This title could have 2 meanings. The first being that it was our 2nd time camping this year, the second being that it was our 2nd time camping with friends (2 years in a row - for the record I tried to find my blog from last year when we went and realized I DIDN't BLOG so I gave you links to Tawni's blog who was a much better blogger then I).
1. Go way sooner in the summer/later spring or much later. Labor day weekend is WAY to hot.
2. Camping with 7 kids is not a vacation full of relaxation. I’m pretty sure that type of vacation comes later in life.
3. Camping and being sick also sucks.
Our trip however was still awesome. And I will give you a play by play of how it all went down (with pictures and some of them were stolen from Tawni)
Our trip really started on Thursday night when ALL of our children decided to take turns waking up and crying all night for various reasons from grinding teeth to soar throats. Yay.
As exhausted as we were we still made it out of the house barely on time. We picked up
Taylor from school and headed straight to from there. With some traffic and a run to Walmart for tissue/cough medicine we arrived around 5:30 and met up with the Webster’s who had already arrived. We set up camp and hung out for awhile. Sweetwater Regional Park
The kids were fiflty. A picture of this I do no have (I know you like my sentence structure there), but really – they were covered in head to toe with dirt. Like true children campers should be. We rinsed them off in the showers (one of the reasons we love this camp – FREE SHOWERS!) and had some roasted marshmallows.
The kids all skipped naps and were exhausted so the women headed to the tents to get them down while the men stayed up to wait and help the Newmeyer’s unpack when they arrived around 10.
Our count was now up to 6 adults and 6 kids (ages 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.5, 5 months). We started off with some good ol’ bacon, eggs, and pancakes (making our first emergency run to 7-11 for syrup, butter, and ice). There was supposed to be some Native American art show, but we couldn’t find it. We instead dressed the kids in their bathing suits and headed down to the water playground. This is one of the reasons I (we) love this campground. It helped cool us all off! Nate and Elijah were not initially fans of the cold water (crazy kids!).
We headed back from lunch and played a fun game of “move your chairs around to stay in the shade” in the sweltering heat around the time the Pfeffer’s arrived (adding 2 adults, a 1 year old, and a dog). Dave was a champ and set up a bug tent and their tent while we sat in what shade we could find and finished our lunches. Justin and I decided then to head to a store of some sort to try and find some things we needed/wanted for camp (including hamburger patties since I forgot them at home!). This was our 2nd emergency run to the store and we came back with hamburger patties, trash bags, lighter fluid, more ice, a baby hat (Sophie was borrowing Nate’s), and 2 kid sized chairs for our kiddos since we didn’t have any and the kids were fighting over the Webster’s kids chairs, and a broom.
Jordan fell in love with Reese (the dog) and we also quickly learned that since my kids are NEVER around animals they were not very good at being nice to poor Reese. Reese was a champ though.
When we got back both the Pfeffer’s and the Webster’s had gone out and their kids napped in cars during their excursions. After naps the children were in a better mood and we enjoyed the rest of our time hanging out, cooking burgers, playing in the dirt, showering, and whatever else it is you do while camping. And oh yeah must the adults got a sun burn. Yay for that. At some point we also went to the store for our 3rd run for ICE and the much needed aloe vera. At some point I also set up the DVD player for the kids to sit and watch to try and keep them clean.
During the night – the ANTS ATTACKED. They were both our tent and the Pfeffer’s and they were everywhere! It was horrible. By this time as well the cold my lovely
had brought home from her first week of school had taken a firm grasp of me and I felt horrible. Icky and horrible. I drugged myself up as much as I could and after breakfast Justin (my most awesome husband) let me sleep while he handled all the kids. I’m a lucky gal. Around 11 the heat got unbearable and the tent I came out sweating, but feeling much better. Taylor
Apparently while I slept the rest of the crew headed to the water playground again with kids. We had lunch and then played the magical game of finding shade again. Sunday was much better (by 10 degrees) then Saturday, but still hot. We headed to the store again for our 4th emergency run for MORE ICE! I told you it was HOT! We hung out some more and after showers we piled most of the kids in our tent for another movie (to try and keep them clean). We also got to see a bird show, but I wasnt' very impressed.
I forgot to mention none of my kids napped that day and this face describes they way the were acting most of the later afternoon.
The Newmeyer’s left a little after dinner since Kim was getting pretty sick – poor Kim. The rest of the crew decided we didn’t want to try and last another day in the heat and decided to pack up camp first thing in the morning.
By first thing in the morning I do mean first thing. Our kids were getting up when the sun started peeking through around 6 AM. We were able to pack up camp and end up at McDonalds eating breakfast within 3 hours! The LAME face McDonalds though had a CLOSED play place and all the high chairs were in that CLOSED play place being washed. The parents were all pretty irritated at this since we were counting on a few minutes of relaxing in the air conditioner while the play place babysat our children’s.
We finished breakfast, said our good byes, and parted ways to be home by lunch.
An exhausting, SWELTERING, super fun trip. I cannot wait until next year!! I’m so glad to have such amazing friends to camp with and glad that we got to add 2 new families this year to our hopefully annual camping trip. We missed the Keys’ this year, but you know…having a baby like a month ago makes things difficult. We’ll be glad to have baby Austin join us next year!
P.S. Our plan ultimately is to try different campgrounds/areas every year so if you have any SoCal campgrounds you recommend please let us know! We do need at least a bathroom, showers, tent friendly, electric outlet, water, and something for the kids to do. AND if you are looking for what I suggest Sweetwater Regional Park its only $24-$28 a night and minus the lack of shade on some of their spots its pretty great.
And if you lost track of the final count we had 8 adults 7 kids and 1 dog.