Postcards From A Spontaneous Outdoorsman...
Well, two days ago my uncle (via email) asked me what provincial park Kim and I used to go camping at. In my my obsessive need to help, I went a little further than simply stating the campground - I not only provided a link to the place, but also a link to the site we usually visit along with a very detailed description of why we love it so much and why we always choose the same site.
...I must have done a good job in my description of 'selling' the place because I haven't been able to get the idea of camping off my mind since.
It started with the reminiscing of great times we had there...
...The first time I had ever been truly 'roughing' it. Kim took me there our first summer together (11 years ago) along with her dad, step mom, brother, his g-friend (now wife) and 2 sisters. This was the first time that I experienced complete and utter relaxation. I woke up (either the first or second morning) to the most amazing feeling of having absolutely nothing to do that day other than sit around and read (which leads me to a whole other story of 'borrowing' Kim's sister's book while she was out fishing and not wanting to give it back - Thanks again for the book Lyndsay!)
...Since then we have been back every few summers - with family, with friends, and friends & family, and technically even Gord as the last time we were there Gordo was 5 months in gestation (and as it happens we were there with Celia too as her folks joined us for a few nights while she was swimming away in the belly).
There is just something about sticking with what works. The site I first stayed at is the site we always returned to (although, I seem to recall perhaps staying at a site across the path, but it obviously doesn't stick out in my mind). I figure once I like something, why chance the change.
So having been thinking about all the great times, I started second guessing our decision to wait until the boy (et al) are a little older and more outdoorly manageable. We knew last summer that a) campgrounds are peaceful places, and no one wants to hear the cries of a breastfed baby, and b) there was no way we could keep Gord amused long enough, or let alone safe from all the edible dirt goodies that lay under his creeping belly. This thought process continued into this year. (Not to mention we are taking a week holidays next week while we visit family up North, and a second week of holidays later in July when Kim and I escape the parenthood routine and make a retreat to Northern Michigan). What I started to realize however is that Gord is now a pretty good sleeper, sleeping at least 13.5 hours a day - waking rarely in the night (I say this moments after having to go into his room to reinsert the soother!), is no longer breastfed and eats anything we do, and most importantly, he LOVES being outside - he has a swing that oh so conveniently ties to any tree branch and a portable blow up pool that can also keep him entertained for hours (ok, technically he doesn't have this yet, but is something that I would SO have to pick up because he loves his little plastic pool).
We started talking about all the ways that it could actually work. If we were camping, we would simply enjoy the outdoors and let Gord experience the wonder that is nature. Take him to the beach, the park, the trails, and let him explore are campsite (and of course spend a lot of time in the swing!). I also did a little investigating into tent options tonight as our current tent would not be a practical sleeping arrangement. I figured we would get one of those multi room tents that would fit his playpen on one half, and us in the other. Then I came across this little beauty, and the thing sold itself. It's even got a 3rd little 'play' room.
Am I starting to sound a little obvious? Look out mother nature, we're going camping!
August 6th - August 9th - Booked!