A couple weeks ago, we went on our first family camping trip! Actually, it was our second but the first one only included 1/2 of our current children. Jayce was 4 and puked the whole time and Josie was 6 months old and cried the whole time. For some reason, we've waited another 7 yrs. before trying again.
I've written this post several times over the last few days, in my head. I want to try and tell you EVERYTHING that happened but realize that may be boring. Some of the fun and exciting things were certainly "You had to be there" moments.
I came up with the idea of writing this post from each family member's point of view. I should say, their point of view through my eyes. So, their point of view from my point of view. Makes perfect sense. To me.
I'll start (of course).
Growing up, I was very fortunate to have parents that took the time and effort to plan family trips. We went camping, we went to Disneyland numerous times, traveled to B.C to the aquariums and zoos. We went places and did things together. Sometimes huge, special things. Sometimes simple picnics at the creek.
Now, as I parent, I cannot believe I am the one in charge of planning the family outings. Where do we go? How do we get there? How much do we plan to spend? What do I pack? If an emergency happens while we are traveling, what will we do?
We (I) decided we'd go to the Wild Animal Park in Bandon then proceed to our camping destination. Spend 2 nights camping, then come home.
It all worked out splendidly! I packed. I planned. I shopped for groceries. I rock! Well, except for the fact that I didn't pack enough blankets (TO GO CAMPING. AT THE COAST! kinda a big deal) and I left my 11 yr. old to pack for himself. But, the way I'm looking at it, if those were the worst things that happened, it's all good.
We didn't tell the kids we were going to the Animal Park until we pulled into the parking lot. They had a great time!
Yes, that's a baby tiger! By the time it was finally our turn with the baby kitty, the silly thing was pretty wound up. A cute little kitten playing "tag" is one thing. But, a baby tiger, that's an entirely different story! But, he was a cutie and the kids loved him.
Camping was fun! But, I am realizing unless we go somewhere that provides room service, I will never get away from cooking and cleaning. Seemed by the time I got done cooking breakfast and cleaning up camp, it was time to start lunch. Pretty much the same as at home. Except I didn't have to worry about spills on the floor.
My favorite part was going up the road a bit to a wildlife lookout. We went up there several times a day, each day. We saw seals, sea lions, and more than one whale. I could stay there all day and just watch.
Judd's point of view (POV): I hate campgrounds. I hate people. But, since my wife is a wimp and insisted, at least for this first time with the whole family, that we be somewhere with running water close by, I gave in and we camped at an Oregon State Campground. It had an interpretative center. What the hell is an interpretative center?! And, there were people EVERYWHERE! I hate people. Especially loud, drunk, stupid people. We got lucky though. The people next to us, and across from us didn't speak English. They were Asians. From Canada. That didn't speak Canadian. And there were about 30 of them. They got together at night and sat around one campfire and played games. And sang songs. In their native language, whatever it was. Surprisingly, it wasn't irritating, it was nice. Especially when they were singing "How Great Thou Art". We couldn't understand the words but we knew what it was by the tune.
Sleeping in the tent with the whole family was interesting. Wish we would have had more blankets.
Next time, we camp MY way. THAT should be interesting.
That ram kept, well, ramming me for more food. I showed him who was boss and kept the ice cream cone.
Jayce's POV : Camping was awesome! Except, my mom made me a list of stuff to pack and she wrote "sweats to sleep in" and I packed my break-away basketball pants. They didn't keep me very warm. And, we didn't have very many blankets so I was pretty cold at night. But, that's ok. I still had fun. We saw so many animals over the 3 days we were gone. Between the Park, the campground and the drive we saw lions, tiger and bears (my mom always says "Oh my") elk, kangaroos, sea lions, whales, chipmunks. I tried to catch a chipmunk but didn't.
I had lots of fun, even though Josie is always so annoying.
My mom cooked awesome food. Although, she didn't seem to like cooking it so much.
This parrot was so cool! He talked more than my sister! He liked to play peek-a-boo. See how he's posing for this picture? Also, notice how it looks like I'm in a cage and the parrot is observing me?
I hope we get to go camping again. Although, when my mom and dad talk about it, there seems to be differing opinions about it.
Josie's POV: I liked camping. I also like changing my clothes 10 times a day and that doesn't go well with camping. By the end of the first day, I had no more clean clothes. My mom kept warning me about that but...I didn't listen. So, on the last day, on the way home, I had to wear my clothes that I slept in. I cried all the way home saying " I want to wear my brown pants!!" but my mom just ignored me. And kept saying "You are so tired!". But I wasn't. Well, maybe I was. Probably because I didn't sleep very well because we didn't have enough blankets. Who knows.
I loved going to the beach! I found a sea star but it was dead. My mom said we couldn't keep it. We asked the Ranger about it and he said it's against the law.
I also collected some shells at the beach. When I showed them to my mom, she just laughed. She said something about "Pistachio shells". I think those are a rare kind of sea creature.
I do hope we go camping again, next time I want to sleep right next to Jayce!
Jarrett's POV: I loved camping! I never had to take a bath or even change my clothes! I wore the same clothes for 2 days in a row!! We got to hold a baby tiger, he kinda bit me but it didn't hurt. He was just playing.
Here I am talking to a llama. Or alpaca. I don't know exactly what it is, it just came up behind me and nudged me! I think he thought I had food. But, I didn't. I had already thrown my cone on the ground and ran away when we fed the animals. I wasn't scared, there were just SO many animals, wanting the food.
Sleeping in the tent was fun! I was a little cold but my dad kept me covered up pretty good. I hope we go camping again, I would love to see if I can get dirtier next time!
Jeven's POV: My mom told me weeks ago that we were going camping. Which means we were going somewhere to put marshmallows on a stick and roast them. Imagine how surprised I was when we went to sleep in the tent! I whispered "Mommy! What are we doing?"
She said "We're going to sleep now"
I said "In the tent!!" I couldn't believe it!!!
She said "Yes, Jeven! This is camping!"
Now I know what camping is!
We had three sizes of marshmallows--extra huge (my favorite!) large and mini. They all are SO good!!
I liked feeding the animals at the park, although it took me a while to get brave enough.
I liked sleeping in the tent. I didn't get cold at all! My mom says it's because I'm always so hot, I'm always so sweaty. She said it finally came in handy.
I loved getting dirty and eating everything in sight! I hope we go camping again, really soon. Now that I know what it is!!
I think camping was a hit! And, something we can certainly do again. I am pretty darn sure I can handle it. And that I will be reminded to pack enough blankets!