Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Hopkins Family Goes Camping

Last Friday, Will said to me, "Want to go camping?"

"Sure," I replied. "When?"

"How about today," is what he said back.

Well. That was a little out of the blue. Did we have a tent? Uh, nope. Did we have sleeping bags? Also, nope. Did we have camping food, or a cooler, or anything? Nope, nope and again, nope.

But life is short and meant to be enjoyed, so we threw some clothes and toothbrushes into a backpack, packed the kids and dogs into the car, and went to Walmart, which I hate, but which sells 8 person tents for only $50. That is pretty great. Then, after stocking up on sleeping bags, a cooler and food, we headed for the Abilene State Park 15 miles away.

Let me just say, driving 15 miles from home to go camping is 100% awesome. Especially when you're with a 3 year old and a 5 year old. We didn't even hear a single, "Are were there yet?" until we were pulling into the park.

(this is my attempt at being nature-y and taking flower photos...
yeah. I'll stick to drawing flowers, in the future)

And the campground was beautiful! All woodsy with cute little wild flowers all around, and nature trails for walking, and trees for climbing. Twenty minutes of driving and we were in the magical land of campfire smoke, chattering squirrels and chirping birds. Can't beat that, right?

We did have to make sure that Gracie
wouldn't get eaten by wild animals.

But the girls had the best time ever.
Annelie got to climb trees to her heart's content.

Also, the girls were extra excited because we filled the cooler with stuff they don't usually get to have, such as junk food and sugary "juice." I was excited because I hadn't had s'mores in about eight years, and Will and the girls had never had one at all.

(they liked them very much)

Will was excited because he's all nature-y and couldn't wait to go hiking. He calls it casually walking along a nature trail.

I call it hiking up a freakin' (flatish) mountain. Let me just say, I'm not the worlds most outdoorsy person. Not that I don't like the outdoors - I do. But I think outdoorsy people are the kind that like going on long nature hikes and river raft trips and stuff like that. Like my husband.

Me - I like to sit at the picnic table with birds quietly chirping around me (I tend to shush them if they get too loud) and draw in my sketchbook, or read. I sort of take after my mom, whose idea of camping is hanging out in a five star hotel.

And something I forgot about camping - when the sun goes down, it gets dark. When you're waiting for the kids to go to bed so you can read the book you brought along, and then the sun goes down, and you're like, "Oh wait. I didn't bring a flashlight," you don't have a lot of options. In fact, you have two options. Not read, or sit in the car. The stars at night may be big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas... but you still can't read by them.

Luckily, Will offered to hang out in the tent while the kids went to bed and I sat in the car, reclined in my seat with the little side light on, and enjoyed my night. A camping success, if you ask me. Then, once the girls were asleep, Will came back out and got the campfire going again and we had some kid-free hang out time.

In the morning, we hung out around the campsite for a little while, sipping on sugary "juice" and eating breakfast-y things. Then we packed up our tent, sleeping bags and dogs, and off in the direction of home we went.

But not before stopping in the historic town of Buffalo Gap (seriously, how Texas is the name of that town?) for some lunch.

And in only 15 minutes, we were back home, and thoroughly exhausted. A less-than-24-hour camping trip and it felt like we had been gone for ages.

In case you were wondering, the camping trip won
Gracie's Arm Heart of Approval.
Always good.



Angela Ackerman said...

Looks like it was a blast! Good for you for being so spontaneous!

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

luv4sams said...

Marisa, you are always cracking me up!

Natalie @ Perrys' Plate said...

I'm more like your mom. If Steve came home and asked me if I wanted to go camping, I'd say "adios" and head to the mall. Alone. Because I'd insist he take the kids with him.

They call me mommy... said...

Arm Heart Of Approval! LOVE IT! What a great idea! I have been wanting to go camping so bad but we also have no supplies )= I will have to insist that we be spontaneous soon and just go! Love all the pics your girls are adorable!

Jonathon Arntson said...

I didn't even know Texas had trees!

ElegantSnobbery said...

Angela - Thank you!

Lisa - heeeheee!

Natalie - Actually, I'd totally love to go to the mall with you and let the husbands take all the girls. Sounds perfect.

Sasha - Yes, do it! Spontaneous camping trips = awesome!

Jon - those aren't trees. Those are bushes. Everything is bigger in Texas.

Adriana said...

looks like so much fun! you have an adorable family

AlyGatr said...

I haven't been camping since I left Hawaii. The nice thing about Hawaii is that we don't have any scary wild animals or snakes of any kind. We did, however, have centipedes, scorpions and cane spiders. I'd like to say I'd go camping here in Texas, but there ARE snakes...and the scary kind at that...and wild animals of the same sort. And it's about to get I'm not sure I'll be camping anytime soon, unless it's in a camper or cabin! Glad we got to live vicariously through you guys though.

ElegantSnobbery said...

Alyssa. Yes. There are definitely snakes. A HUGE one went across our path as Gracie and I were walking back to our campsite after the nature hike. Blech. But kinda cool!

The Momma said...

WOW! Sounds like you had fun! Almost makes me wanna go... but then I think about the bugs, lack of proper potties, the dirt, the bugs, the wild critters... did I mention the bugs???

Leah said...

Sounds like so much fun! in about 3 years maybe I'll be brave enough to take my kids camping...15 miles from home. :)

See Mom Smile said...

Hate Wal-Mart but love bargains. Love camping. Hate all the work it takes to get going.l Love short drives and creating memories!

Oh Mandie! said...

So awesome, looks like you guys had a great time. I'm not a huge outdoor-sy person either, but living with all boys my opinion doesn't really matter, lol. We're actually going camping next month for a week in Maryland, oh the beach with wild horses.

Jonathon Arntson said...

Don't you mean weeds?

word ver: juxiot. maybe that can be Lydia's last name.

SewSweetStitches said...

"Arm Heart of approval?" Awwww how stinkin cute is that?!
I definitely identify with your mom on this one. I hate hate HATE the outdoors! Strangely enough, I think camping is pretty fun- As long is it's no warmer than 68 degrees outside!
And can I just say something that I'm sure you're already well aware of? Your husband.. he's uh.... well, that's just such a LOVELY photo, eh?? *wink wink nudge nudge*

Kearsie said...

I feel extra special as I read this because, as you failed to mention, you were chatting away with me or emailing away with me or some form of cyber correspondence with me when you said you had to go because you'd up and decided to go camping. Clearly, an integral part of this story.

Also, the last time I went camping I found a tick on my boob in the shower. Ask me if I've been camping again.

I want to scoop up your daughters and carry them in my pocket they are so cute.

Kate said...

I find it hellarious that you bought a tent and sleeping bags on the way to your camping trip. It's good to hear you all had fun. Maybe the tent will get used a second time.

Much More Than Mommy said...

I don't know how you did it, but you made me, the most INDOORSY girl in the whole entire world, want to go camping. WITH MY FAMILY EVEN!!!

Marie said...

Your idea of camping sounds like my idea of camping, but you were such a good sport about it! We've been talking about going camping, but the heat and having to buy tents and sleeping bags have been a deterrent. Now I really want to to. AND I CANNOT believe your hubby and girls have never had s'mores! That's just crazy!

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