FIRST CAMPING TRIP
"...And at the end of the day your feet should be dirty, your hair messy, and your eyes sparkling."
Some of life's most memorable moments are sometimes the most simplest. Camping is like therapy. There isn't much to it but somehow it is really all you need. The cold air, the dark night, warm fire, and bright stars. Living adventure.
This was our very first family camping trip and it was one for the books. We decided to go alone because we wanted to plug ourselves completely to our children and the nature around us. The time spent together in those four days will forever linger in my heart.
My husband and I both love camping and we finally made it happen to go with the kids. I was really excited to go with the kids and see how they are in the nature for a couple of days.
We didn't reserve our campground ahead of time, but we packed up regardless and off into the forest we drove. Initially we planned to stay at Ice House, but once we got there, everything was booked. We drove around a couple campgrounds in the area and everything was full. We went from one lake to another in hopes to find a spot. Two and a half hrs of driving looking for a campground (not including the travel time) we were losing hope. To myself, I was praying to God that he would open up a spot for us. Just one little area for the four of us. How much did we need? God, please hear me...Sunset was approaching and we were running out of daylight and campgrounds to visit. We had stopped at one of the bigger campgrounds that was full and had public showers and my husband was asking random campers when they were leaving, in hopes that we can take their spot because it is was first-come first-serve. One of the last ppl he asked, the man answered that he is leaving tomorrow morning. My husband asked if we could spend the night on their campground and we'd take it as they leave the next day. He said he was okay with that but he had to double check with his group that were camping with. We waited for him and his wife to shower and followed along. Once we got to his campground, his family was still at the lake and we waited for a bit. After what seemed like forever, he came with the news that we could stay with them! It was truly a miracle and God had come to our rescue. It was easy to lose hope, but this moment was clear for me. Don't lose hope. Be patient. Don't give up. And BAM. God shows up. And he showed up with much more than I had asked him. Our campground was so big. Nobody close to us. Restrooms nearby. One campground away from the lake. Amazing views. Wow! God is SOO good! He gives us better than we could imagine for ourselves, even in simplest times like camping. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
"16 Rejoice always and delight in your faith; 17 be unceasing and persistent in prayer; 18 in every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God;"
We camped out at Union Valley Reservoir in tents. We really enjoyed the area. That first night we set up our tent, chairs and some basics. Made some sandwiches and had s'mores. The group that let us camp out with them was such a blessing to us. Not only did they let us camp out with them, but offered us food and their company. Forever grateful. Thank you, Jesus!
Chilly mornings by the fire.
In terms of packing, we packed very light. We packed all the necessities and tried to be very minimal in everything. For our meals, I planned them all and took only the foods we would be needing. Same breakfast every day (and let me add that making food and eating out in the nature was amazing). For breakfast we had eggs, hash-browns and sausage (how did I forget bacon?!) For lunch we had sandwiches or hot dogs and for dinners we had steak and chicken with salad. We had some snacks in between like fruit, corn on the cob, chips and s'mores any time of day for the kids, hehe.
Clothes I also packed light. Two pairs of pants each, a couple shirts, two sweaters each, hats, and PJ's. When camping, you don't really change much. Usually in the am from warm clothes to light and in the evening from light clothes to warm. This is including the children's also. The night did get chilly, but the kids slept in sweaters and hats over their PJ's and it was fine. They had their own sleeping bags, so they stayed warm in there.
Wet wipes were my best friend. For everything.
For my "kitchen", I packed two storage bins and a cooler. For one storage box, I packed all necessities - cutting board, knives, aluminum foil, paper plates, forks, seasonings, and etc. In the other bin I stored all dry foods, breads, crackers, cookies, hot dog buns and croissants. We took one cooler and packed smart.
I grabbed coffee but forgot the essentials to make it. My oh my. Vlad had come up with a pour over with what we had, and I must say, it was pretty good even the way it was! Seriously blessed with a man that can make anything out of nothing! But enjoy these shots of his DIY pour over hehe..
The mornings we spent hiking, exploring the forest, looking for lizards, bugs, creeks, and firewood, of course followed by the lake and a swim. Most of the shores were rocky, but we were able to find a spot that was sandy for the kids. The water was surprisingly warm. We all swam and enjoyed it. After a good swim, we headed back for lunch and Amelia napped. After lunch and nap time, we would go fishing and watch the sunset. We truly just enjoyed each other's company during this whole trip. It was a first time in a while that we spent literally 24 hours of the day together for four days straight. With work and daily life, we don't get to do that on a daily basis. So this was simply quality time with each other.
The kids absolutely loved every minute of camping. From the moment we came to the moment we left, they acted like they've been here before and done it all. Not a single complain, just living life to its fullest. These are the memories that I want remember. A walk in the forest. Feeling the fresh air. Discovering new life. Seeing those bright little eyes, running wild and free. You are never too old to play outside.