It all started on Thursday--DH b-day...
We dropped the car off @ Walmart for an oil change...smart thing to do before you are going to take a long drive, right? We went to D-land while the car was being worked on...when we went to pick it up later---it wasn't done! I was PI$$ED! They couldn't do it cause the drain plug was stripped or something---fine--but you couldn't CALL to tell us? It was now a quarter to 5 & we are running all over town trying to find a place to do it that night---cause we leave the next morning...OF COURSE no one can do it!!! So DH ended up putting some sort of additive or something to hold it over. ok fine.
The next morning, we leave later than expected....oldest has his picture/ID day--I get there early hoping they will let me in quickly when I explain we are about to go camping---there's already a LINE of parents & students....ggrrr...the tension is BUILDING! The photographers are not even ready, the teachers don't know WHAT'S going on---THEN they announce CHECK or EXACT CHANGE ONLY!!!!!!! I never carry my checkbook---I use my atm-visa-check card for everything. I only have a $100 bill w/ me. DH meets me there w/ some random cash so I am left choosing a picture package according to how I can make exact change!!!
WHATEVER---we're FINALLY on the road...I JUST happen to ask oldest if he put the frozen water bottles in the ice chest? NO he forgot!!!!!!! Oh I am SO gonna lose it!!!!! The point was to avoid messy & melting ice & have cold water. SO I have to PULL over off the freeway now to BUY ice! I made HIM do it cause I know he hates talking to people. As he's opening up the back...his telescope falls out & the scope breaks off the stand. I feel bad for him & figure 'we're even' now. lol I help him put it back together & I'm not mad anymore.
FINALLY---back on the road. It's not too far---there's no traffic & it's a party in the adventure van. About 1.5 hours later--we're there & it's warm...and DRY....and DUSTY...and DIRTY! but whatever. We can't wait to get in the lake & cool off & get all that dust off of us. We get our camp set up, change & we're on our way. But FIRST we have to drive back DOWN the mountain a bit for my friend/neighbor to buy ice for her cooler....then back UP the mountain to the Lake.
$5.00 parking AND a huge sign that says NO SWIMMING! The 'guy' says there has not been swimming there for 3 YEARS!!!!!!!!! You've GOT to be kidding me!!!!! We go back to the camp---where it's hot, dusty, dirty & BORED out of our minds...nothing to do but EAT! blech. I only brought a few games because I thought we'd be @ the lake all day swimming & playing.
my neighbor keeps telling me I MUST give my kids a shower before bed....*I* would have just washed off their feet real good ect....But I give in to peer pressure & head on over to the showers...@ least their free. The one we were in, well...the water NEVER got warm..it was COLD the entire time!!! S started crying from the torture....AND not only that...but the shower handle flew off, THREE times & all the water came out from the handle instead of the shower head....@ that point I started laughing insanely & was like: SERIOUSLY!?!?!?! AM *I* on candid camera or something?
Later, I come to realize...the ice chest, that I borrowed from my dad---the spout is broken so it has been leaking the melting ice the entire time & my van's carpet is SOAKING wet!!!!! Including; a sleeping bag & oldest ds extra blanket.
We roast weenies, eat dindin, roast marshmallows & make smores...it finally gets dark, I had settled the littles into the tent so they wouldn't get dirty & cold but let them out to eat for a little while. (they were playing nicely in the tent), read a chapter of Charlotte's Web & PROMISED the next day would be better BECAUSE we would drive about 30 miles UP the mountain to Big Bear Lake. I told them they could play in the tent but they are tired & want to go to sleep instead...it's barely 8:30pm!
I wake early the next morning, after a FITFUL night of NO sleep...but @ least I was NOT cold, L makes a great heater. I take a short walk/jog/trail run. Only about 20 min but it was enough to sweat out any bad attitude left over from the night before. I am feeling happy & wish I had known the day before there was a hiking trail right IN the campground!!!
After breakfast we head up to Big Bear Lake, couldn't find a swim spot, I got out & asked a fisher & he gave me directions to a 'swim beach'. Woohoo! We get there & it's this dinky corner of the lake & you have to PAY per person to swim & it doesn't open until 12 & then only till 5pm!!!!! It was 11:15. I was pouty over the fact that there was no free swimming area in the entire lake but whatever....when it was almost time to enter....my neighbor/friend realizes she has dropped & lost ALL her cash!
Her youngest is starting to whine & pout cause she wanted to swim---I don't blame her. I let them know about the nature center we passed w/ a great gift shop (the ktbunch has been there before)---we're not above bribery. We agree to go there...We don't walk any nature trails but we just look around inside a bit...I don't buy anything. They want to go eat, so we decide that I'll take the ktbunch to a historical museum we'd never been too & they will go eat & then we'll meet up. Everyone's happy.
As we are getting ready to leave the nature center...it starts to THUNDER pretty strongly. On our way to the Big Bear History Museum...we see some major lightening cracks.... We're all in our swim clothes. The museum is very inexpensive, ($3 adults, children under 14 free) the docents are nice & friendly...I quickly scan the souvenirs & make a mental note that they are VERY INexpensive...yay! While we're there---it suddenly starts to DOWN pour!!! AND then it turns to HAIL!!!! The lights go out while we're in a room w/ no windows...the littles are an insulin rush away from a breakdown.....but it's exciting. lol
They had a real log cabin filled w/ historical artifacts from the 1800's ect.... you had to walk outside to each spot...it's just a little rain right? lol It definitely lightens the mood....the ktbunch got to 'pan for gold' outside in the back, we met a friendly blacksmith from OUR area & I let them get some cool souvenirs.
Neighbor calls & is ready to head back...we HOPE it's not raining back @ the campsite. Half-way there, the roads are dry, the sky is clear & it's warm again. Weird. The optimism is short lived as we drive into sprinkles...then rain. We arrive back to camp...it's drenched.
Someone was nice enough to close all our tent windows. My bed & blankets have a trail of water across them, there are puddles IN my tent. Things are no longer dry & dusty but soggy & muddy. What are you gonna do? The thought crosses my mind to pack up & go home but that just means I'm packing a bunch of WET things & I have to set the tents back up @ home to dry out....We wait it out...I keep my swim clothes on...their made for water right? & dry quickly. It gets HOT again, my air mattress dries off & my blankets mostly...
I take the ktbunch on a 2 mile hike. They are the GREATEST children! The thunder still threatens but the rain doesn't return...that night. The next morning (this morning) I am awakened to the sounds of BARS falling on the ground....it's NOT even 7am!!! My neighbor is packing up & is in a RUSH! I am in NO rush. They are out of there pretty fast.
We took our time down the mountain, stopping to take pix here & there & found a creek or something, we walked along it for awhile & across it ect.
I realized awhile ago---I don't drive a MINI-van---I drive the "ADVENTURE Van"...& this weekend I REALLY came to the conclusion----wherever the "Adventure Van" goes...adventure is SURE to FOLLOW! SO watch out!!! lol
pix to follow...of course! So it really WAS the worst camping trip EVER---but it made for quite an exciting adventure! :-D
OH & I have to pick up my dad & brother tonight from the Airport @ midnight....they were in Alaska.