Saturday, October 27, 2012
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Camping with other families brought a whole new dynamic to the trip. I suspect that the families we were with had a lot to do with it. For one, it's hard to get more laid back than the Turner family. And secondly, between keeping the camp fire going for 3 days and cooking pretty much every meal for the whole group, the Miller family made camping feel like a full-service resort. I am certainly in debt to them, as I can't say that I've ever been that free to simply enjoy myself and my family on a camping trip. I'm abundantly grateful for the camaraderie and spirit of servitude that flowed through the whole weekend. Prior to this trip, our family had only gone camping as a solo act, but the multifamily dynamic added so many fun components to the experience that I'm not sure if we'll be able to turn back now. The camping entourage may officially be in full effect.
This was also our first time (as a family) camping in a state park. I'm a bit of a national park snob, and so my expectations weren't too high... but I've gotta say that Cheraw State Park was impressive. I'll spare you the full review of the park, but let's just say it gets 5 out of 5 stars from us. In short, it's a gem.... and best of all, it's less than an hour from home; a far cry from the 4 hour commute we became accustomed to from our Shenendoah National Park excursions.
So what did we do? We fished, we canoed, walked a couple of short trails, sat around a fire, and mostly just let the kids run wild. Who knew that throwing rocks and sticks in the water could occupy a group of kids for hours at a time?! We fellowshipped, we climbed a tree, and we pretty much froze to death from 1 to 9 am each day. The kids loved it, and Venesa and I took plenty of notes from the journeymen family campers. We scoped out their techniques, learned a lot, and are already looking ahead to the sequel in 2013. Be there or be square.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Justin somehow managed to squeeze in two camping trips before his first birthday (trip 1, trip 2). Jasmine joined the camping brigade just after her second birthday. And this past weekend, we dusted off the camping gear and gave Naomi Janelle (@ 14 months) her first taste of grilled hotdogs, hiking trails, and frigid overnight temperatures. Welcome to the great outdoors, Sunshine.