Although that first trip was short we really liked all that the campgrounds had to offer - pretty large campsites, a really nice lake and beach for swimming and a small paved loop perfect for bike riding. This time around we got two campsites side-by-side to give us a little more room. We arrived Friday night and spent the evening setting up camp and eating (of course). Here's a picture of Sofia contemplating her toasted marshmallow:
Saturday was our only full day at the campsite and we managed to pack a lot into it. Lily and Quinn slept really well again so we were lucky. Lisa and Rick we unfortunately kept up by much of the night by a really loud group a few campsites down. So they were a bit more tired than us on Saturday. Quinn woke up first, as usual and he and Gordon got a head start on breakfast. One big change from the Harold Parker trip is that Quinn was fully walking, and that really made things a lot easier. Of course we had to be more careful around the fire and all that, but it was so nice that he could toddle around the campsite and keep himself busy.
Saturday morning the campground held a little pond exploration session, so Gordon and Rick took the older girls while Lisa and I stayed behind with Aly so Quinn could nap. It was really fun to have some time to both chat with Lisa (in full sentences! without interruptions!) and spend some time getting to know Aly. In the meantime Lily and Sofia had a great time pulling up muck out of the pond and searching for cool stuff.
I think they could pass as cousins
Getting a closer look with some help from Dad
Examining the muck
Coming back with a treasure (there's her serious face again!)
A little later on Gordon and I took Lily and Quinn to the lake while Lisa, Rick and the girls took their naps. We were only going to stay for a little while, but the kids were just having so much fun. We swam around a bit and then played in the sand. Gordon and Lily began digging a big hole and filling it with water (a favorite activity of theirs). Quinn took one look at what they were doing, walked over, sat in the hole and refused to move. He thought it was the best. Eventually the hole became big enough so Lily could get in there with him. I was sitting a little ways away on a towel relaxing and watching them play. No sooner had I thought, "gee it's nap time, but they're having so much fun, let's just stay" when I looked over in time to catch Lily dumping a big pile of wet sand on Quinn's head.
Sadly our pictures end here - Gordon had some kind of camera/photo mishap that resulted in him losing all the Sunday pictures. But you'll have to take my word for it - we had a really nice time. I found myself thinking over and over again during the weekend that I just REALLY love camping. I love getting dirty and not caring. I love sitting around the fire in camp chairs eating marshmallows. I love that the kids are free to run around, explore, get dirty, and make noise without anyone caring. I love that all they need is a bucket and a shovel to entertain themselves. I love being away from email and computers and telephones and all that is both great and frustrating about modern life. It's just so relaxing. Maybe we'll buy an RV some day (or at least a really cool B.A.T*).
At one point Lily and I were walking to the bathrooms and I heard this steady knocking sound. I looked to the left and there, right on the edge of the path was a woodpecker perched on a tree trunk pretty much at Lily's eye level. We stopped quietly and watched him for a while. When we got back to the campsite Lily told Gordon about it very excitedly - she explained how he was a white and black woodpecker, with a red tail. I love moments like that - sitting there, arm around my daughter, just watching, taking the time to really see the world around us.
To be fair though, one reason that camping is so great for me is that Gordon does such an awesome job keeping us fed while we're out in the "wilderness". I may have baked some scones, but he does all that real work. So thanks G! And thanks to Lisa, Rick and the girls for sharing such a nice weekend with us.
*Big Ass Tent