Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Camping at Cape Disappointment

Last night we returned from a two night camping trip to Cape Disappointment. It had been extremely hot in Seattle in the past weeks but at the coast the weather was cool with banks of fog and light rain coming off the sea in the mornings. We wore fleece everyday and enjoyed the campfires, hot chocolate, smores and sleeping bags. However, some of our campmates were less sanguine about the weather and comments such as "we could have been in Seattle in bikinis" were heard in the prematurely dark evenings as the noise of the surf rolled across the dunes. This didn't bother me as geography and climate have nothing to do with my not wearing a bikini.

Wren enjoyed the first day but by Saturday afternoon he was going through withdrawals from Go Diego Go and was "sad and want to go to Mummy's home, not new home, now." Here he is after being told that he couldn't watch Diego because there was no television and we were a long way from our house.

What kind of minivan doesn't have a DVD player anyway?

Thankfully, potty training continued to go well. Wren felt very at home on his potty as you can see from this fireside potty seat. I have taken to driving around with the potty in the car and this afternoon, on the way home from the Aquarium, we pulled to the side of the road so Wren could use the potty. Frost, having been forced to pee in a bottle on a number of occasions, thinks this is an excellent plan and suggested we keep the potty in the car forever. I was careful to go around corners slowly so as to avoid generating too much centrifugal force.

Frost had the most fun. He chased (and was chased around) by London (5) and enjoyed playing with Francis (pug). He was barefooted for much of the weekend and came home grimed with black metallic dust that is in the sand around here. Piper had a My Little Pony with a magnet in its foot which became encrusted with a thick lump of metal dust much as Frost's feet. I have had to wash everything we took camping and have made a list of the Things That Would Make Camping More Comfortable. These include a dustpan to clean the tent after the kids have played in my bed all day and a larger tent so I can turn over at night. Our current tent is a 4 skinnyperson tent and was bought before Wren was born. I think I would enjoy having enough space to have some of our clothes IN the tent instead of collecting black dust outside.

Frost was also happy at the treat of having Lucky Charms for breakfast number 1, number 2 and number 3. Wren had some every day but didn't really eat them. Both boys enjoyed the fire and roasting marshmallows and Frost finished an entire volume of his Rick Riordan series. He is now on number 4 - something about Titans. His DS battery became flat on the trip down so we did not have to 'negotiate' about screentime.

However far we were from wi-fi, Wren still found endless joy in the iPod touch. He played 'guys' and peekaboo barn when he was allowed which was when I needed to eat and not worry he was about to fall into the fire.

Is camping supposed to be FUN?
When I called Mum after we arrived home on Sunday night and she asked if we "had fun". Apparently I sounded ambivalent about the camping side of things (but not about the dead whale and seabird lallapalooza). I recall at some point on Saturday night having a glass of wine and opining that we should not book cabins next year because camping is about the discomfit. That camping should not be too easy and plush, that it was The Experience. I have never had an air-mattress and as a child we only did back-country camping . In America, all our camping has been 'car camping' which is what they call it when you put the kitchen sink in the back of the car and unload it somewhere else. Around us, most people had some kind of RV as well as a flotilla of little tents spread out around the campsite. Now that I have had time to think about it, I think camping could be a little more comfortable. A trip to REI will be happening shortly.

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