We pulled into the driveway last night (ummm, or this morning) at 3am. Ahhhh, home sweet home. We decided we couldn't miss the fish and shrimp fry so we stuck around for dinner and got a late start back home. We were technically paid to stay through Sunday but always prefer having a full day of recovery before going back to work, so we didn't care what time we got home as long as we woke up in our bed today. (which by the way, was after 1pm) Of course, this is my first year to not have to return to work tomorrow since I'm off for the summer but Les has my deepest sympathy.
In spite of it raining the first three days we were there, we still had a blast and were actually wishing we had stayed the full two weeks. I'm actually leaning towards going back with Lauren and her friend tomorrow for a few more days. It's a five hour drive but worth it.
Highlights (and non-highlights) of the trip:
Having Lauren ride to and from with us for the first time in about five years. It was nice to have her stuck in the car with us again for a change.
Les and I being stuck in the tent in the rain for hours at a time on and off for the first three days then realizing we'd forgotten to even pack a deck of cards. At least we had vodka, 7 Up and our excellent personalities to keep us from shooting ourselves.
Repeatedly sweeping our picnic area off and hosing down the dirt from our outside camping stuff after each downpour, only to have another round of rain come through a few hours later making everything dirty and nasty again.
Going out into the rain about 100 times to move the dogs from their chains to the tree to inside of our utility trailer to keep them dry. Fun? Not so much.
Taking the kids Geocaching in the rain. That was really cool. If you haven't heard of Geocaching before, it's basically like a scavenger hunt for something that you use a GPS to locate. People from all over the world participate and post the coordinates of things they have hidden on a website. Les had written down all of the ones located in the park prior to our trip so we decided to go even though it was raining. You have to use a GPS to locate it. We were basically hiking through the hills and trails trying to find the hidden object. Other than the fact that I forgot my tennis shoes (among other things) and got two huge blisters on my feet from wearing my water sandals, it was awesome and the kids loved it. The rain made it more adventurous.
Staying up with some people in our group late into the night laughing and sharing our greatest poop stories of all times. I laughed so hard my stomach and face hurt. A few of those stories might make it to the blog one day (with identities protected, of course).
Losing track of the day of the week and having someone else remind us that it was our 21st wedding anniversary. Hey, at least we BOTH forgot!
Sitting down at the picnic table and being stung where the sun don't shine by a bee. I ran into the tent screaming and jumped onto the bed sitting up on all fours asking Les to make sure the stinger wasn't still in. It wasn't, but it hurt like hell for 20 minutes. At least he finally quit telling me that the bees weren't going to hurt me anymore. LIAR! I knew there was a good reason to be scared of them. They hovered over the kids empty Coke cans all week. Those sneaky and unwelcome bastards!
Making it through the entire trip without a single episode of family drama!(Or at least any major drama!) Record books! Note: This could be a result of the fact that our site was located a good distance from camp central, so we had more of our own personal space than usual.
Sleeping in a tent while it rained. Now that's a relaxing and peaceful sound.
Not having to use the park showers one single time, thanks to our new handy dandy camping shower that TOTALLY rocks. (see below) Note: Sold at Academy for $40 and worth every cent!
Having great mother daughter bonding time with Lauren for an entire day of just the two of us relaxing in the water for about five plus hours. We got so burned! Turns out she loves sitting in a chair in the water for hours on end as much as I do. (as long as the cooler is nearby) Who knew? Oh, and among other things she shared or confessed to me, she told me all about the times she used to sneak out of the house during her junior and senior years. What am I supposed to do now except laugh? It's not like I can ground her now. I was actually so shocked that I couldn't stop laughing! OMG! I was the master at that age but had no idea that she had ever pulled it off. She even used the pillows in the bed trick. Whatever, I invented that! I threatened her with her life that she better not ever tell Cassidy her tricks.
Having to use wet wipes to clean my feet every night before climbing into bed to wipe the dirt off of them. You just gotta love camping!
Washing dishes after the guys have cooked for like 40 plus people, not so fun.
Our tent totally rocked and withstood the rain very well. It was big enough for our bed, two chairs and the tons of tubs containing all of of our "stuff". Plus, we could easily walk around and had plenty of open space. Everyone made fun of us for bringing two TV trays to use for our night stands. These would be the same people who are living it up in their travel trailers! We have an air mattress on a stand so it's pretty cool that it doesn't sit on the floor. Oh, and did I mention that we also take a portable air conditioner every year that keeps us from dying in the Texas heat? We're usually freezing in the mornings. (see below) Does that make us real redneck campers? Please, don't answer that.
I actually had so much fun that there's a good chance I'll be going back for a few more days with Lauren and her friend for the rest of this week. She came home with us to ride back up tomorrow with her friend (and to see her boyfriend for a few days) before returning for the rest of the week. Caden decided not to stay for week 2 but if I end up going back tomorrow, he's going back with us.
It felt good to sleep in my own bed and to actually have and keep clean feet after a long, hot BATH, but I would love a few more days of the river and some quality time with the friends and family.
These are the pictures I took with my phone, I've been way too tired and lazy today to bother loading the pictures from the cameras. Did I mention I slept almost all day? Cut me some slack on run-on sentences, spelling or grammatical errors.......I'm still recovering. I have two huge trash bags of laundry to do and 2,000 tubs to unpack but haven't so much as lifted a finger all day. Sigh. However, Caden and I are catching up on all of the shows he DVR'd while we were gone.
Here's a little taste of our week.
Lauren and Caden used this tent. (mostly Caden) Lauren had her stuff in it but for the most part she floated from trailer to trailer (and earned quite a reputation for making her rounds through the park! Ha! Of course, they were people in our group!) Cassidy visited us but she and her friend had their own bunks in MeMe and PawPaw's trailer.
The good 'ol A/C. See it down there on the right?
The master tent that totally rocked. It's new and pretty roomy.
Oh, the view and just a short walk away from our site. Also where I spent the majority of my time RELAXING in my chair.
The dogs haven't moved since we got home.