This weekend my family explored the great outdoors of Redtop Mountain State Park. As this was our first family camping trip (and I haven't been camping in er 20 years) let me share a little of what I learned.
1. State parks are a lovely way to 'break yourself in' to camping - they are secure, and they have clean bathrooms, plus they are busy so the kids have lots of folks to play with.
2. It takes much longer to cook food over an open fire than you expect, but the results are totally worth it (just ask Casey about his steak).
3. You instantly become the 'cool mom' when you offer your all the 'local' children s'mores (with their parents' permission of course).
4. 42 Degreess is pretty darn chilly!
5. The Self-inflating camping mats from REI may be $100.00 each, but I'm not 19 anymore and trust me they are worth MUCH more!
6. If we are going to camp longer than about 4 days we're going to need a bigger vehicle.
7. Pokey needs a new harness that she can't slip out of.
8. The morning after said s'mores, the sticks you roasted marshmallows on will have been carried off into the woods by something. I'm not thinking too hard about what the something might have been, seeing as the sticks were awfully close to the tent, but when we went to be there were marshmallow sticks and when we awoke there were none. Maybe they blew away - that's possible right? Right!
9. 2 Adults, 2 children, and 2 dogs can get into a double sleeping bag (did I mention it was 42 degrees) though NOT comfortably.
10. No matter how 'citified' you feel for having your iphone (and charger since we had a power connection) there will be people on the site next to yours with an oven, a heater, a freezer, and lights - for their TENT!
All in all we had a wonderful time and though we're probably spoiled with no bugs, clean restrooms and quiet neighbors, more camping is definitely on our horizon.
I'll keep you posted!