I don’t know what my reason really is but for some strange reason I’ve never done this before. I can’t even say it’s because I grew up in Los Angeles because plenty of people did it there…but not me. AND when I tell people I’ve never done this before, they’re always like whaaaaaat??!!! So here goes. Can you believe I have NEVER been camping before??!! Please tell me I am not the last lone non-camping person leff in the universe???!!! lol
When I was about 12 or so my childhood BFF Valerie and I saved up our money and bought a two person tent from this place called Fedco (kinda like Costco and yes, they had good pizza too!). We were SO excited. We had our sleeping bags and pitched the tent in my backyard and we were ready to go. Unfortunately, somehow in the middle of the night condensation started to form and started dripping inside of the tent. What in the world? Well then a neighborhood cat came by and flicked one of the strings of the tent and down came our tent. Yep. We were back in the house before midnight.
So needless to say I have never been camping. Like in a real tent. Sleeping in sleeping bags on the ground, campfire going…camping. When one of my besties Ashley found this out, she was determined to change this non-camping thing of mine. So we made a plan for our families to go camping together this Summer. But once Momma Jane got sick, I told her we were going to have to put our camping plans temporarily on hold. She said, nope…we are coming to you then and that way I can also visit with Momma Jane. Because we live out in the country now, we are surrounded by woods, so it really was a fantastic idea!
Ashley and her family have been camping a million times so they are professionals. Meaning, they came with EVERYTHING and I mean literally EVERYTHING. We only had to bring sleeping bags. We found this perfect place near our home that was right next to a little waterfall. They put up their TEN person tent, built a fire, we grilled out with steaks that were amazing and our awesome camping experience commenced. Ashley’s husband Nick could give Bear Grylls a run for his money! lol Ashley and Nick have two children similar in ages to our girls and they love to play together so they had a blast! I mean there was not one complaint from any of the kids the entire time. Oh and even though we brought our phones, we never used them for anything else other than taking pictures. It was one of the BEST experiences I’ve ever had. Really. She and her family pretty much helped orchestrate my perfect first camping experience.
Well maaaaaybe not perfect. Since my horrific ChiggerGate2015 experience, I’m a little over-sensitive about bug bites so I may have OVER dressed for camping as in…I literally wore boots, leggings and a long shirt so that I would have as little exposed skin as possible. Yahhhh, did I mention that it was 96 degrees when we went?! I decided that I cared more about the bug bites though than sweating so it was ok by me. Plus there was this nifty little waterfall which I thought would be nice if I went over there to wash my hands and drink some fresh water. Well once I got over to the waterfall part and I slipped and fell. Hard. Like straight up landed on my hand, elbow and my side. And lemme tell you…IT HURT. I didn’t realize it at the time probably cus I was laughing so hard at my clumsiness and maybe because I was a little embarrassed too but oh my goodness, my elbow is so swollen AND all black and blue and so is my hand. However, that didn’t detract too much from my awesome experience! Oh and did I mention that after my fall, my hair was all covered in mud so my husband had to help me back over to the waterfall to wash it off…in my clothes and all. It really worked out because it was a nice relief to the 96 degree weather.
My night of sleep wasn’t perfect mostly because our youngest daughter crawled into bed with us (and you know how THAT goes as a parent) and then I maaaaaay have heard some coyotes in the middle of the night which kinda freaked me out a little but other than those two things, lol, we slept good. We slept with an open tent (meaning just the screen) where I could see all of the trees and hear the waterfall, it was really pretty incredible. I must have prayed about eight different times because I felt so grateful for everything and Blessed to have friends who would come to us, come to see my mom and give us such an awesome camping experience. Plus we woke up to Ashley making bacon and eggs. I mean come on. It was like out of a movie!
So minus my injury and being a little tired…I will say this was a pretty awesome first time camping experience. Watching our three year old girls Stella and Luna play in the water together and make mud pies, Ashley and Nick’s son Wyatt and our oldest daughter Lily catching crawfish in the creek, the men bonding over building a fire and grilling and me getting to catch up and giggle with my friend Ashley…just such wonderful memories our families will have for years to come.
So where are some other great places to camp?
XO Surviving Mommy