07 August 2012


Let me start by saying I am not a camper. I have been camping four times in my life: the first time it snowed when I woke up, the second time raccoons got into the food, the third time the cast iron stove was overheated and the wall began to smolder (the men put it out with pee as there was no more water available), the fourth time was when I participated in the Weekend to End Breast Cancer...and that one was all right. 

S's annual family reunion was at Moose Lake this year and we figured we'd go because I thought there would be showers and toilets there. We arrived on Saturday in the late afternoon to find out there are no showers. Swimming in the lake was out too because it had blue green algae...but there were actual real toilets so we set up our brand new tent and decided to stay even though S had a chest cold.

Instead of sleeping on the ground we bought these hammocks made from the same company that makes all those fold up nylon chairs and put sleeping bags on top. It worked ok, we did sleep, but not deeply or for too long. In fact, we were up at 6am on Sunday morning making our breakfast.

Our hammocks in the tent
The weather was warm and not too hot and very few mosquitoes were around. We had put the tent in the sun so midday Sunday the tent was quite warm. It has something called 'cyclone venting' which kept the air moving for our nap in the afternoon so that was nice. Until S's mom woke us up by peeking through the window of the tent and saying 'what are youse guys doing? Don't you want the steaks? I washed the shirts (there were printed t-shirts for this year's reunion and they had sizing in them that S was allergic to. His mom lives close enough she drove home each night so she washed them for us), do you want them?'. It took every ounce of politeness I had to not bite her head off. 

Since napping was out we tried to be sociable and wander around talking to different parts of his family. I liked most of it, I enjoyed meeting new people and talking their ears off. I did not enjoy seeing children as young as six running around unsupervised and putting more logs on the fire in the pit (far from grown ups). And I do mean unsupervised. There were no adults watching these children at all.

S and I ate our steaks and tried to kind of get away from people for a while. The steaks were good, privacy impossible. At one point we went into the cabin (huge cabin with a kitchen, dining room, room with many couches, and bathrooms) into the couch room as it was cooler and finally unoccupied. We did what most long term couples do - napped. Well, we tried to but the kids kept barreling through the room dancing and singing. Cute if you like little kids. I'm done with little kids. S looked like he wanted to leave but didn't want to give up on the reunion and our only vacation after one day so I made a suggestion...

Since we couldn't swim in Moose Lake and we hadn't showered I suggested we tell people that we had to go because S needs a bed to sleep in (the damp morning air made his chest worse) and we wanted to go before it got dark. Then instead of heading home, we head into Cold Lake to swim, get a hotel room, and come home the next day. S thought that was a fantastic idea and not really lying as he did need to sleep in a bed and we did want to drive in daylight. A lot of his family lives in Cold Lake and we didn't want any more visiting which is why we didn't want to tell them where we were going. And it was like our own little mini adventure :) So we did just that - quick goodbyes, fast packing and we were on the road in less than an hour. We made it to Cold Lake with lots of time to swim :) When we got tired of that we went to the hotel (in our swimsuits and wet, greasy hair plastered to our heads) and asked for a room.

We had a gift card from several years ago with $150 left on it so when the concierge said there was a double bed room in the detached portion for $150 I thought that would be good. Then she said there was also a room in the 'tower' (it was only three storeys) with a king bed and Jacuzzi for $172. Yeah, we took the Jacuzzi and ended up only paying $22 for the night :) We showered, had dinner, sat in the Jacuzzi and slept.

Again we didn't sleep late and were on the road by 730am, getting home before noon. We had left the boys home alone for the weekend and were a little surprised the house was in such good shape when we got back. J had some friends over (which he was told not to) but they were apparently ushered out by 9pm. The weekend was enjoyable enough to consider going again next year - as long as there are fully functional toilets. I'm too much of a city girl to enjoy watering the bushes or digging a hole to crouch over.


Becca Press said...

I agree. I've never been one for camping really. I'd much rather go to a spa and waste away in a hot tub than sleep in a tent being bitten by bugs.

Amy Purdy said...

Sounds like a great camping trip! The only camping I have ever done is when I was little my dad and I would pitch a tent in the woods behind our house, roast hotdogs and marshmallows, and just hang out until daylight. Those are very fond memories for me, but like you, I am a bit of a "city girl" when it comes to actual camping. Real toilets are a huge plus! :)

-Amy from www.Bipolarly.com

Anthony Cerrato said...

I'm the same, much more of a relaxing spa type of person than camping, but it does sound like fun though.