Oh, weather and it’s unpredictability. We had been watching the weather app (which is usually pretty accurate) leading up to the weekend and decided to still go camping when the forecast said there might be a shower at around 4pm and then at 8pm. After that, Sunday was supposed to be a bit overcast, but there wasn’t supposed to be any rain, and we figured the kids would be fine with a little damp.
True to the prediction it started raining around 4:00 and about half an hour later we arrived at the campground. It wasn’t coming down really hard, so Josh and I set up the tent and everything in the rain and then got the kids inside the tent. It decided to keep on coming down, though, on and off with only a brief respite here and there where Enzo and I would run to the bathroom and Josh grilled up some hot dogs. Still, the rain continued, though, and the kids were kind of whiny. They didn’t want to get wet, but they were bored in the tent, which was also starting to drip here and there. We decided to distract them by singing Happy Birthday to Josh a day early and eating his “cake.” (I am not a professional cake decorator).
Thankfully with the clouds, it was getting a bit darker and we were all a little chilly so we decided to crawl into bed and watch a movie. .. until we started getting dripped on… A LOT. Josh and I ran outside and grabbed a tarp and managed to slide it between the roof of the tent and the useless little tent “tarp” that came with it so we could stop getting dripped on. We crossed our fingers that it would stop raining soon and then tomorrow we could dry out a bit. Except, it didn’t stop raining; it rained pretty much all night and the next morning continued to rain on and off. Phoebe was especially whiny and the other half of the tent was wet, which made both kids whiny. We got some breakfast ready for them, but every time I left the tent or stood up or did anything Phoebe would start crying because she wanted to sit in my lap. I tried to bundle her up, but she was over it. I had to listen to her wail when I went outside to go to the bathroom, and get coffee, and when it started to rain harder Josh and I shook our heads and decided to pack it up. We had no way of knowing if the rain was ever going to stop and we doubted our camp neighbors wanted to hear the weeping and wailing and whining coming from our campsite for another day and night. So, as quickly as possible we packed everything up and back into the car we went.
Never trust a weather app.
Unless we get a camper it might be easier to hold off on anymore camping for a couple of years with our kids. Enzo might have been okay, but Phoebe was a hot mess. “I wanna go home!!!!”
What’s that quote? A daughter is a little girl who grows up to be your best friend? It’s funny to think about how worried I was when I found out we were having a girl. Can you imagine? While I have a special relationship with each of my children, Phoebe and are definitely in a stage where we’re besties, but that works because Enzo is best buds with Josh too. We each have our own little mini-me and it’s kind of awesome. Josh has a fishing buddy who loves video games as much as he does, and Phoebe is a natural born shopper.
I usually try to shop alone, but if it’s a weekend I have to sneak out of the house or else Phoebe gets incredibly sad if she can’t go too. She’s also a terrible influence on me and we never stick to our list, but she’s also just a big time browser. If we walk past the shoes, she wants to try most of them on. She doesn’t even really want to buy any; she just has to be sure. Same with toys. She might pick a toy out and play with it, but she rarely throws a fit when it’s time to put it back. She just shrugs and moves on to the next thing.
Both kids are getting so fun as they get older. It’s amazing how you’ll look at them at times and suddenly get a glimpse of them several years from now. Sure, there are growing pains, but that’s inevitable. There are times when Josh and I forget that they’re still both pretty little even though they may seem so much older, so we have reign our excitement in and plan for later. I can’t wait until we can travel to more places that we can all enjoy as a family. While you can go anywhere with kids, it doesn’t mean you’ll all necessarily enjoy it. I want to save a few things for when the kids can better appreciate it and remember it, but definitely before they get sucked into things like smart phones and typical teenage sulkiness. Ha ha.
If nothing else, let’s show them as much awesome stuff as we can, so that way they never get too lost behind a screen and still think we’re sort of cool on some level. Or we’ll just ban smart phones and tablets and force them to experience childhood the way we did on vacation. Okay, that’s not fair… we had Walkmans (still have mine) and portable CD players and Gameboys… as long as we brought enough batteries for the duration of the trip. We’ll just force them to road trip the 80’s/90’s kid way.
