Category Archives: camping

The Land that the Internet Forgot

You might have noticed I’ve been, ahem, quiet the past week or so. I had a very good reason. I visited a place where the internet hasn’t been invented yet. It’s the best vacation ever. 
Every year we take the girls (and Bailey) to the mountains of Vermont with 20 or so friends. It was great. It was filled with the sound of laughter. And because I am not an idiot, it was also filled with the sound of Sofia the First on Boo’s IPAD. There wasn’t internet but thank the Good Lord there was power.

And bathrooms. And showers. 

There was also seven days filled with friends, freedom for Abby, river rafting, hiking and just getting away from it all. This was our morning view. As in roll over, open eyes and see paradise.

There was also a husband and nephew who decided to go kayaking in the very LATE afternoon. Of course not having any cell service meant no one could check in and let me know that the river was a tad longer than expected and they would not be meeting us at the designated spot/time. Thankfully I did not need to find service and call David’s sister to inform her that I lost her favorite brother and son (who may or may not be her favorite depending on the day). Both boys were returned before the search party was created with hilarious stories of their adventure.

Bailey: Bye Dad, hope to maybe see you again

When you camp with 20 of your closest friends and there is only one child Abby’s age who happens to be her favorite friend, you make her summer. She and her friend were allowed to travel between camper #1 through camper #20 as long as they checked in. We heard, as she ran past: going to Mrs. George, going to Mrs. Black, Going to E’s Nana, Going to HERE. For one week Abby gets to have fun, not have to include her sister and experience being a kid of the 70’s when you were outside all day and every person in the neighborhood was responsible for you. No TV, no electronics just fresh air, rafting, playing in the river and being a kid. 

Boo is included not because of an IEP but because she is adored. There was also ice cream, fireworks, the best community dinners and enough laughter to wish next year could come faster than Christmas.

We hiked a waterfall. Well, we hiked. Boo had to be carried for 5 of the 6 miles as the terrain was a little unsteady for her. The last mile home she hit the flat ground running and I wished she would let me carry her again.

The reason, though, that this is the vacation I look forward to every year is that this is the one week where we are together. No distractions. No fire radio going off at all hours of the night pulling David away from his family. No Words with Friends pulling me away (okay, his is more important). There was no fighting over bedtimes, eat your dinner or practice your flute struggles. There were no therapy appointments, doctor appointments or similar tortures for Boo. 

For this one week we are a family off the grid surrounded by our friends enjoying the same experience.We are, for six too short days, a normal family. 

It was so hard to come home. It was harder to go back to work and stop being mom for 40 hours a week. I miss my girls. The minute we came home I found myself on e-mail, David turned up the fire radio, Abby had to be reminded to practice her flute and Boo returned to her appointments. 

Of course we have to return to the real world. As difficult as it is some days. Our vacation week reminded me that we have to remember to unplug less often and plug into our family more.

When the Rain God’s laugh (at your expense)

When you plan a vacation six-months in advance you know you may be taking a chance. You never know if there may be a birth, death, taxes, etc… When you plan a camping trip six-months in advance?

The Rain Gods chuckle.

Out loud.

Seriously they laugh harder than a virgin at a George Carlin concert if he was still alive. Wait, he might be one of those rain gods.

Can comedians become Gods? (and yes, I am secretly worried about God’s thunderbolt right about now–Rich do something!)

Anyway back at the camp….In February we made our camping reservations. With the economy tanking the State Campground we usually go to gets booked in 12.5 seconds if you are not careful. Okay, probably not that fast but the past two years we have been out-booked by waiting until April to plan our vacation. This year we would be successful and not only camp but camp at our favorite site.

The day before we packed the camper to sun-filled skies. The morning we left it was 59 freaking degrees and drizzle. By the time we arrived at our camp site 8 hours later? It was a monsoon.

But we persevered. We set up the camper and immediately cracked the box of wine. Hey, I was roughing it.

Allie thought it was great (you cannot hike if the rain and mud is pushing you back down the mountain) until she realized she also could not go swimming or play in the waterfalls. However the Whoopie Pies we bought in town helped (yes, I gave my child Whoopie Pies for dinner).

Boo on the other hand had a more difficult time. It is hard when a child does not do well with sensory overload has to sit in a camper as the rain pours and pours down on top of the tin roof of a camper. Then the thunder started. And well…sleep isn’t something a parent really needs.

The upside was we had a vehicle and cash. This is what I learned from three days in a camper with no electricity and a lot of rain:

Wet dogs really do smell.
I am willing to travel 3 hours in rain storm for lobster
The upside to a monsoon is that you do not have to cook over a fire pit
The downside no camp fire to drink by roast marshmallows
You can charge an IPAD in 3 hours while driving around looking for lobster
I do believe that the Chamber of Commerce pays off the weathermen for inaccurate forecasts.
Reading on my Kindle is a sure fire way for Allie to say, Mom can I play a game on your Kindle my IPOD died.
If you do get your Kindle back, you cannot read in a camper with two children, a dog and a husband who are “bored”.
If needed you can spend 30 minutes hiding in the shower hitting the button that allows for a 20 second spray in the campground shower. (I recommend bringing the box of wine with you).
I am glad I decided that I want to parent like Mike and Carol after this trip and not before. PSA–do not put yourself in a situation sure to make you sound like Rosanne.
A husband can literally sleep through anything (no offense to the men out there. But you know I am right with this one.).
There are such things as mosquitos as big as my head.
Pack extra wine.

I know for sure that the Rain Gods laughed their thrones off at us as the sun came out just after we packed the camper to go home. And I laughed as I went to work on Monday morning and left David to clean the camper, the girls and the dog.