Packing for a trip with children is an exercise in optimism, I think. In addition to all of the essentials, I brought a book, knitting, and I almost bought a magazine too. Hilarious, right? I also thought it would be cold at night, because every time I go camping it gets really cold at night, so I brought wool socks, wool sweaters and a wool blanket. Wouldn't you know it was a million degrees and we were sweating in our flannel sheets. And don't get me started on how the kids finally fell asleep four hours after their normal bed time on our first night there.
Despite all of that, we had a wonderful time. Really. The cabin was very charming. The campground was great. The swimming hole was the best part. The cold water was so refreshing. I even knit a bit sitting on the bank.
The first night we had marinated skirt steak, asparagus and corn. For breakfast I made burritos ahead of time that we warmed in the fire. They were really good. I love breakfast burritos. I could eat one everyday. For lunch we made burritos (double burrito day!) with the leftover steak, corn and asparagus. Dinner was bacon chicken burgers with avocado.
In addition to not sleeping much, the kids also didn't eat much. I think they were just so distracted by the environment that they couldn't focus on food. Except for the 20 minute (I'm not kidding) crying/whining fest the second day, they both did really well considering how much they were lacking in both sleep and food.
They both cried when it was time to leave camp and begged to stay one more night. On a walk last night I asked Gianna what her favorite part of camping was and she said 'all of it, but all of us being together was the best.' Then I asked what her least favorite part was and she couldn't come up with one, which is pretty amazing.
Going camping is a lot of work. I love this article's take on vacationing with kids. Doing the dishes by hand in cold water that only sort of gets the dishes clean really isn't my favorite, but it's worth it for a few days of living among giant trees, a beautiful river, and blissed out children.