Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Camping We Will Go

So last Tuesday I post my new schedule for the blog, and then, we went on vacation! But here we go, with a new post! ***Update: due to blogger being incredibly slow it took me almost 24 hours to write this post!!! So I really did mean for it to be posted yesterday! Sorry about that!***

My mom had bought some new camping gear when she and my brother went on a trip to see my other brother in DC this summer. She got re-bitten by the camping bug and came home and schedule a trip to Brown County State Park in Indiana over Labor Day weekend. I was super excited! Growing up when we wanted to go on vacation we usually went camping. With the exception of two trips that I can remember (going to NYC and Disney World with a choir that I sang with) every major vacation memory is camping. But we had never taken our kids camping, and I knew these were memories I wanted to make with them. Falling asleep in a tent with the sounds of crickets and tree frogs, sitting around the campfire telling stories and roasting marshmallows, making foil dinners, getting caught in a rain storm...those are things they would always remember. So Thursday evening we loaded up cars and Friday we hit the road. Mom went up early with Jonah and my brother and two of his friends (who are like family to us) and they got the campground(s) set up. We came up after school and work to join them. After getting lost (CURSE YOU MAPQUEST!!!!) we found the campground and arrived around 8 pm. No one had eaten so we hastily pulled out hamburgers and hotdogs, got a fire going and then got everyone in bed (we were all super grouchy...that first day is always the hardest!!!)

The entrance to the State Park. I've been obsessed with covered bridges ever since I saw "Sleepy Hollow" with Steven on our first date. There is just something so romantic about them, especially when I can conjure up images of Johnny Depp!

One of our two campsites. We were in the bigger tent on the left with our kids and my cousin Kenzie. The small tent in the middle is the food tent and the tent on the right is where my Aunt Stacey and cousin Trey slept. You can see the dining tent in the corner.

Saturday mom had arranged for canoe rentals. After breakfast we headed to the canoe rental place. Upon arrival the place looked a little shady (to say the least...they had 3 padlocks on their shed...and we had passed on obvious methhouse not too far we kind of wondered what we had gotten ourselves into!!!) but the guy seemed very nice (and he had all his teeth...although Michael says they could very well have been fake!) and he took us down to the river to our canoes. We had three canoes (13 people in all). Once we figured out who was going in which canoes, who was going to row and where we were going we got shoved off and started our adventure. And it was an adventure! The river outlet that we were in was full of tree stumps, entire trees that had fallen in, etc. To say the least, navigating was interesting. The guy told us that it was 4 miles from where we started to Lake Monroe and then we would bring the canoes back to where we started (8 miles round trip) I think we underestimated how long 4 miles takes in a canoe because at one point we came upon a fisherman. He said we were at least 2 hours away from the Lake still. We had already been in the canoes for 2 hours!! So we decided to go ashore, eat some lunch, take a swim and then turn around and head back. we switched up the canoes (except for me, I couldn't really help paddling when I had to watch Jonah and Micah) and headed back. I decided to pull out the camera and snap some pictures because the scenery was great!

Baby's first canoe ride!

Brianna had so much fun!

Jonah wasn't too sure about it at first-in fact we had to physically put him in the canoe-but he LOVED it!

I love the reflection of the trees on to the water.

The very rare picture of me- my poor glasses- the arm is loose and so they constantly look crooked-have to go to the eye doctor yet again to have them fixed!

Let me tell you how fun this was to maneuver through!! lo,

Saturday night we did the typical camping stuff-made foil dinners, s'mores (but we are chocolate snobs so we use Ghiradeli minis for our s'mores- and yes, they are bomb!), told stories (mostly sad attempts at being scary, but the kids thought it was hilarious!).

Sunday we went into town. BCSP is near Nashville, Indiana, also known as "little Nashville". It is a cute little town full of shops, great places to eat and awesome little candy stores! We walked around for most of the afternoon browsing shops and enjoying time. We met up with my Aunt Helen and Uncle Creg, cousins Becca and Sara and Sara's daughter Vanessa for a while also. It was awesome to see them and see Brianna and Vanessa together. They were so cute! By that time Steven had taken the boys back to the campground for a nap, and he had also taken my camera so I didn't get many pictures, but we had a great afternoon in Little Nashville. We will definitely go back for a girls day of shopping, hopefully soon!

This shop called "The Backporch" had these awesome horse swings made out of old tires!

Cocoon Kenzie!
Sunday night we took pizza back to the campground, we were just too tired to cook! After dinner we broke out some games. The first was Apples to Apples Jr. Always a good time playing that game!

The tickle monster gets Jonah!

Oh so serious!

Oh yeah! That's my card!
There were lots of tickle games going on.

Micah and Aunt Stacey

We made peach cobbler in the dutch oven. Can you say yummy!?! It was just like I remembered it! And ended up being Steven's favorite part of the trip! lol

Hi pretty girl!

Tired girl snuggling with her nina!

Two of my boys!

Jonah playing Mario brothers with Uncle Mikey.

Evil...she's evil I tell ya!

Sparklers...don't know that they were exactly legal...but we didn't light the forest on fire!

YUM!!! I mean YUM!!!

Super baby!

"This is good!" lol

So silly!

Later on a Euchre game got started and continued long into the night. I'm not a Euchre player so I went to bed early with the kids but it must have been a good time because I fell asleep to lots of laughter! Sunday night was really cold, mainly because I didn't bring enough blankets. The kids were fine in their sleeping bags, but Steven and I were frozen when we woke up Monday morning. And then we woke up to find all the wood had been used up the night before during the Euchre game! UGH!!! Luckily the camp store was open so Steven ran up to get another bundle. We sat around with sleeping bags and blankets and waited to get breakfast going.

Walking Mathias

Making pancakes
Monday we didn't have to check out until 5 pm so we decided to take the kids horseback riding. Kenzie's birthday is this Friday so my mom treated her to a ride. Our kids were too small to ride the horses on the trail (they had to be 8) but they had parent assisted pony rides available, so they each got a couple of laps. They loved the ponies and went around several times.

Our pony rides were done before they rest of them got to ride their horses because of the long wait for trail rides that day. So when the kids were done we all went back to the campground for lunch and then tried to get the kids down for a nap...yeah! Right! When they didn't sleep we decided to go ahead and start breaking down camp. By the time the rest of them got back we had most of the big stuff taken care of and were ready to load cars. It was such a great I know that I will remember for a long time! And I think the kids will too. We're already talking about our next trip. Steven says we should just get out a US map, close our eyes and point...that could get really never know where you could end up next! On the way home we stopped at our favorite farmer's market outside of Columbus, IN and bought fresh green beans, red potatoes, and sweet corn. Last night for dinner I boiled up the green beans and potatoes with a ham hock, steamed the fresh corn and cut up an Indiana melon that we had. It was the perfect meal to end a perfect trip. Can't wait until our next one. Who knows where that will be!


Gail said...

What a great trip! I love Apples to Apples. The perfect family game!

Shelly said...

That sounds like such a great trip. It makes me want to take my boys camping sometime.