Sunday, September 4, 2011

Real, live, actual camping

In summer as in life, we never quite manage to check everything off the bucket list, but I'm happy to report that Ethan got his wish to go camping.

We went to the Delaware River Family Campground, located on the New Jersey/Pennsylvania border. It's a Mom-and-Pop-owned throwback to the '50s, with a camp store, swimming pool, and cinder-block restroom building with hot showers and plywood stall doors.

We own no camping equipment, so we stopped at Wal-Mart on the way and picked up the cheapest tent we could find--which turned out to be two 2-person tents for $20 each. We only had two sleeping bags, so we bought two more. Jen insisted on buying an inflatable mattress, which is in violation of international camping rules, but we allowed it anyway.

Everyone else at the campground had behemoth-sized tents. Some had an extra tent just to cover their picnic table and food. One group had set up a big-screen TV.

We looked like Camp Barbie with our two teeny tents.

We swam at the pool, played in the game room, then went to the camp store and got corn dogs, soda, bottled water, firewood, a firestarter brick, marshmallows, marshmallow roasting sticks, extra bottled water, Jiffy-Pop popcorn, a long handle with which to hold the Jiffy-Pop over the fire, and one more extra bottle of water, to make absolutely sure we wouldn't die of thirst before the camp store re-opened at 8am.

Jennifer and Ethan fell asleep at 10:30 and slept like rocks all night. Samuel and I both looked out of our tents at each other at midnight, confessed we couldn't sleep, and hung out by the embers of the fire for another hour. Samuel eventually slept in the car, and I crawled into Ethan's tent for fear that he would otherwise wake at 3 in the morning and find Samuel missing and freak out.

My back and neck are killing me. But I was pleased to see Ethan so happy--singing by the campfire, toasting marshmallow after marshmallow.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah for Camp Barbie! I confess that I got stuck for a minute at the part about having no camping equipment. What a glorious thing that would be. I'm imagining the wide open spaces that would create in my garage and storage room. You'd be astonished if I was to pile before you all of the camping gear it takes to sustain the Hopkins family for a week in the wilderness, all of which I have to haul out and then clean and put away several times a year. I pointed out to my family that mountain men survived just fine with a few things. Give me bug spray, an air matress, and a sleeping bag with a working zipper and I'm a happy camper. Your camping trip sounds perfect.