dinner, but it’s amazing how tasty Costco chicken sausages can taste when heated up on an open fire.

The same is true about watermelon. It’s always juicier and sweeter when eaten at a campsite.

One thing that really never is better in the great outdoors is sleeping. It’s loud and uncomfortable. As much as I love Memorial Park, it’s far from secluded. There are dozens of family campsites, so you hear other groups. Even if it was quiet, I still wouldn’t sleep soundly. I mean how can you when you’re calling a 12′ x 10′ six person tent home for two nights.

Home Sweet Home

Plus, two of our three kids move around when they sleep. A lot. Our oldest started on one end of the tent and ended up on top of her sister in the middle of the night. The youngest slept with us on the air mattress, and took up 3/4 of it, leaving me smashed up on the side of the tent. The middle one had to use the bathroom at 3 a.m. and then had a tough time going back to sleep. You’d think a restless night or two would have them sleeping in. No such luck.

The non-stop climbing,

running, and playing in the swimming hole

The only type of “fishing” they did was with itty bitty fishes which they put back in the water

finally did get the best of  at least one of my happy campers and she crashed hard once we got home.

I’d say that’s the picture of a successful camping trip.

P.S. A few hours later, this peaceful looking child was puking. At least it was at home and not at the campsite.


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