Before we were buried in 6 inches of snow and hit in the face with an arctic blast…it was warm, and sunny, and so lovely outside. So lovely in fact, that we went camping!! Before you get too carried away with visions of long treks to a remote campsite and fishing for dinner, please be advised that the word “camping” should be used lightly here.
We registered for a few camping things as part of our wedding registry. I remember my mom, after looking through our registry, said something to me along the lines of, “I didn’t know you went camping?” Regretfully, I admitted that truthfully, we never had gone camping, but we like the idea of camping. We like the idea of getting away from the busy-ness of the city, of work, of life, and just disconnecting from everything for a short while. We like the potential a camping adventure has for making memories as a family.
Surprisingly, we got a few fun camping items as wedding gifts, so we decided we needed to go on a camping adventure before it got too cold. The last weekend in September, we loaded up the car with our camping stuff (and plenty of snacks) and headed for a state park about an hour from the city. (Like I said, “camping” should be used lightly) The weather seemed like it would be perfect, a little cool, but still warm enough during the daylight.
Our first task…dinner. Leaving after work didn’t give us much of an opportunity to prepare anything before we left, and since I don’t like hotdogs (I know, I know…weird) we decided we would find some food along the way. As we got closer to the state park however, we realized that we were running far from civilization and we hadn’t really seen any food options for quite a while. Then…we saw it: a seemingly old, faded sign, advertising some sort of family restaurant. We figured it was our only option. Our expectations weren’t very high. When we saw the place, we perked up a bit. Then we saw the menu. And then we ordered and our food arrived.
It. Was. Amazing.
Best Camping Dinner Ever. I can’t even remember exactly what we ordered, but I remember it was delicious. Those green beans had some sort of chinese-food-like glaze on them, and they were oh-so-fresh. Oh man…
The restaurant also had a place for you to tie up your horse in case you need it…
I think we could have just gone home from there and been pretty satisfied with our trip, but we continued on to our campsite. We first had to pick up some fire wood.
Once we found our campsite, we had quite an adventure pitching the tent. Let’s just say we didn’t quite pick the best place to try to put aluminum stakes (or whatever kind of sad metal it was) into the ground, but it just seemed like the best location on our little plot. So maybe it was gravel and meant for the car…but we went with it. Also, our tent was teeny tiny, so we managed to find some softish (and very lumpy) ground that would let us put our stakes in.
Yes, we both slept in that tent. I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t even be able to get a twin-szie air mattress in it.
We had quite an awesome view from our tent though.
My eagle-scout husband managed to build us an impressive fire with our firewood and some kindling he managed to scrape up. (I didn’t realize you couldn’t just light a piece of wood to start a fire). We roasted marshmallows on our new, super-awesome roasting sticks. I’m pretty sure we each only had one because we were still so full from dinner. In the morning, the air was so fresh and so nice. We sat in our chairs and read our books. Every few minutes a breeze would move through, and the trees would rustle, and then the leaves would fall. It was sort of magical, like the first snow fall, but more colorful and much warmer 🙂
We checked out the rest of the park in the afternoon. Oh my goodness…it was so beautiful.
I’d say our first camping adventure was a success.