|ready to set up camp!|
|camp all set thanX to biggest brother and sister.|
We left on Monday afternoon, a little later than expected--okay two hours later than I planned--but it's all good. I am a pretty flexible person and mom so there was no stress about it. We had been to this camp ground before and we didn't have a reservation. They offer first come-first serve site options but what I did not know was that changed the day before we arrived--it switched to reservation only. Which only means reservations take priority. There was virtually NO ONE there! Maybe about 3 other sites were taken so we had our pick of the park. It was great and we had all the privacy we wanted. That is a perk for going during the week instead of during a weekend.
|My big camping *splurge* this year...$8 hammock I found at the grocery store!!!|
We enjoyed night fall around the bonfire, roasting marshmallows and making smores. This campsite has nice, clean restrooms and running showers with hot water. No extra fee to use them either. (some campgrounds charge $.50 for 3 minutes of shower use) This may seem insignificant but if you really think about it--it's NOT! ;-) The showers do turn off in intervals (felt like every minute & a half. lol) but you easily push a button and turn it back on.
It was colder than we expected during the night time but the day time hours produced gorgeous weather and nice temps. We did not bring nearly enough blankets. I forgot and almost didn't bring a blanket at all. It happens. We also could NOT find our air mattress pump--not good, not good at all. But we survived. You adjust and you learn to make due--even if you do lose some sleep over it. You learn to practice and exhibit more self control and patience than usual. These are good virtues to practice regularly. ;-)
The first night was actually Sammy's 12th birthday. Birdy was the one who said she wanted to go camping for her birthday but our plan did not coordinate w/ the Mr's work schedule so we postponed the trip a week.
This year their birthdays have been a little 'off' to say the least.
We didn't stay up very late, just long enough for the stars to come out and show their twinkling beauty. Little did I know what a long night we'd have ahead of us or I might have stayed awake longer. I was too cold and the reality of sleeping in a tent, on hard ground with out an air mattress is exactly what you'd imagine it to be!
Being with your family, in nature, is ALWAYS worth smiling about though. No complaints about that.
|Yes! I run AND camp in a skirt.|
The next day our plan was to head to Big Bear and check out the Discover Nature Center they have. Unfortunately, it is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays...the days we were there. That was a bummer but we still had a nice afternoon.
We stopped at this little scenic park/picnic area. We were able to get a beautiful view of the lake and walk around a bit before heading to "Big Bear Village".
I've spent a few mini-vacations in Big Bear so I was able to show the KtBunch a couple sentimental locations that are still there. Some have been there nearly 20 years (or more--I visited them the first time almost 20 yrs ago)--the place has NOT changed much, obviously.
I love how the boys are all sitting the exact same way!
The weather was warm but not too uncomfortable.
|I took a picture in front of this SAME clock post, nearly 20 years ago!|
A lot has changed in my life since then--primarily these 4 beauties.
We stopped at a candy shop and got a triple chocolate caramel apple. Oh! It was so delicious. Sam preferred a nice scoop of cookie dough ice cream in a sugar cone. It was a nice treat to end the afternoon with. We headed back to the camp site to take a hike. There is a trail connected to the site. I think we hiked about 2 miles round trip.
The views were lovely. We could see the mountains and the whole valley below. Simply lovely.
I think we'd all agree the very best part of the trip was on our way home. At the base of the mountain we stopped at this picnic area. It has steps and a trail to lead to a creek (is that was it is exactly? I don't know). We had to cross over water a few times. There are rocks of mini-rapids that create pools. Clear, cool pools of water. It was exactly what we needed and a great way to end our trip. The Ktbunch's entire attitude changed. I'm sure I saw Kurtis grow a little right before my eyes. It's amazing how that works. All whiny-ness stopped, he became more sure and self confident of himself as he crossed natural rock bridges, jumped in water up to his waist. It was sweet to watch.
A funny thing: initially I wasn't even going to get IN the water but I accidentally got the toe of my tennis shoe wet. The ktbunch had ditched their shoes immediately & were barefoot...WHY was I not going in the water myself? I have no idea. But I remembered, I'm the adventurous mom, wife and person and if I don't step into the water, I was going to regret it later, for sure.
I was glad I quickly remembered WHO I was. The water was not even cold. It was cool and refreshing and beautiful and amazing.
Don't ever be afraid to step into the water and GET YOUR FEET WET!
Then it was time to head home...
I have the BEST kids ever!!!