"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.