coffeepoweredmom

Getting through the day, one cup at a time.

Roughing It

on June 21, 2012

I hope you guys are ready for a lot of photos.

Our Camping Trip

For our first family camping trip we went to Sandbanks Provincial Park, Ontario. Phil and I were looking for something that was outdoors, tent camping, but we could drive the car into. I’m all for backpacking and canoeing, but I couldn’t imagine trying to carry gear and wrangle children, perhaps when they get older…and more obedient.

I wasn’t feeling well that morning, didn’t eat too much, skipped my coffee, took some medicine that was lying around, and promptly threw up 15 minutes into our 2 1/2 hour drive to Sandbanks. I then threw up again maybe 45 minutes later, after a 15 minute break for my nausea. After that second emergency-vomit-in-a-parking-lot stop I took a breather for 10 minutes, forced a bunch of food into my stomach, and was good for the rest of the trip.

We had researched the different available campsites online. Since we were going midweek there were a TON available, so we decided to forgoe the reservations (saving ourselves $11) and pick a few different sites that we could request. We got our first pick, #74 – full shade, dirt, close to the bathrooms and water pump without being in a direct toilet-walk-path.

We arrived at the site and Ally immediately found a big awkward rock that she dubbed “Hat Rock” and she would continually put it on her head for the duration of our trip. Amazingly, Hat Rock disappeared less than 30 minutes from our departure time. I have a sneaking suspicion that one of the other adults threw it into the woods for whatever reason. Stubbed toe, perhaps?

Upon the advice of another myhonestself from justmypeanuts http://myhonestself.wordpress.com/ we grabbed the kids magnifying glasses from the dollar store. Ours came with plastic tweezers. The kids loved them!

Phil and Uncle Eric also loved them and talked for a long time about setting sticks on fire with them. Lo and behold, Phil was able to get a stick to smoke and he left a nasty black burn spot on it. Plastic magnifying glasses aren’t the greatest for fire creation.

After the tents were set up, and the sleeping bags unpacked (Camper Tip #1: set up everything first, it’s easier to do in the daytime and when you’re not as tired) we utilized the park map they gave us and found some ‘shortcuts’ through the woods to go see the beach.

Ooooooooh! Beach!
Kira almost exploded with excitement when she saw this. The beach is her most favourite place EVER.

Aunt Heather wanted to find an animal bone on the beach, little did she know that our section of beach was an unofficial graveyard and she found many more than just this first skull. I’m going to hazard a guess and say that she brought home at least 12 different animal bones.

The kids started chasing the waves out and running back in, until Kira stopped paying attention or forgot or something and soaked her running shoes and socks. Yeah, running shoes. We were just supposed to be looking. So we took them off and rolled up their pants.

The water was chilly but it was so pristine and clear. Quite a different view of Lake Ontario than the normal filth where we live.

I hung back with Uncle Eric and Aunt Heather to take this picture. Immediately after, Kira ran too deep into the water and fell over. Face first. By the time my mind processed that she was in danger, Phil had already run into the water – clothed – and pulled her out. My hero ❤

When we got back I put on my flipflops and offered Phil my hiking shoes since his were soaked when he was saving Kira. They are LITERALLY three sizes too small. We gathered some wood for a fire and began trying to light it but the wood was really damp from the previous week’s thunder storms. It took my brain a while but I finally realized that the wood on the beach would be dry since it was exposed to the sun almost constantly.

I am a Fire Building Goddess! Do you like the kids’ camp chairs?

We played in the tent for a while, the kids loved their new sleeping bags (gift card courtesy of Uncle Mal) and couldn’t wait to goof around in them.

More goofing. Is there something on my back?

Ally wanted to get her pyjamas on, so I got them both ready and then we settled in for some marshmallows!

Kira’s camping chair is a puppy. Ally’s is a butterfly. Neat!

They even got to roast them over the fire!
I promised myself that I’d be more lax for camping.

Kira was sooooooooo messy!

