So we were bitten by the camping bug this weekend, and, fortunately, that is not literal statement.
The odd thing is that this wasn't a "perfect" camping weekend: Dave and I were dehydrated Friday night (a bit too much wine and WAY too little water; I see why beer is the preferred camping drinky-pooh) and a couple of pretty big storms on Saturday night/Sunday morning should have made us less enthusiastic about camping.
But that is not what happened. Instead, we spent most of Sunday night searching for tents and camp cooking supplies. Check our Amazon wish lists, should you want to contribute to our new family hobby.
So why so much fun? Well, the kids were crazy excited. And they are way into nut collecting now, so at one point there were 100 nuts stored in our borrowed tent's mesh pockets. And there was a big rock by our campsite that Conor immediately climbed and didn't come down until he had to go to bed.
My brother and sister-in-law came with us and served as camp mentors (otherwise, I would have had no idea about heating the water on the camp stove to wash dishes). There was also the 8 year old twin boys with whom Conor became best buds and constantly stalked us over the big rock.
There was the day trip to the zoo in which we fed the giraffes, a pretty dadgum amazing experience.
There was the fire and the roasting of hot dogs and s'mores.
And then there was the storm.
Just a few things here. First, weather.com and accuweather? If you think what happened Saturday night was a 30% chance of .04 inches of rain (respectively), we need to review probabilities and measurement. My brother kept citing the NOAA prediction, which I pooh-poohed. When from about 12 to 1, it began to rain steadily and with vigor, I realized the sky was pooh-poohing on me. We stayed dry, though, until 1ish, when the rain started coming down hard. Water started spritzing into the tent. Occasionally, a big drop would plop on our heads, but it was mostly just spritzing in the tent.
Dave and I debated spending the rest of the night in the car. Then I remembered my cell phone and checked the radar. We were at the end of the storm and there was nothing anywhere between us and Nashville. OK, I thought. A few more minutes and we'll be fine for 6 or 7 hours, if that storm even comes over the mountains. We waited a few minutes, the rain stopped, and all was fine. As I was falling asleep, I started doing a little math, because that is what I do, and realized that the next round of rain, should it come, would arrive around breakfast. Fine....zzzz..zzz.zzz.zz.
When I woke up at 6:50 everything was still fine. Dawn was starting to break, and it was brisk but we were all warm in our sleeping bags. I thought, well, hey, let me go ahead and check the radar to see if that storm is anywhere close.
And that's when I saw an enormous swath of red and yellow just to the west of us and heading east.
"DAVID!!! We've got ONE HOUR, and then we're going to get a BIG ASS STORM! EVERYBODY UP!"
I ran down to tell my brother and SIL, and then headed back to our camp to bug out. (That's a phrase that we campers use that means pack up and get the heck out of dodge) That's, of course, when the whining began. The kids didn't want to get out of their warm sleeping bags to get dressed. Blah, blah, blah blah-dee blah. After so many years, it's not effective.
It's not effective, that is, until one hears one's spouse say "Oh, Conor! Oh, no!!"
Conor wasn't just cold: Conor was sopping wet. While the rest of us had just been spritzed with water, he had been soaked. Apparently the rain fly had just directed all the water through some seam and onto our son. His clothes were so wet, he might was well had been standing out in the rain storm. And he had slept that way for 6 hours in 50 degree temperature.
Shitty parents of the year award! We win!!
We still had to convince him to take off his wet clothes in the cold and put on dry ones and that took entirely more time and energy than it should have. But fine. We got him taken care of, got the rest of the family taken care of and, with the help of the rest of the adults, got the gear stored mostly neatly in all the right places.
Dave put the last thing, the tent, into the back of the van, got into the driver's seat. "I just felt a raindrop," he said. And indeed, by the time we pulled the van out of the camp site, it started raining. And by the time we pulled out of the campground, it was crazy raining. 1 hour and 10 minutes after I checked the radar, we packed up and that big ass storm started.
Maybe it was all that drama at the end, but we were cheering and hooting as we pulled out of camp.
So, uh, yeah. That is apparently what my family thinks is fun. We cannot wait to do it again. Chickens. Camping. Craziness and fun. That is apparently how we roll.