We just returned from our first family camping trip. The adventure and wonder is beyond me, it is also beyond my young children then don’t understand real life concepts that don’t involve a reset button or do-over. I was more than nervous about staying in a tent when the temperatures had been over 100 with a heat index of 116 here. Just packing up the car had us drenched in sweat and dangerously close to domestic violence. I had visions of us trying to set up the tent in 100 degrees while the kids ran in circle around us asking how long until it was done and it made me shudder.
My husband likes camping, he hunts in Michigan every year and they have quite a set-up. My minivan was stuffed with enough camping appliances that it looked like a small kitchen back there. I honestly was concerned with how we were going to get in the van after it was all packed up. If we had been rear ended there would have been no chance of survival or even finding us under all that stuff. I am certain the word Coleman would have been imprinted into each of our foreheads.
Aside from the heat and the thoughts of my husband and I having a fist fight during set-up, I was anxiously awaiting my monthly visitor. You know her, menstrual cycle, she’s a real bitch! The thought of being at a camp ground and having to use a public bathroom during that special time was hanging over my head. My husband found it amusing to constantly remind me how we were in black bear country and, “You know how the bears can sense when a women is on her menses.” Thanks for trying to calm my anxiety over my period by putting the idea in my head about the bears coming to maul me in front of my kids. By the way, who the hell says menses? That is another word I have added to my list of, ‘Things my husband should never say’.
The campground was beautiful and it was much cooler in the mountains. We had our good friends on one side of us and a nice group of gentlemen on the other. When I say nice group of gentlemen, I mean homos. They were the neatest campers I have ever seen and even came with their Barbie type dog that never barked. I actually started to think it was stuffed until I saw it drinking water. They were clean and respectful and I was only really bothered when they took turns rubbing lubricant all over each other’s sunburns. I love the gays, if we had been there a day longer you can be assured that I would have been hanging out at their campsite letting them braid my hair and fix me Cosmopolitans served in real crystal. I am sure I would have never heard them utter anything about ‘the menses’ and they probably would have given me a back rub when I complained about cramps starting.
Yesterday as we were packing up my husband asked what I would have done differently. I wasn’t sure if he was referring to the camping or us. I guessed he meant camping and told him that I would have a crew for set-up and take down. Makes perfect sense, $20 for a campsite and $250 for someone to do all the work, I am sure it would be worth every penny. He disagrees and thinks the fun is in the work to set up camp and make it your own. Well that explains why he is always in such a joyous mood while he is doing it. I feel the same way about Christmas decorations and secretly admire those people that pay someone to decorate the outside of their homes. To me this is not lazy, it is an insurance policy protecting your marriage.
We survived another family vacation and it was a great trip. The kids were sad to leave and didn’t even care that the TV and DSi were back at home. They played with sticks and rocks and looked for bugs and caterpillars. They had games of pretend and laughed constantly. It was refreshing to see that a trip to the great outdoors was more fun than Great Wolf Lodge, not to mention a heck of a lot cheaper! Don’t get me wrong, I am looking forward to our next stay in a hotel where someone comes to clean up after you and you can order room service and pay per view. It’s all about balance people!