Monday, June 20, 2011

Holy cow. I'm a camper now.

Last weekend was the first time I camped after whining about it forever.

"Do you want to go camping?" Don asked when we were dating, knowing the answer might not be what he wanted.

"No. I don't camp. I like hotels. In fact I consider staying in a motel without a pool roughing it." I answered laughing, but serious.

And that was the end of that.

Over the years the joke has been "Kris doesn't camp."

I would laugh and nod in agreement then relay old camping stories from when I was in the girl scouts, youth group, and the sleep-away camp I attended in fourth grade. It was the trip that sealed the deal for me. There were swamps, spiders, mean boys and cabins that were musty, dusty and just plain yucky. It was nothing like the camp in "The Parent Trap." I never wanted to camp again after that week.

So I didn't.

And we didn't as a couple.

It got to be a little embarrassing after a while. I felt like everyone thought I was a prissy, selfish, high-maintenance, brat. But I liked sleeping in a bug-free, dust-free, room with a private bathroom, and a balcony with a view of something other than my car. A tent just didn't sound appealing at all.

The funny thing is, when I originally said I wouldn't go camping because I liked good hotels I hadn't even stayed in a nice hotel. I thought I had. But I hadn't. And then I did. And oh boy, the idea to camp was now really unappealing.

I like rooms that smell like lavender. Beds with crisp white sheets so soft you never want to get up. Showers so big it's like bathing in the rainforest. Private decks with your own fireplace. Nice soaps and shampoos. Slippers. Robes. Room service. Spas. Pool boys so hot you want to take them home in your luggage. And a concierge to tell you the best place to hike and enjoy nature. Because people in fancy hotels enjoy the outdoors and staring at the stars just like everyone else.

But things are different in my life right now. And camping is calling my name, from my friends and family. I'm going to miss out on some fun if I don't get over my snobby self.

Plus, I don't exactly have any hotel reservations booked. And haven't in a while. I'm living in the past.

So last weekend we went on a camping trip with 43 families from FCC (Families with Children from China) in nearby Olema.

There were fifty-plus, happy, smiling, girls playing, bike riding, eating, laughing and singing together. Big girls braided little girls hair. And little girls taught each other how to make flower trains. It was pure joy. Pure fun. And pure exhaustion for me and Don.

I feel like I passed "the test" though. This prissy girl slept in a tent, showered in the community bathroom, brushed her teeth with strangers, walked to the bathroom in the middle of the night, and learned how to crawl and roll off a squishy air mattress.

The highlight was definitely spending time together as a family away from the tv, computer and phone, and making new friends.

Elli had the time of her life. She left with phone numbers scribbled on wrappers and promises of playdates this summer.

It was a trip she'll never forget, one of those great memories she'll talk about when she's my age.

She is already counting the days until next summer. And I'm day-dreaming about how to make a tent sound proof.

Home sweet home.
Making flower necklaces.
Sammy is ready for bed.

Today's TRDC prompt for the remembeRED post was a fill-in-the-blank-for-your-own-prompt Prompt: 
"The first time I ________-ed after _________-ing." 
600 words max.


  1. You made this trip sound so good...I'm almost convinced to give camping a try (but, shhhh, don't tell my husband, or he will hold me to that!)

  2. Awwwww - I knew you'd have fun!! No need to make a tent sound proof - just bring ear plugs! You'll forget you're outside =)

  3. Yes, ear plugs are a must. I could hear every whisper, cough, cricket, frog, dog, and tent zipper. It was making me crazy!

  4. Visiting from TRDC ... loved this! (I miss camping .. and my Husb won't ever do it ... or so he says!)

  5. I love camping. Haven't gone in a long time, but your talk about pool boys and lavender made me think of it.

    Funny how your description of luxury makes me want to rough it. ;)

  6. That sounds like such an amazing time! What a fabulous gift to give your daughter.
    But i have to say, I would trade our annual family camping trip to stay in one of your hotels. At least for one year. I have never stayed in something so deliciously luxurious.
    Way to get out of your comfort zone and get dirty:)

  7. Wow, that sounds so fun. I believe both trips (nice hotel and tent on the ground) have their merits. I'm glad you got to see that too! :D

  8. oh Kris,
    oh I thought we were friends!!! LOL

    I will not camp, will not do it, I know I have boys who will probably WANT to do these horrible things, but I'm not doing it, for all the reasons you listed. Girl Scouts, musty icky cabins, tents, spiders, latrines, YUCK. Nope not doing it.

    But, you made it sound sort of appealing because of how much Elli loved it. I just hope that my boys don't ask me to do it.

    Hold me. LOL

    SO glad you had fun , really. :)

  9. I so love that this turned into a right of passage! I'm impressed with you, inspired by you, and am so loving your photos!

    My favorite line is: "But things are different in my life right now." because it made me want to sit down with you and a glass of wine and learn more.

    And my favorite feeling? Came from how this stemmed from your daughter.

    Lovely Kris!

  10. Camping is exhausting but being in the company of great people and the beauty of nature makes it worth while...about every two years or so. LOL. Great post! I can definitely relate.

  11. Sounds like a fabulous camping trip Kris, even if I am anti-camp...for now.
    I loved the reference to Parent Trap and this line was brillant. "Pool boys so hot you want to take them home in your luggage."
    Sorry, I'll still take the posh hotel over the tent any day of the week!

  12. Lol! I am the same way! Never been camping. I may have to try it soneday

  13. I was the same way, I camp and that Hilton! 1st time ever was in college and I Loved it, but still glad that the hubs considers camping to be in a trailer!!

    But looks like you had fun!

  14. So fun! I love your description of nice hotels - especially the hot pool boys! I never camped as a kid, and I'm kind of glad I didn't because I think I would have had the same fears/experiences you did. The first time I went camping was on a float trip in my 20s and it was a blast. Glad you enjoyed your first time back out there! That sounds like an amazing group to be involved with!

  15. I guess we have to give you an "atta boy button"....You are too young to know that one...But we are so proud of much as you have hated camping and dirt all your's never to late to learn how much fun you are going to have....If I hadn't seen the pictures I wouldn't have believed you did this!
    Way to go!


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