Tuesday, June 9, 2015

"Is it me, or are we getting too old for this?" and other joys of camping

I know.  We make this look SO EASY

You guys.  It seems like just yesterday I was writing about packing for a trip and working on our irrigation system, and here I am again...packing for a trip and working on our irrigation system.  Because there's nothing as motivational as knowing your entire property could be a parched-to-death wasteland and/or flood-plain when you roll into the driveway after a week of living somewhere else in your very own traveling "home".  I use the term "home" loosely to mean the space where we (and when I say "we", I mean I) take pretty much everything we own, and possibly some stuff we don't, out of our large house and cram it all into various storage compartments in a microscopic traveling box camper and then drag our entire mini-life somewhere else for a few days to a week, then reverse the process when we get home.

Actually the camper's a pretty sweet set-up...I just get snarky when it's time to pack
"Live small" is our motto when we go camping.  Little tiny stovetop, tiny pans, tiny utensils, tiny bathroom, tiny counters, tiny floor space, tiny closets.  If you use a dish, WASH IT AND PUT IT AWAY because there's no other place to set it down.  If you are taller than 5'5", too bad--your feet are going to hang off the bed, no matter what.  Get over it.

To justify the prep-time involved in going camping or RV-ing, the goal should be to stay gone for more days than the packing/unpacking takes.  So, if it takes two days to pack and two days to unpack, plus the rest of the time it takes to sort everything out, get the followup laundry done, and put it all away, we should be gone for ...*stares at ceiling and counts on fingers*  one thousand days.


The older we get, the more Shane and I look at each other in the midst of Windex-ing surfaces, packing ball bearings, replacing RV hot-water heaters, and flipping random light switches and saying "Is anything on NOW?", the more we realize that the term "vacation" should really only apply to those times that involve AIRLINE TICKETS AND ROOM SERVICE.  You know, the kind where your biggest concern is that your sunscreen won't pop open in your suitcase, and when you get back to your room from dinner, the bed is made and there is possibly a towelgami thing sitting there.

Because, for the mom (and often for the dad), camping is never, ever truly a break.  You spend 3 days (or more) tearing apart your closets, kitchen, and bathrooms, and moving it all INTO the camper.  "Where's the first-aid kit/folding chairs/hot-dog prongs/bug spray?" THEN you spend the whole time away doing dishes, listening to random "there's nothing to eat" comments, and picking up shoes and socks from the floor.  Kind of like being at home.  THEN you actually come back home and reverse the procedure, unpack everything you own and drag it back into your actual house, dump most of it on the laundry room, and spend the following week washing all of it and putting it away again.

Yay, when can we do this again?

Add to the mix, the fact that we now travel with a fully operational English mastiff puppy who at 6 months old weighs about 75 pounds.  So...there's her bed, toys, slobber rags, food dishes, food, ramp (yes, ramp), and random other dog-related crap to deal with.  no pun intended.   Well, actually...  

Three weeks ago at 5 months/65 pounds

Last night Shane and I were out working on the motorhome that we are using for this next trip.  We aren't taking our usual camper, which is always packed for the summer with more or less everything we need and therefore only takes 2 days to get ready for take-off (so it's...fairly simple to leave to go camping in the summer--just put in food and our clothes and go)  (kind of).

I had already transferred all our nicely pre-packed stuff out of the camper and into the motorhome, and we were cleaning dead bugs and pine needles out of the ceiling vents, wiping sweat off our brows in the 98-degree heat, and wondering why the air-conditioner keeps blowing the breaker on the turbo twin-prop generator, when we realized that we could use a real vacation.

Haha ha    HA.

I'm no prophet, but I can definitely predict that our next vacation plans will include the words "cruise" and "Bahamas".  There will also be towelgami involved.  Just sayin'.


  1. Camping sounds like a punishment to me....I hope you have a good time in the Bahamas next time!

    I've been there. I had a great time. :)

    1. The prep and unpack time is kind of like its own kind of punishment. Last night we were out there until 10 pm working on the water system in the RV, and I think we actually had a conversation revolving around "We should just SELL this stuff and get hotel rooms from now on!"

      I really miss the tropics...we used to take the girls on Disney cruises long ago, but stopped in 2009

      We have a trip booked for February for our anniversary, and I can't tell you how excited I will be to just pack one suitcase and leave. I am SO READY to go again, plus this will be our first time without the kids...

  2. Hi Stefanie! You've been nominated for a Liebster Award by me! Answer some questions if you're feeling moved and pay it forward as well. Tag me if you do so I can duly note on social media. ;) The Link http://jsnarkystotalrandomness.blogspot.com/2015/06/i-freaking-won-award.html

    1. Whaaat? I never win ANYthing. Like never. Ever.

      Of course I will! It will give me something to do instead of PACKING.
      *slightly crazy laughter* *sob*

  3. I tried to post a comment here yesterday, but the airport internet connection on my phone failed me.

    We took my kids (at the time aged 15 months and 3.5 years) camping last September per my birthday request. I wanted to do it because I see us as an outdoorsy family and because my parents used to take us (all 4 of us with a 9 year age gap between oldest and youngest) when we were young. We did the tent thing growing up until I was about 14 and then switched to a pop up camper where my brothers had to share the "table bed".

    But, I digress....the camping trip in September was a blast for me in that I got to watch my children fall through the woods, stare in amazement at a campfire and me cooking outside, and relish in the beautiful views from our hikes. The youngest got to ride around nicely on my back in a special backpack for hiking. My oldest caught his first fish and learned to read a trail map and markers. My husband, however, has banned the family from going camping....probably forever. He couldn't take the falling through the woods, the constant need to pull children out of the cooler, the perpetual movement with no where to corral them.

    Am I crazy?.....I'm thinking about taking them myself for another trip this year. We had so much fun that maybe daddy is the limiting factor and might enjoy a weekend to himself....at home.

    1. I'm on my way back now and finally was able to charge my phone...! And I'm still leaning towards this verdict: I more or less love the living in a camper when we're away, but it's *not* a vacation for the mom. Dishes, making beds, etc never end.