You never know how something is going to go until you try it, right? As with anything, we knew camping could go either way with two small kiddos and the uncertainty of weather and a lack of routine (lack of sleep especially). While it wasn’t the most relaxing weekend away, overall the kids had a good time, and so did we. There were the frustrations of bugs, of course, and poor Enzo may have gotten bit even more than I did, which led to a trip to the store for some antihistamines. Thankfully the bites didn’t seem to bug him too much, though.
Setting up camp went fairly smoothly since both kids were finishing up a nap in the van. Once they did wake up, though, the process slowed down a lot as things often do with kids. We had kind of planned on a slow afternoon with more activities for the next day, but did take the kids for a walk by the river so that Josh and Enzo could try their hand at some fishing. We stuck with easy food and readied ourselves for some cranky kids as they got tired, but had no blackout curtains to help them fall asleep. Judge if you want to, but the portable DVD player was kind of a lifesaver because we were able to get them to lay down and kind of relax once we were done reading books. Josh and I were also exhausted, and I think we all fell asleep as soon as it got dark enough. Bliss.
Morning came all too quickly, and the kids were up with the sun, but that’s actually later then they typically get up, so it was nice. It was surprisingly chilly, so we got everyone bundled up and while Josh made a fire and I attempted to prepare some breakfast we wrapped the kids up and let them use the Kindles to do some coloring.
While I don’t want to always bring along electronics, they were really helpful at keeping the kids occupied so they could sit close to the fire and I didn’t have to worry about them too much (Miss Graceful especially). Poor kiddos were too cold and Phoebe just wanted to be held, so the Kindle helped free up our arms so we could tend to more important things. Once the sun started peeking through the trees and we all had food in our bellies, the kids perked up and we knew it would be a good idea to get our day started before the kids got too antsy.
We knew we could only spend so much time hanging around the campsite and exploring the river, so we had already decided in advance to take the kids out for some fun riding some rides and hopefully getting them nice and tired out. So, off we went to Paul Bunyan Land! To be continued… after some coffee. 😉
In the blink of an eye it was our last day in Colorado, so we took it kind of slow. The kids got up and ate and played and then we decided to go to the zoo.
As much as I’m always torn when it comes to zoos (I love seeing the animals, but hate seeing them in cages), it’s always a good way to get out, and the Colorado Springs zoo is a really nice zoo. Plus, it was cooler and clouds were coming in, so it was fantastic weather to be outside in. We fed giraffes, the kiddos got to pet a baby wallaby, and my niece Aubrey was the Dr. Dolittle of the group – one of the adult wallabies let her get close enough to pet it and a chipmunk as well (though I didn’t get photos). It’s a great zoo for walking as a work out, though, pack lightly as strollers and wagons can get heavy fast with all the hills.
Before we knew it, it was time to head back to home base so Josh could get a nap in before his first shift of driving. We had some sad good-byes, but I see many more road trips in our future, and maybe we can get some visitors out our way as well. *Hint hint* The drive home was longer than the way there. The kids didn’t sleep quite as soundly and both Josh and I were a lot more tired than the first time around. We made a lot more stops on the way back and didn’t get home until late afternoon by which time we were all relieved to get out of the car. Schedules and routines were off for us all, but within a couple of weeks I think things were mostly back to normal. Traveling does indeed get easier as the kids get older! Hooray!
We had a couple of days set aside before it was time to make the long trek home, and it was nice to just relax and let the kiddos run around and play. There was some napping and quiet time mixed in as well, which was pretty nice too. I was even able to get a little reading in, which rarely happens during the day, and hardly ever on vacation.
We did end up getting out (because kids get stir-crazy) and went to an indoor bouncy house place. It was thankfully not very busy when we arrived and the kids had a lot of fun. It was also nice to see Enzo overcome his fear of the tall slide after watching his cousins. Needless to say, he thought it was awesome once he gave it a try.
The kids got some more much needed outside time that afternoon. It was still warm, but not uncomfortably so. Knowing we’d be headed out the next evening, it was nice to have a lazy day watching the cousins play together as it doesn’t get to happen often. Two years is a long time to go between visits, but even more so when you realize just how quickly kids change in that amount of time.