I think that this is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world.
This building has wooden floors that squeak and there is a large dip in the wooden threshold of the doorway, created by 150 years worth of foot traffic.
This building houses some of my favorite childhood memories.
This building is the source of Now & Laters, Jolly Ranchers and Archie comic books.
This building marks the gateway to one of my favorite places on earth.
Grover Hot Springs State Park in Markleeville, California.
Last summer I did a 6 part series on camping…basically how, what, where, and why. (Click here for Part 6, which has links to Parts 1 – 5 therein.)
This park is beautiful. Absolutely gorgeous. My family has an extended history and traditions that we hold dear in this park.
The kids love it and are always excited to be there… just like I was as a kid.
I ordinarily take pride and great comfort in the fact that we’re extremely organized when we camp. Menus are pre-planned, our gear is complete and is categorized in an efficient manner. Handsome Hubby and I are big supporters of the “plan ahead of time, so that you can enjoy the moment” philosophy. Which is why it was a shock to both of us to realize that we’d left 3 boxes full of kitchen gear and cooking necessities at home.
We discovered this about 6 hours into our road trip. We were driving along, enjoying the beauty of Hwy 395, when HH suddenly sat bolt upright in his seat. His mouth hung open… he couldn’t speak. I was sure he was having some sort of a cardiac event. I was immediately worried for him, and a second later worried for the rest of us. He was pulling a trailer and we had our 4 boys, plus 2 of their friends and a dog with us.
An incapacitated driver would. be. bad.
So when he said, “Oh. My. God. I don’t remember grabbing the boxes off the back patio…” I was relieved it was only that. (Then I remembered my coffee pot was in one of the boxes and I became slightly more anxious.)
You know what?
Long drives go much more quickly when you’re making calls and problem solving. The boxes that were left behind were actually cataloged (with photos) and packed after last year’s trip. I had printed the list of items they contained and had it taped to a cupboard door while we prepared everything for this trip. (Oh, the irony.)
I was able to call a friend who let herself into the house and read off the items from the list. At least we knew what we were missing.
Dear family friends, Dennis and Suzie, joined us this year. They have a ginormous, 40 foot motor home with everything you could imagine in their kitchen. By coordinating with them, we were able to avoid stopping to buy all new gear. Thank God! We just needed to stop at a Walgreens and stock up on paper plates and cutlery. The silver lining? Less dishes to do during KP. (Also? I don’t need to pack those boxes for next year…. they’re still ready to go!)
A bumpy start, to say the least.
Once we solved our initial crisis (which was huge for us) we settled in to our normal camping activities.
Cocktail hour starts promptly at 5:00.
This year we had entertainment.
There was a lot of card playing…
One of my best girlfriends, Chris, came with her two daughters.
My mom and dad came too.
They don’t tent camp anymore. They stay at the little hotel in town and drive the 4 miles back into the campground each morning, then go back after marshmallows each night.
It’s really nice to have my parents there. My mom is a crack up and the kids Love her.
Grant was being silly.
Gramma told him that a blackened tooth would complete his ensemble… and she proceeded to make him one out of a grocery bag. Then she made one for herself as well.
She loves to play Scrabble and will play for hours (patiently) with the kids.
She also brings a craft for the kids each year. They all painted wooden bird houses.
We were even able to sneak off into town and sample the local brews at the pub.
This may very well be the closest that my mother has ever been to a pot leaf. (The Hemp Ale was pretty tasty….)
Last year I hurt my back right before our annual Waterfall Hike and I had to miss it. This year I was so happy to have gotten to go!
I love the creek. Love. I love to see my boys playing where I did when I was a child. I love that they’re exploring and making up their own games. (*Although that would become a problem a bit later on in the trip.)
Our dog Corsa loves the creek too.
… and the meadow.
Grant picked flowers for me earlier in the week, but my sweet Conner brought me a rock.
The kid can’t speak clearly, but what a sweet boy!
There is such a thing as Forseeable Consequences.
HH and I needed to run into town really fast to check email. He runs a small business and I was organizing a high school reunion that was 3 days away. (My friend Chris was my right hand man for this, but she was with me… so I needed to check in).
The Forseeable Consequences?
A trip to the emergency room with Grant.
Two staples in his head. No novacaine. Bummer.
Fortunately, he didn’t have a concussion and was in and out of there pretty quickly, so his daddy was able to take him fishing.
The other 5 stooges had to stay in camp and listen to Screechy Mommy.The one other thing I wanted to do this trip was to find the rock in the meadow where this photo of my parents was taken 30 years ago.
But that is another post.
Your little guy is growing up!
Your camping trip looks like so much fun!
Can’t wait to hear about the reunion!
Oh how I just love your camping stories and photos!
SO glad Grant is okay.
Looks like so much fun! Except for Grant getting stitches.
I hate it when you get far away and realize all the stuff you forgot. Ugh!
I love how you are trying to duplicate the photo of your parents.
Every year when you post your camping trip I so wish I was there! Grant has the right idea with the marshmellows… YUM, black is the way I like em too! Poor little guy with the rock to the head, I’m sure his big brothers got a good ear full. Great post & I think my favorite is when you reminis (I think I totally spelled that wrong?) about watching your kids experience what you did as a kid. Seriously, how cool is that!!! LOVE the pic you “recreated”.
I see this post and I remember great times camping and think, we should totally do that. Maybe in the fall-it’s 50 grillion degrees outside now. I STILL say no way on 25, no way. What are your secrets?!
We’re tossing around the idea of a camping trip with friends…ya know I’m an inside cat, or at least I have been since 1992. I’m scared at the thought.
It looks like y’all had lots of fun with lots of drama, you certainly are a trooper!
Lori E says
Okay, I notice you didn’t forget the cocktail makings, good girl.
I miss camping! We havent been able to go the last couple years and we used to go about every other weekend in the summer!
Glad Grant was ok!
sitting on the mood swing at the playground says
I’ve never been camping but you make it look like a lot of fun! Poor Grant…glad he’s okay.
What a trip this year! I was wondering if you were able to do the hike this year and I’m glad you did. Next year you should put a note on your check list to include the picture of your parents. Also next year you should send for you other, other BFF (that would be me of course) and bring her with you. I’ll stay with you parents at the little hotel and bring crafts. And yes, your mama is super cool! I’m really glad that Grant is OK…my poor little guy. I’m sure after hearing Screechy Mom it won’t happen again.
Miss Shawn says
I love your camping shots………there is a whole wide world out there……Thanks for showing some of it to us!
Nina Patricia @ The Adventures of Nina Patricia says
I havent been camping in 4 years and seeing your post makes me want to do it again. Too bad I would have to buy my ENTIRE gear all over again
Bless his poor little heart…an injuring camping is no fun! Glad to see y’all had a good time despite the hang-ups! And I hope the reunion was fun!
Despite your mojo being off, it still looks like a great time spent with family!!!
Connie W says
Your mom and dad have the right idea…I’d be in the hotel too.
A rock fight? Oh my goodness!
Love the rock picture. Hope you find the right rock next year.
OMG, his head!!! That makes me hurt.
It doesn’t look like your camping MOJO is gone. It looks like you had a GRAND time!
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