I am fully aware that birthdays as an adult aren't the same beast they were as a kid. Especially once you have kids. However, I do feel like I deserve (and want) at least a little relaxation and special treatment on that day. We used to go camping all of the time on my birthday while I was growing up, and I loved it, but I realized this year that I didn't mind because my folks did most of the work. Now I am one of the "folks". Bah. Three years ago (when I was pregnant with Edith) we did the same thing-- drove all day and then set up camp. I didn't like it.
I know, I know, I'm a big girl and should pull my panties up. Whatever. Anyway, I hereby declare my birthday off limits for travel, set-up, and take-down. Unless we're going on a once of a lifetime trip. Then I might give a pass. I don't mind doing a little work on my birthday (I'm not unrealistic), but I don't want a day where I can't put my feet up if I feel like it. It's probably the forgotten-middle-child in me that still needs to have someone make a big deal of my birthday. I just need to be special, please.
Anyway, I really was excited to go camping, though. I absolutely love to camp and we go far too infrequently. Over the years I've been getting camping supplies for Mother's Day and my birthday, so I was really excited to use some of my gear.
I really adore my ginormous tent. Isn't she a beaut? I brought my dad's hatchet along to use to pound in the stakes just like he would do. I thought it was fitting.
The group site my brother lined up for us was just beautiful. There was plenty of room for the individual families to spread out, and there was a lodge with minimal power to light the bathrooms which had flush toilets (aka "comfort stations"). We were able to set up my screened enclosure over one of the tables outside the lodge so adults could play games away from bugs and sleeping children. Perfect. I just loved living under a canopy of trees for a few days. And the fact that we could see the boats go by on the Columbia was an added bonus.
Here's a photo of my sister and mom manning my awesome birthday camp stove outside the lodge:
The cousins loved camping together. Camping with cousins and friends-who-are-like-cousins is the best. One of my favorite memories from growing up. I wish I would have gotten more pictures of the kids together at the campground (I even missed documenting Edith's first s'more!), but I took a few.
My sister-in-law organized a great activity for the kids-- blowing bubble slugs. She called them snakes, but I think they looked more like Oregon-sized slugs. Edith listened intently to the directions and rocked it. I never cease to be amazed at her focus and reasoning. She had a blast doing the same activity as the big kids.
The kids also had fun giving themselves bubble beards...
...and working together to create a bubble mountain.
The camping was really so much fun. Even Rophone (who hates going without a shower) remarked that it would have been nice to camp for a few more nights. Next time. We decided to cross the Columbia River into Washington to make the drive home (great idea, Bud!). The Bridge of the Gods was so cool.
It may seem like we're done with camping, but we're not. I actually have another post to write about a hike we took while we were there, but I took enough pictures with my big camera that I should probably dedicate a separate post to it. That will be next...