A word of caustion, I wanted to catch a lot of memories here, so it's pretty text heavy. If you want to just skip to the pictures I won't be offended... ;)
Our Church has an annual camp out every year, where we reserve a bunch of spots together in a state park on the beach (used to be South Beach, now we do Nehalem Bay) and have a grand old time with organized campfire events, a sand castle contest, organized games, a potluck, and of course a fireside worship service. We've gone every year since we joined the church, altho last year with little Ru we just ended up making a day trip out of it. So this year was officially Ru's first camping trip. She had a great time! During the days...she was teething and the nights were fairly tough on all of us. Thankfully some good friends (who weren't able to go, and we did miss them--but Thanks Rose and Bob!!) loaned us their pop up trailer, or we may have bailed after the first night.
Of course, even that didn't go without a hitch...literally. We couldn't get one put on our van in less than a week, so at first we told them we couldn't do it, then some other friends offered to pull it for us. (Thanks Don and Judy!!) So we were able to work it out. Ru actually LOVED the beds. She thought it was totally fun that they were mostly encased in canvas, and she could stand up and touch the ceiling and bang on the walls, etc. She got excited every time it was time for bed. You may notice a problem with that situation there... Anyway, we put her on the outside edge with one sleeping bag laid out flat under us, and used another for a cover. I slept in the inside edge so she couldn't roll off the bed and into the trailer. the first night was ok, the second she woke around midnight crying and crying, it took us 20 minutes to get her calmed down enough to take some tylenol and get her back to sleep. And then she insisted upon sleeping ON me. I still have a sore neck three days later. But enough whining...
Friday night was the campfire songs and story telling, which eventually broke down into telling blond jokes and making endless smores and marshmallows. There was no way to put Ru down safely at her regular bedtime, so she stayed up (after a brief nap in the wrap) and enjoyed the party, too.
Saturday's events started at 10:30 with the sand sculpture contest. (while I'm thinking about it, our neighbors provided us with three meals at their table, including sat breakfast of pancakes with homemade raspberry sauce. Thanks Sharon and Bill!) I walked down with Don and Judy, and we took turns carrying Ru. She's getting heavy! She ended up spending quite a bit of time on Don's shoulders. She wasn't actually sure she liked it up there, he's pretty tall, but she didn't cry or protest, either. As usual, she mostly just played with the rocks. I'll post the beach pics separate because this crazy thing only lets me post 4 pics each time.
After lunch we did games near the playground. I was beat after that first night, so I actually napped thru the games and Brian and Judy took care of Ru. The playground had pea gravel as the cushioning. Little, tiny, ROCKS!!! Ru likes rocks. She played with them, grabbing handfuls, pushing them around, and stacking them on the swings. Yay, rocks!
Saturday night we had the potluck. Judy took Ru for pretty much the entire time, fed her, etc. So Brian and I got a much needed break to relax and eat. I managed to bang my head pretty good on a low tree branch, and had already had a headache all day. So i snuck out after dinner and took a shower (man did that sting, I obviously broke the skin on my head when I hit it!) and then laid down in the trailer til the tylenol kicked in. I caught the last bit of the worship service (I actually listened to much of the rest, since the extra campsite we reserve each time for a meeting space was across from ours) and took communion. Our little family didn't stay up much past that, we were beat and ready for bed. Thank goodness for Judy!
Sunday morning Brian took Sammy out early, and without his morning restlessness Ru and I were able to sleep in til 9. Yay for much needed sleep! (altho that's when I was off the pillow and tweaked my neck) Anyway, I kept Ru busy visiting folks while Brian broke down camp. We had the usual organizational meeting where we discussed ideas for improvements the following year, with a couple of great suggestions we'll follow up on. We didn't stick around for lunch. We were exhausted, Ru was fussy, Brian sunburned, my head still hurt, so we headed home. The good news is the drive home went much better than the drive there (we stopped twice on the way there because she was so upset. On the way back she actually slept the last hour) and we arrived home safe and sound Sunday afternoon.
Overall it was an ok trip. camping with an infant is a LOT of work. I am fairly certain Brian and I have no urge whatsoever to borrow Bob's trailer and go do it again next month. However, with the support of a loving church family around, it was quite doable and certainly had many wonderful moments, so we do plan to try it again next year. Even tho we may be back in a tent...