Sunday, May 20, 2018

One Night of Camping

Earlier this month, William and I were invited to join my good friend Kate and her daughter for a night of camping near Bodega Bay. I had not been camping since Chris and I went to the Redwoods for our 3rd Anniversary -- which was a long time ago! We still had all of gear (Chris had just gone camping in March) so there was no reason to say "No." Well, even if we didn't have any gear I would have found some so we could go!

The four of us left Saturday morning and drove the 90 minutes to Bodega Dunes. Kate handled everything really -- the campsite, the food, and the fire. The campsite was awesome, there was a huge sand hill behind our tent so the kids just grabbed the sand toys and ran up to the top. William could have stayed there the entire time but we pulled him away so we could play in the sand that was actually on the beach. It was a lovely day, although fairly cloudy and windy. I was glad we brought a lot of layers! We bundled up and had a picnic on the beach for lunch. We made some friends with two little girls that were playing near by (and their parents).

 After a few hours, when we were successfully chilled to the core, we packed up and hiked back to our campsite for a rest. The sun was shining right on our site so we could warm up just by sitting at the table!

After a little rest, we went on a walk around the campground to see what could be seen. There were big trees, friendly campers, flowers and birds to see. On the way back to our campsite we ran into the family that we had seen at the beach! We were just a few campsites apart! Kate invited them over to roast marshmallows after dinner.

At the campsite, the kids went back to playing in the sand, William giving his new shovel the attention it deserved. We ate dinner which Kate had made ahead of time and started a fire to roast marshmallows. The two girls and their family joined us and they brought some friends too. All the kids piled into the tents to play while the adults hung out around the fire. It was really fun, just hanging out with new friends.

Nothing we did that day was stressful or hard (like I said, Kate took care of just about everything!). I couldn't remember the last time I did nothing like that. We walked around, enjoyed the beach and had good conversations. No rushing, worrying, or planning.

We went to bed early that night. Mostly because the kids weren't settling down and needed to be separated. William enjoyed the day a lot, but sleeping in a tent was new to him. After laying next to me for 30 minutes he said "Mom, I want to go home to sleep in my bed." I had to explain what we were doing and that tomorrow we would be home and he would have his bed again. This was just for one night. He clung to Chris's headlamp as a night light and when he finally fell asleep I was able to shut it off . . . because I can't sleep with a bright light in my face. He seemed to sleep well enough. He woke up at 5:30 and I was able to convince him to go back to sleep. I hadn't slept that well (who does?) and even 6:30 felt way to early to me, but that's when he was up and ready for more shoveling.

The next morning, we had breakfast and caffeinated tea, packed up our gear and drove to the beach for one last hurrah. The morning was a lot sunnier than the previous day, it was still chilly but not has bad as the day before. We tried to get the kids to go on a walk and burn off some energy before the drive home . . . hoping they might nap. But they were content to just sit in one spot and play in the sand. After an hour it was time to head out. Something happened that triggered a massive meltdown for William so getting to the car took a lot longer and a lot of muscle on my part. Overtired and hungry is not a good combination for my son. After an early lunch he was much better and we headed home.

William's first camping experience was a success! And other than me taking 20 minutes to get ONE sleeping pad back in it's sleeve, I think I did okay too. I definitely enjoyed it and hope we can do it again. Maybe even attempt to bring Stephen!

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