Spring break is typical this time of year and it reminds me of when seven days a year I used to leave my husband and head to the great outdoors to camp with well over a dozen kids… and another brave, soul equally blond in hair color and nature as me.
It’s a scary combination.
My blonde companion and I have been improving our camping technique each year for several years now with grand results.
This particular year in anticipation of the coming trip, my spirited comrade sent me a pair of fluffy leopard slippers to get me excited about another wild adventure. You see, we are not your average girls. It’s not the fact that we boldly dare to venture out with our 14 children into the wild for seven days…no…I say that’s NO BIG DEAL.
It’s the WAY we do it that makes the whole trip CRAZY…
Blondie and I are tough cookies with pedicures and highlights. Don’t let the primp fool you. We enjoy a challenge… but prefer it surrounded by pretty. Somehow pretty makes most challenges endurable. Especially challenges involving dirt and bugs.
Several years ago when Blondie suggested we take the kids camping, our generous husbands, Mr. Marriott and Mr. Hyatt gave us their blessings and we hit the road. Mrs. Stalwart simply told me to “Pack!” She would provide our sleeping quarters. My friend then began making phone calls to RV dealers pitting them against each other. Her plan was to head in the direction of the one that offered her the best deal, and then buy the luxury camping home on the spot. Her business skills defy her “blonde moments.” Once she secured a “good deal” she then hooked the large rolling home onto the back of her Excursion and DROVE TO THE CAMPGROUND.
When she drove up pulling a 30-foot luxury home, my mouth hit the ground at her accomplishment. Not wanting to show a lack of faith in her skills, I simply had to know, “How many gas pumps did you knock over on your way here?”
“None,” she chirped. “The man who sold it told me, simply told me to drive forward and it would follow me! So that’s what I did! No problem!”
I thought, Seriously? I’m out of my league! But I happily unpacked our belongings for the week and thanked the Good Lord for Blondie’s bravery.
Our home for the week had a plasma TV that swung from the master bedroom to the kitchen. Bunk beds with dresser drawers and a chef’s kitchen. I knew at that point, camping was definitely for me!
After that year, however, Mr. Hyatt, her husband decided they simply did not really NEED a luxury home on wheels, so Blondie and I had to find another way to camp in style. Thankfully the campground that we prefer has little camping huts, so the huts became our new plan, and so far remains our camping tradition.
Upon arrival at the campground, we unload our overburdened vehicles and start decorating our camping huts. Flannel sheets, downy comforters, soft pillows covered in satin, and comfy quilts make up our beds for the week.
Reading lamps clipped to headboards complete the rooms with the feminine touch familiar to home. We can do this, we think.
After the rooms are prepared, bright Christmas lights are strung around our huts, lighting our makeshift outdoor kitchens. Our sites are set apart from other campsites with a little BLING, so the kids can find their way home.
Extension cords are plugged in for 2 coffee pots, a toaster oven, a crockpot, a Vita-mix, and 5 iPhones. A shiny red gas stovetop sits next to the other portable appliances.
Table clothes and candles add the final touches to the tables that hold our cooking equipment. And the familiar is restored even though surrounded by dirt. We are READY TO ROUGH IT!
Camping isn’t so bad.
Blondie and I are making memories that will last a lifetime with our kids; I just pray we never have to do it without electrical outlets and downy comforters.
When we sit around our fire pit sipping hot tea from Starbucks mugs we laugh at our idea of camping and ask… “Is it really camping when…?”