We have computer access for a few days at our condo, so before I crash for the night (and I fully intend to CRASH), I want to quickly jot down my thoughts about our trip so things don't start to run together.
We left around 9 a.m. on Saturday, which was about on target. I did not, however, get to mop the kitchen floor, and there was more clutter left around the house than I would like, but hey--what's more important, coming home to a clean house, or leaving with my family and not being stressed about temporal things?! Yeah, I agree.
Many hours and "are we there yets" later, we finally pulled into our campground where we had a reservation for one night. It was a fairly good road trip, though Lucan only napped a grand total of about 20 minutes. We had a nice stop for lunch at a rest area in West Virginia, where we saw lots of gorgeous butterflies, raced each other in the grass, and ate a picnic lunch. Lucan wiggled himself backwards off the picnic bench, though, and conked his head on the cement. Poor fellow! He didn't seem too phased by it and only cried a little bit.
During the trip I read aloud one of Charis's readers that I stole from her stash, Meet Thomas Jefferson. It was very informative, though the writing was definitely intended for a younger reader--it was a bit choppy to read aloud, though I did combine a lot of sentences so it didn't sound so simplistic. Still, we all learned a lot about Thomas Jefferson, including the fact that he shares a birthday AND initials with Tobin! It made us excited for our trip to Monticello the following day.
We arrived at the campground around 5:30 p.m. and had just enough time to set up tents (Ted) and gather firewood (the kids and me, but mostly me, LOL). Charis was very helpful in sorting and organizing the sticks into neat little piles, and Lucan stayed content in the stroller after conking his head AGAIN by falling off the picnic bench. Sigh. Hopefully there's a life lesson learned there.
We roasted hot dogs and ate them sans ketchup, since I had left the Chick-Fil-A packets I had been saving specially for the trip at home. Sigh. But the kids didn't seem to mind, since I did remember the graham crackers and marshmallows...but forgot the chocolate frosting. Sigh again! Ah, well, roasted marshmallows by themselves were good enough!
I proposed a brilliant plan after dinner--I would take the older three kids on a walk in the moonlit night to see the lake, on the other side of the hill from our campsite, and we would stay gone long enough for Lucan to fall asleep in the pack-and-play in Ted's and my tent and Kenna to fall asleep in the kids' tent. The night was beautiful; we identified some constellations and enjoyed seeing the moonlight on the lake. Crisp, cool, and clear--perfect camping weather.
The plan worked...until the boys woke Kenna up while Charis and I were taking out our contacts in the bathhouse. [Insert another sigh here.] Lucan, though, stayed quiet, so that was a plus. About an hour later the kids were finally quiet, and Ted was snoring VERY loudly. Insert ear plugs...which unfortunately didn't help...and thus began the longest. night. EVER.
Three times Lucan awoke and screamed.
Twice he joined me in my sleeping bag.
Once I had to leave the tent to go potty, which was up a fairly steep hill.
Once Kenna woke and loudly protested against Arden's change of direction--he was lying perpendicular to all the other kids. This resulted in ALL five children waking, with various persons crying, hollering, shoving, and generally being non-conducive to rest.
Countless times we shushed the kids, and I rolled Ted over to try to prevent his snoring more than my tired brain could compute. While I was comfortable temperature-wise, the kids were apparently all freezing. (Tobin did learn, albeit too late, that it is not a good idea to sleep up against the side of the tent! He was rather damp this morning...)
It was not a great night for any of us, and I was relieved when it was finally 6:30 and light enough to officially wake up.
Tobin kind of summed up everyone's feelings when he said, "I NEVER want to go camping again!"
Privately, Ted and I were thinking, "We NEVER want to take you people camping AGAIN!"
Thus began Day 2 of our adventures...