After Kingdom Bound this year, we decided that it was time for a family vacation. I have been unusually busy this summer, so we had not planned anything for vacation to this point. My wife (the free spirit of the family) likes to do things spur of the moment so she planned a camping trip in about one day. She showed me 3 different camp grounds, then we decided on Bear Run in Pennsylvania, as our campground of choice.
My wife got us packed up (while I was at work) and we were off to Bear Run around 4:30pm on a Friday afternoon. For some reason it never occurred to us that it was a 3.5 to 4 hour drive and that if we did not hustle, we could be setting up the tent in the dark. So we took our time on the ride to PA. By the time we got to the camp ground the last rays of the sunset were upon us. We pulled into the first campsite and thought two things: 1.There is know way our tent is going to fit on this site and 2. I think that this is a little too far from everyone else. The site was great, but visions of bears and other creatures came into my head and we asked the camp ground staff if we could look around for a new site. After about 30 minutes of discussion (when I say discussion it is a code word for argument) we settled on a site that was two campsites away from the water outlet and the port-a-potty (two very important items if you are potty training like we are).
Ok, here is where the setting up the campsite after dark comes in… It is a black as a night could be, so we turned the headlights on and tried to set up camp. I think it was about 10:30 pm before we finally put the kids into bed and said a strained good night to one another.
The next morning we woke up wanting to get breakfast going, so I take our the good old Coleman stove and went to hook up the little propane tank only to realize that I was missing a part and ask my wife if she'd packed the connecting piece. We realized that the connecting device was still on the big propane tank back at the house over 4 hours away. This was definitely a set back, but one that was solved cooking over an open fire for each meal (which I really did love by the way)!
We got settled in and a little later that evening as we struggled to get my dirt covered, and overtired two year old to sleep, my oldest daughter asks "I thought camping was supposed to be relaxing. Next time can we get a babysitter for Ben (my two year old)?
It did get better as we found the beach and the pool. Everyone loved the water and digging in the sand. The trip wrapped up better than it started and we definitely did make some great family memories. On any and every family vacation ride home we always say to one another "That was the best vacation we ever had!" and although each stage with our children presents different challenges, memories were created that will last a lifetime. Oh the joy of family vacations!
Do you have family vacation story that you would like to share, leave a comment and tell me about it!