Monday, June 21, 2010


We are in the throes of preparing for our first family "vacation". I use the term loosely. We are bringing our boys with us for their first camping trip. Mark and I have enjoyed camping for years. Something about being away from the house and all the lists of things to do, away from the TV and gulp....even the internet (something for the first time I'll probably be having the harder time with than hubby will--I'm addicted to following other families/blogs, checking in on, email, etc.)

There's also something about breathing in the fresh air all day, taking walks in the woods, playing card or board games, getting lost in a really good book, cooking over the open flame and my favorite: sitting around the camp fire being lulled into relaxation by the crackles and pops and in the chilly night air feeling the heat of the flames as they warm my skin. Just thinking about it transports me.

Although thinking about going with two babes in tow, I'm thinking it won't quite get to the same level of relaxation. I'm way more reluctant than hubby about this trip. He's very gung-ho "will be a great get away with the kids and start of traditions to come" attitude and I've been admittedly a little more "oh my gosh how miserable are they (then I) going to be if they don't sleep there (and i can't sleep) and are fussy the whole time." Also its a little overwhelming as we make a list of all the daily things we need to pack with us (think their medicines, syringes, oxygen tanks, monitor, eye patches, cleaning supplies for helmet, not to mention just the regular baby stuff like diapers, wipes, bibs, pack and play, high chair seats, toys). Well you get the idea. It makes me just want to put wheels on my house so I don't have to load and unload everything just for two and a half days. Ofcourse that wouldn't be so much "getting away" now would it?

Okay well don't feel too bad. I'm hardly talking about "roughing it". Hubby and I did that for a number of years. We survived one entire three day weekend in a tent that kept flooding and had to buy a portable space heater to dry our clothes and towels. I'll say instead of making multiple trips to Walmart to buy things to help us through, I would have probably kept driving past Walmart to home but Hubby had other ideas and he was actually enjoying himself!! He rigged up several huge tarps between trees so we could be outside of our tent but think giant mud puddles while trying to cook on a fire that keeps getting put out by the winds/rain. Well we spent a lot of that weekend trying to stay dry in a walmart and even chinese restaurant when we just had to give in to nature instead of trying to cook a dinner in cold wet ash. An adventure for sure but not one I'm really looking to repeat.

It was one of the reasons I prodded hubby to start looking at campers several years ago. After looking around a couple of summers as our wish list kept climbing, the pop up camper we initially intended to get turned into something more. We made a huge indulgence and bought a REALLY nice camper. Its awesome. No really, its a hotel on wheels. It has heat, air conditioning and even a shower! Its kitchen is even equipped with a microwave (really) and the kitchen itself is even prettier than the one in my own home! When we bought it, we were still in fantasy mode of having a family and being able to take it away on summer vacations any weekend we wanted.

We will be as prepared as we can be for this trip. We've even half begged, half dragged my dad, step mom and sisters to come along and be in the site next to us hoping it might be a better experience with a couple extra hands/arms/eyes and just for hanging out in general.

I have to say after writing this I know my hubby has the right attitude. This may not be like any relaxing camping trip in the past (minus the flooding one which was definitely anything but relaxing) but it will be our first family trip together. I'm sure the babes will have their times of fussiness just like at home, we will forget things that we should have brought and we will bring way too many things that we don't really need. It will be a lot of work keeping them occupied and safe and we will certainly learn things for the next time. But in the end we are getting away with our family, our boys, and I'm certain no matter what it will be an adventure to remember, just hopefully in a mostly good way :)!!

Here's a few pics of the boys getting acquainted with the camper...

and test driving the carriers

We welcome any tips/advice from any one with getting away with little ones!


caryanne said...

My only advice is very obvious...make a list. Start the list a few weeks before you go so that you can continually add (or subtract) from it as you plan the trip. It's the only way that I am able to remember to bring everything we need.

And just try to make the sleeping environment as much like home as possible. Keep the boys up just a bit past their normal bedtime and you should have no problem with them going to sleep (fingers and toes crossed).

Good luck! There is nothing quite like going on your first family vacation. Enjoy it! And take lots of pics!

Jill said...

No tips, but have fun!!

Anonymous said...

holli i have found little ones usually sleep better when camping due to all the fresh air do what you do every day and every thing will go fine have fun and a safe trip