Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Camping With Children Part 1

Last weekend we went camping with my nieces who are five and eight. It was the "second best thing in the world after Disneyland" according to my elder niece, and I have to say that I concur. Okay, maybe not the second best time in the whole world, but still pretty darn good fun. We all met up on Friday afternoon and headed out to Money Creek campground on highway 2. I found this place by looking at reservable campgrounds in Washington State, and then finding one that had two free sites on the correct weekend. In short, I had no idea what we were really getting into. Nevertheless, we were all pretty cheerful with what we found when we arrived. But I get ahead of myself.

First, there was the packing part. Packing for a camping trip is usually a mad dash for me. I find it both thrilling and anxiety inducing to try and get all the required bits and pieces together in one place. We are so used to having all our comforts that it can be kind of tough to remember all the things will really be needed. Food is a good example of this. It is easy to remember that you need to buy some cans (keep in mind that we are car camping, so cans are just fine thanks) of chili if you want to have anything to eat. However, it is also easy to forget that you will need a can opener to get at that chili. I once carefully packed all the ingredients and materials required to make pancakes (including the butter and the whisk and all that) only to find that I'd forgotten to pack any forks. You get the idea. Therefore, I spent most of Friday morning running around trying to figure out what I might be forgetting. The elder niece vacillated between making fun of me and bouncing off the walls with excitement. She got extra excited when we went shopping for a new tent (we didn't know how to fit two not-so-little girls into our two person dome). We found one with, get this, two separate rooms! Add to that it's apple green color, and you've got something very special as far as an eight year-old is concerned.

Splendiferous green tent in hand, we moved on to packing the rest of the car (save the nasty anti-car camping rants for someone who cares please). Ice chest, sleeping bags, and all the rest went in and we headed off to meet up with the rest of our party. It only takes a little over an hour to get to the campground, so we also had time to stop along the way and buy a few essentials. These included a disposable cameras (we forgot the good camera) chili-cheese Fritos (mmm chili-cheese!) and a Strawberry Shortcake kite (little niece was captivated by its glory and it only cost $1.50). Finally, in the early evening, we made it to Money Creek.

Part 2 shortly

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