Monday, July 15, 2013

The Reunion: Phase Two

As much as I really enjoyed the reunion, there is one thing that I wish had been different. The big switch to phase two (the camping phase) of our reunion fell on my birthday. That meant that I had to spend my birthday morning organizing and packing up the beach house (so sad to be leaving it), my birthday mid-day traveling to the campsite (with ornery family members), stopping at stores along the way to make sure we had necessary food and supplies, and my birthday afternoon setting up camp. 

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.

Instead of being scared like I had feared, Edith loved going to sleep in it all by herself before anyone else went to bed. So she could get naked, apparently...

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...


patti's place said...

Another good post of good memories and I'm sorry we often went camping on your birthday...but you are right...if you don't have to work much it can be a lot of fun.

Sue said...

You ARE special! And you deserve to feel that way, ESPECIALLY on your birthday. :)

B said...

I loved camping with your family in the summers! I hope you get to put up your feet now that you are home! I'll be in Utah next week! I'm soooo excited! Hansen family reunion @ Bear Lake after Brenda's oldest gets married! :)

The Laundry Queen said...

I have my feet up right now, B! Have fun at your reunion-- Bear Lake is fun!

jww said...

I am totally with you on the birthday stuff. I know--we're adults--but we get like TWO DAYS a year to be special and not be the ones in charge of all the work, pressure, issues, etc. So you can't miss one of the two!! Or even half of the two. I totally get that, and I totally agree.

Anyway, I am not a camper, but this sounds fun! :) What a great family time. I love the bubble snake/slug idea. That is cool!