Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Lessons From Camping

No campground bathroom will be perfect.  We stayed the last 2 days at a place with bathrooms that were practically brand new.  It boasted automatic sinks, automatic paper towel dispensers, and that new fancy hand dryer that actually works.  The shower area had a nice long bench plus individual dressing areas for each shower.  Seriously, just looking at this bathroom brought tears to my eyes, even before I discovered the thermostat that allowed one to turn on the heat on chilly mornings.  A heated bathroom! 

The snake in this Eden?  There were no hooks near the sinks to hang a toiletry bag on.  NO HOOKS.  Every campground bathroom needs hooks.  How else are you supposed to unzip your bag and get your toothbrush out?

And let's just not talk about the mouse, okay? 

You will only be able to locate those items that you do not need at that particular time.  For the first 5 days of our trip, I KNEW where my Carmex was.  I knew where it was because it kept showing up.  I'd look in my purse for my keys or my Excedrin, and I'd pull out that darn Carmex, for which I had no use.  Or I would search for tweezers in my toiletry bag, and I'd find the Carmex instead.  5 DAYS.  And then, on the sixth day, I managed to sunburn my lower lip.  (This condition is fully as painful as it sounds.)  Could I find that tube of Carmex?  No, of course not.  It was as if it had never existed.

There will come a day in the middle of the trip when you and your spouse will stop talking to each other.  Do not panic.  This is a necessary stage in that life experience known as a family camping trip, and there is no getting around it.  Whether it stems from an argument over who last saw the tube of hydrocortisone cream or the realization that the person with whom you are yoked for all eternity thinks it is a good idea to wake you at 5:30 AM to pack up the campsite, it will pass.

Laundry can be your friend.  A trip to the campground laundromat doubles as much-needed me-time.  There is no shame in informing your spouse that you are going to go keep an eye on the dryer for a while.  If you are still on speaking terms, that is...



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15 comments:

  1. I was done with camping many years ago after a bad night on the ground and neck pain ever after. I only wish I'd come to that decision one trip sooner!

    Working hand driers! Aren't those a miracle? And a rarity!

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  2. I am glad you survived the trip. I loved camping as a kid, but as an adult with a family, it was quite possibly the most exhausting experience I have ever had. And that was only weekend camping.

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  3. Planning a short camping trip this weekend. I have to go to upstate NY t pick up # 2 and bring back my niece. No idea which state camp ground at which we are going to stay. There are several within an hour of my parents house, and most have vacancies this weekend. It will be fun, if I can find everything we need to pack and get that done after work.

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  4. This post, written by a friend, relates to your last point: http://bit.ly/12ljeSS

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  5. In my case, it was not my husband that I didn't speak to, but our best friends. I will never forget. Was years, yes-count 'em, YEARS before we got together again.

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  6. Hmm. I haven't done this since I was a teen, but I must admit that even I wondered, the day my parents put my sister and I on a boat, and then took off. (My sister and I had a great day exploring an island, the parents went antiquing which they love and which would have bored us to tears, and they did pick us up at the end of the day. But in retrospect I have to wonder if they considered not coming back....)

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  7. Me time at that laundromat--it came to that? I swear, no hooks is rough, but you can fix that with a bungee cord. Or duct tape.

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  8. I'd still qualify that bathroom as a miracle!

    Wait... did you say MOUSE!?? Eeeeeeeeek!!!

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  9. LOL about the inevitability of not speaking to your spouse. I think that's true about road trips. I too am aware of the me time at the laundromat concept, and we never go camping.

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  10. On the not-talking part--if you could only see me guffawing (quietly, he's right there). Ohmygoodness. That is SO us.

    Then there was the time at Tahoe where we didn't dare open the tent to see if it was a mountain lion or a bear sniffling around from that height just outside. Never camped there again.

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  11. (Rather, that is so us when we're camping. He loves camping. I love my husband and kids.)

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  12. The bathroom sounds perfect! Way better than a hole in the ground and a Baby wipe sponge bath.I could forgive the no hooks.

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  13. You lost me at "camping", but I laughed at the "you will stop talking to each other" thing. That happens to us on every vacation.

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  14. haha love the not talking time. Funny how the dumbest thing makes you fight! Our camping trip we were 1/4 a mile from a port a potty. That made for a lot of "me" time lol.

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