Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Highs & Lows

A few weeks ago, after the aforementioned camping trip, we were lucky enough to go on another trip. This time to SunRiver, Oregon and this time in a house. I have to admit, it probably didn't matter where we went, what we did, or what the weather was like, simply because we were in a house.

This trip was with my husband's family and I learned something interesting about his brother and his family. After each trip they take, they record their "Highs & Lows" from that trip. Normally, right when they are driving home and the trip is still fresh in their mind. Everyone contributes something to the list and they have a great record to remind them of the good and not so good moments.

Here are my "Highs & Lows" from SunRiver:

  • Did I mention we were in a house? Total high.
  • Perfect weather, not too hot.
  • FREE swimming at THREE pools. That right there was well worth the drive.
  • Tot pools at each pool that I could lounge in while the boys were relatively safe.
  • Good conversation/laughter with brother and sister-in-law.
  • Dinner at the Trout House - mmm beef.
  • Horseback ride with my sister-in-law.
  • Coffee delivered to me each day.
  • Mid-afternoon ice cream breaks.
  • French Dip sandwich in Bend, Or. #1 on my list of best French Dips.
  • The five of us sleeping in a room meant for 2. After the first night the baby got kicked out and moved into the laundry room. Slightly better sleeping arrangement. (I will totally not mention the suite with it's own bathroom and walk-in closet that someone who will remain nameless slept in)
  • Going on a horseback ride immediately following my first bike ride in 10 years. Can you say "OUCH!"
  • Thinking I was looking pretty hot in my new bathing suit while sitting in the Tot pool, not knowing I had the biggest mucus blob dripping down my arm.
  • The amount of alone time my husband had vs. me. And yes, I did keep track.
  • Being called home for dinner the ONE time I was having a great adult conversation.
  • The Incredible Shrinking Woman - enough said.
  • Dogs who are not housebroken.
  • Finn earning the new nick-name: Turd-burglar. Let's just say: too much fruit + diaper rash + naked time = a really big mess. Even the dogs were in awe.
This ends our vacation plans for this summer. As much fun as it was, I am awfully glad to be home. Even better is to be putting all the suitcases, sleeping bags and camping equipment into the basement.

Home Sweet Home.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Best Part of my Vacation

A few weeks ago my family started a 10 day camping/driving vacation. We began our adventure in Cle Ellum, and finished in San Jose. In between we spent 6 nights camping. Let me say that again: SIX NIGHTS CAMPING. Consecutively if you were wondering. That is 4 more nights then I usually do.

Before we left on vacation I was a little cranky. Before we even left Seattle I had my earphones in and was listening to my ipod. And yes, I realize that makes me sound like a 15 year old girl, but whatever. After regaining some equilibrium, I talked to my husband about finding alone time on this trip. Even if it was just a walk around the campground. Anything that gave me a sense of being alone. Away from kids, husband, and dog. This was a great idea, my husband thought, anything that makes me less crazy is good.

Unfortunately, as much as I wanted alone time, my husband was supportive of alone time, camping with 3 kids age 5 and younger, does not allow for any alone time. There was always someone who needed changing, feeding, or put to bed. It was good, but very busy.

The first campground we stayed at was nice. It was, just it had a lot of mosquitoes, dust, heat, and a bear. It also had no showers. I knew that going into the weekend and I was prepared for 3 days without a shower. On Sunday, we packed up and left WA headed to the Oregon coast. By this time I was sweaty, dusty, stinky, and so looking forward to a shower.

As always, the drive took us longer then we thought and it was dark before we pulled into the campsite. We were a flurry of setting up, cooking dinner, cleaning up, getting kids to bed, visiting with family, that the chance to be alone did not happen. But at 10:00 at night, the kids were asleep, the campsite was cleaned up and I realized I could take a shower. I was nervous about how long it would take to pack up in the morning and thought a shower at night was a good idea.

If you had been anywhere in the vicinity of Seaside Oregon that night, you would have heard this: "aaaaaaahhhhh!!!". That was the sound I made as I stood under the hot stinging water and had my first shower in days. I stayed in that shower, way past what was needed to get clean. I figured if I hadn't showered in a couple of days I could use more water since I had been helping with water conservation. I scrubbed, rinsed, repeated until there was nothing more to do. Then I regretfully turned off the water.

The shower was in a room with a locked door. I had been in the shower so long the room was warm and full of steam. It was heavenly. I slowly got dressed, gathered my things, and put on my shoes. I knew the minute I left the room, I would begin to gather dirt, campfire smoke, and people. This was my last few moments to be clean and alone. I waited until there was nothing left to do and slowly made my way back to the campsite.

I went to bed that night, still warm from the shower. Loving that my feet were clean as I crawled into bed. This was such an incredible experience I could not wait to do it again at the next campsite. I not only was able to get clean, I had some much needed alone time.

I did learn, upon repeating this experience the next night, a shower at 10:00 at night in a campground is only enjoyable when you are in a single stall with a locked door. When you are in a room full of stalls and a door that is unlocked, any and all scary movies you have ever seen come rushing back to you. I did not find the 2nd shower to be anywhere near as good as the first. But since I finished my camping experience at a campground with pit toilets and sheriff deputies, I will be thankful for the brief moments of quiet I was able to grab onto.