Every circus has a tent, or two. We barely had one. But with a stocked cooler of water & beer, and a package of hot dogs, we embraced the onset of temporary insanity and left the safety and comfort of our modern amenities for an adventure in temporary homelessness ... otherwise known as camping.
|Punkin Testing The Tent|
We love spending time outdoors in our local state parks, so when a friend invited us to tag along on an overnight excursion, we jumped on it. It would be a hands-on learning experience, to let us know what lessons or future purchases we would need to someday become true campers... outdoorsmen... survivalists. After all, we are halfway through 2012. Isn't it time we get prepared?
We would be camping in a large grassy yard, next to a lake, and behind a travel trailer that had become a permanent structure on the lot, that we would have access to. The girls would be sleeping safely in the trailer, and Hubs and I would share a super-single sleeper tent, that seemed to be roomy enough for two. Notice I said "seemed", but that's an issue I'll revisit later. The trailer also had a lovely thing I like to call "plumbing", and mankind's greatest gift to itself... air conditioning.
True to it's recent reputation, the day was hot. Hot, like Buster Poindexter eating a tamale on Liz Taylor's tin roof... hot. As soon as the cars were unpacked, and the tents set up, we high tailed it to the lake beach for a refreshing swim. Okay, so the water was about eighty degrees, but when the heat index is one hundred and fifteen, even a warm bath is somewhat refreshing.
|Malibu and Vegas|
We coaxed a true summer feast out of two small gas grills: hot dogs, hamburgers, corn on the cob roasted within the husk, and baked beans, with watermelon and potato chips. The fire pit was fueled, and the beer began to flow. It was about that time that the party crashers arrived.
No, not "Vegas and Malibu", the friends from Raleigh that showed up with bags of graham crackers, Hershey bars, and marshmallows. I'm speaking of the wolf spiders that crawled out of the grass to investigate our tent! The "smores smugglers" were a welcomed addition to the evening, partly because I'm quite fond of them, and partly because they offered me a ride back to the city if the spider situation got out of hand. I did not take them up on it, but I almost wish that I had.
|The Princess and the Sugar High|
|Men and Their Fire|
The rest of the evening was reserved for the remaining adults. We shared a few scary stories in true campfire style, but it didn't take long for us to realize that, at some point, we had morphed into the walking dead. The time had come to test the tent theory, and my theory had been disproved. The super single sleeper tent was not large enough for Hubs and I sleep, even uncomfortably so. The body heat of two adults who had been active in the sun all day turned the small space into a sweltering tropical dungeon. After about thirty minutes, we were clambering to get out and worship what I came to know as "Sweet Mother Oxygen". Indeed the night air was sweet and cool with a slight breeze coming off the water. We sat on the dock in the small hours of the twilight, listening to a flock of geese honking and squawking in the darkness, and trying to figure out if our eyes were playing tricks on us, or were we really seeing little critters on the lawns around us. We completely enjoyed the peace and serenity of our environment, until deciding to seek slumber from the reclining bucket seats of the car. It came complete with air conditioning and soft music.
I managed to coax twenty minutes of rest out of the night. Hubsy was blessed with a solid two hours. At six in the morning, I went inside for the benefit of ... plumbing, and discovered that, while the Princess snoozed soundly on the sofa bed, Punkin hadn't had a minute of sleep either. And so the first fireside meeting of the Biancos was called to order, and we second and thirded the motion to get the hell out of there! Not wanting to seem like ungrateful campsite flee-ers, we cleaned up the area of scattered debris from the previous night, wrote a farewell note, packed up, and headed back to, what I have come to call "Sweet Mother Home". Does anyone see a pattern developing here?