The next morning we packed up to head to the beach. Intentionally to go in the water this time.
Kira discovers she has pockets while she waits. Stikes a cool pose.

These ripples were in the sand, not the water. They were amazing to look at and they felt fantastic under bare toes!

The kids were outfitted with swimsuits and life jackets, and Phil and I went barefoot with shorts. We brought swimsuits but the water was cold so we weren’t really interested in full submersion.

We walked out as far as we wanted (before my shorts started getting wet) and then came back and splashed around in the shallower area.

We had a picnic lunch on the beach before heading back to chop some wood for our dinner, evening and breakfast fires. All of the adults took turns chopping wood (I probably did the least amount, boy have I become weak) and Ally was interested in trying as well. I helped her out since the axe was so heavy and dangerous, but she loves contributing.

During one of our runs for beach wood, we found this ‘bird of prey’ leg. I would have brought it home but let’s just say… the bugs weren’t done with it yet.

Ally found a bunch of different flowers that she loved to pick and bring to people. These ones were my favourites.

The second evening I surprised Ally with a shirt that I picked up for $3 on clearance a month or so back. It reads “I love sleeping under the stars when we go camping” and has a bunch of pictures on it, which include a tent, a fire, and a tree.

We played Scoop Ball in our site during the evening. We almost didn’t because we couldn’t find the bloody things and had decided that we must have left them at home. Then, when I was looking for something else, I found them.

I saw this bird, and my stupid camera flash caught the trees and left the bird dark. I was unable to get another picture of him. It *looks* like a woodpecker, but I’m not sure.

That evening I caught a toad. Yay for night vision!

Four of us were sitting around the campfire, noisily, and a raccoon came up and started wandering around the tent!

The next morning I took the girls back to the beach one last time while breakfast was being started.

This is the beach in the morning. Beautiful.

After breakfast Phil and Uncle Eric amused themselves by trying to get a hanging branch to fall from the tree.

Uncle Eric tried to climb the tree.

Then Kira tried to climb the tree. That was really funny.
Eventually they did get it.

I packed up the sleeping bags and the tent and then the girls and I went for a walk in the woods. This is one of my favourite pictures.

The view above our campsite.

And then we headed home. It was amazing.

Amazing. I would do it again in a heartbeat. These aren’t even half of the pictures I took.

Oh, I also took this picture for you guys! Bagged milk, tied shut with an elastic to keep it from spilling in the cooler. The bag has dirt on it from my dirty hands. The milk is still good.

PS Remember the PHOTO CHALLENGE! NO ONE IS PARTICIPATING AND IT MAKES ME WANT TO CRY! Nine more days.


17 responses to “Roughing It

  1. sillyliss says:

    Holy cow, did you even see any other people? The beach looks deserted. What an awesome time. It *almost* makes me think I could go camping!

  2. Oster's Mom says:

    So much fun! What great pics.

  3. betsyk1 says:

    I’m really impressed. I’m still not brave enough to go camping with my two-year-old. The older two would probably do well, but the youngest…eh…possible nightmare. Love that you showed us the milk bag! Ha!

    • I was afraid of a nightmare as well, but I really love camping and I hadn’t been since I was pregnant with my oldest – 4 years ago! Considering I used to camp upwards of 8 times a year, this was a massive dry spell!

  4. myhonestself says:

    The magnifying glass idea was totally mine!! and obviously I want credit for it 🙂 haha Glad you guys liked them (adults included!) this post makes me want to go camping!!!!!

    • Ka-fixed! Thanks!! It was a great idea, the kids were really excited to use them to look at everything. Ally got super into it and understood the concept, I think it was more of an accessory for Kira hahahaha!

  5. camping with a beautiful beach nearby? Now that’s what I’m talking about!! And don’t you worry – I am going to submit a photo soon. Having a tough time getting an “outdoor” fun shot because it’s been 100 degrees here and we are all holed up with the blinds down watching too much tv!

  6. They don’t get more obedient when they’re older… You just feel less guilty about yelling at them.

  7. victorialb says:

    cute cute cute!!

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