We’ve gone and come back from our camping trip, and had a great time! The campground we went to was the most beautiful we’ve ever been to, and very private. There was a beautiful stream running through the campgrounds, and we had a fun time climbing the rocks in the river, tubing, hiking, and on the last day, swimming at a nearby thermal lake. And of course there was the usual camping fun of collecting firewood, building fires, roasting marshmallows and hotdogs, making smores, etc. We also made a trip out to gorgeous Blackwater Falls (WV), which was only 40 minutes from our campsite. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the camera with us for the thermal lake and waterfall (accidentally left behind at the campsite), since that was a very fun part of our trip that would be good to have visual reminders of. But the main thing is that we had the experience! (Though I’ve often found that what we have pictures of we remember for much longer!)
When we were packing the van to go there, we were really glad we didn’t need to take tents this time since we didn’t have any extra space in the van! Everyone thought the cabin was cute (I had to take the smaller one since the bigger one that would have been more suitable was taken), but once nighttime came, the four oldest kids had a hard time sleeping because they were so squished. And honestly, I usually enjoy the rustic experience, but this time (being six months pregnant), I really wouldn’t have minded electricity or being closer to the water pump and porta potties (the bigger cabin is right next to those and has electricity). Three trips in the middle of the black rainy night to use the facilities wasn’t much fun. And it wasn’t much fun walking ten minutes to get to a bathroom first thing in the morning, either, when the closer one (three minutes away) was taken. But that was really the main complaint, and that’s being kind of nitpicky.
Fortunately, we didn’t spend much time inside during the day! The weather was on the cool side – it was rainy and pouring the first night there, but cleared up the next morning and it was clear and sunny. Since it was in the mountains, it didn’t feel hot at all – temps were only in the 80s.
The modest swim suits I made were really a worthwhile use of time, as it enabled us to have fun as a family in the water in situations that I would usually stay away from. I was working on mine until 1 am of the morning that we left, knowing how disappointed my kids would be if I didn’t finish it. It was worth the effort; they were thrilled that I made it in time for the trip and I had lots of fun swimming with them!
We decided to leave a little early and not stay for the third night – the larger cabin was available and we initially planned to move into it for our last night there, but then decided it was silly to spend energy moving in there, when we were just going to pack up first thing the next morning and go home. I had terrible back pain from the mattress I slept on (I could feel the metal bars of the futon frame through it) and didn’t want to cut our trip short just because of that, but the second night some kids were so cold that they weren’t looking forward to the third night, either. Part of that was their own fault – three of them forgot to bring the warm clothes that we told them to pack, but part of it was being in the mountains, and it being much colder at night than we’re used to on past camping trips – we would have brought more blankets if we had realized. I can only imagine how cold we would have been if we had camped this year in tents like we usually do!
We got back at 1 am on Friday morning (it’s always nice to be home!), and when we woke up, got everything unpacked and washed up. Then we had special overseas guests for dinner that I’ve known online for over six years, but never had the chance to meet in person until Friday evening. (We spent most of Monday before we left cooking and freezing food so we wouldn’t be too pressured when we got home from the trip, and were able to just pull things out of the freezer.) They also came for lunch the next day, and we thoroughly enjoyed them – what wonderful people! They also had a daughter 11.5 who both my almost 11 yo and 12.5 year old really enjoyed getting to know. The consensus of all the kids was they wish we could have spent even more time together with their family!
Saturday was our 15th anniversary – doesn’t that sound like a long time?! The years have flown by! Marriage is an amazing thing, and I’m incredibly grateful to be married to such a special person, who I love more and more every year.
Today was a really nice day, very relaxed and filled with nice time together with the kids – a movie out (check your local theaters to see if any offer free matinees in the summer – many do), a trip to the library, some special shopping for ds13, and then a trip to friends for another child (and later, swimming there for two of my boys while I got to enjoy time with their mother, a good friend who I never have enough time to talk with :)). We had dinner outside in the back yard where it was cool (the house was uncomfortably warm) before getting everyone ready for bed. Now we are getting looking forward to a visit from a family from Texas who is coming tomorrow. I’ve known them since I was 16, so we’ve seen each other through many stages of life!
Tomorrow morning the midwife will be here and I’ll finally get the official verdict about if we have one or two babies on the way (these four weeks have dragged by, waiting and wondering). I’ll be sure to keep you posted!