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Camping. This is what I remember from vacationing as a child. Camping with my parents at various places like Long Beach, Rathtrevor, and Gordon bay on Lake Cowichan.
I've always loved camping. Something about being in the woods, the campfire, the dirt. Roughing it, sleeping on the ground. Cooking outside, and eating outside. It is fun, but is a reminder of how good we have it at home.
This weekend was supposed to see Sox, myself, the kids and two other couples go to Gordan Bay for a camping weekend. Sox ended up having to go to Toronto, and one of the other couples had to cancel.
I couldn't take both kids and the dog camping, and have us all come home sane and in one piece. Instead my mom took Amy for the weekend, and I got to take Elliot camping.
It was awesome. He is old enough to appreciate things like staying up late, getting extra treats, and doing something special with dad. He go to poke a stick in the fire, eat marshmallows, have extra cheese on his pasta. Simple things, but I could see a sparkle in his eye each time he got to do something new.
He was a big help in setting up the camp too. Elliot likes to help, so helping dad set up camp was a big deal for him. He helped me set up the tent, and then unload the car of all our sleeping gear.
I didn't take enough things for him to do. I should have taken his bike. I instantly regretted it as soon as I pulled into the campground. The only reason I didn't take it was sure laziness. Getting Heart into and out of the car when the bike rack is on is a pain. I should have done it anyway. I also forgot to take any coloring supplies, or any activity books. I did have a few cars and truck for him to play with, and my iPad. We also played cards, and board games.
Saturday we went to the lake, but not at the beach in the campground. We took a gravel logging road for about 10km, then took an over grown trail down to the lake. He liked 4x4ing in the car.
Saturday night was pretty cool too because when dinner was done, our campmates broke out dessert. The brought for use chocolate cake. Not pre-made though, they cooked it in the campfire in hollowed out oranges. Very, very tasty, and not really orangey either. Then after that we made popcorn over the campfire. Again, super yummy.
Today we had to break down camp and come home. I think that three nights is the ideal amount of time to go camping. Maybe four.
I hadn't planned on this turning into such an amazing time, but it was actually very special to me. Elliot is at an age where I can really start sharing some of the things I love with him. He has the attention span to listen and learn. I think I might try to do this boys camping trip once a year. I will definitely balance this with a special weekend with Amy too.
I am definitely glad my mom was able to take Amy. I would have been way more busy and wouldn't have been able to enjoy camping as much if both kids had been there. Also, Elliot wouldn't have gotten to do some of the things he did if Amy was there. She doesn't have the skill or attention to be careful around fire or other situations. Camping would have been a totally different experience if both kids were there.