Saturday, March 22, 2014

First Camping Trip

Spring Break was this week and it was ever needed.  Kim had her heart set on camping and even though there was supposed to be a massive thunderstorm we decided to brave it.  We usually go to a place in Ocala National Forest, but with the storm we decided to try another place a bit closer.  Kim's mother, Grammy D flew in especially for this trip, and our friends Tim, Tina and their kids also came along.

The weather was absolutely beautiful and as soon as we stepped out into the wild, Rory immediately dropped off into a comatose of nature viewing.  Something about nature makes him so content.  I wonder if he will always feel so at ease in the magnificent creation.  I looked over at Tim who was as giddy as a monkey with a banana just out of reach.  He was spouting off all of the things the park had to offer and it all sounded amazing.  Unfortunately due to my very manly rib injury I wasn't able to do all of the things I would have liked to do, including biking and wrestling alligators but we were able to hike on the nature trails and see all kinds of wildlife.

There were alligators laying around in the sun, trying to get warm, wooden walkways over swamps, the smell of orange blossoms and delicious looking oranges that I couldn't reach. ( I tried desperately.) 

"I think it's illegal to pick an orange," Kim says.
"I'm not going to pick one," I say.  "I'm going to find one on the ground."
"Trying to knock them down, doesn't count as finding it on the ground."
"What are you saying?  I don't understand."

Having spent 5 summers living in the Wisconsin Wilderness, spending 23 hours a day outdoors, I've learned a few tricks about starting fires, cooking anything in a dutch oven, and of course playing a guitar.  All things which I ALWAYS do when I go camping and ironically seem to do better outdoors.  This time however I wasn't able to cook because leaning over the fire made the foreign object in my body that was pretending to be a bruised rib scream in outrage.  I did build a fire here and there but I let the other fire enthusiasts have their turns too.  I just relaxed a little bit with the guitar glued to my hand. 

The first night Rory slept amazingly and so did I actually.  My rib must have fell asleep because the next morning it hardly hurt at all.  Miracle!  However, Grammy D had some issues.

"Oh my gosh!" Grammy D explained.  "My air mattress deflated in the middle of the night and I swear there was a raccoon out there trying to drag me back to its den!  I couldn't stay in that tent one more second so I slept in the car."
"You did?" Kim asks confused. 
"Yes!  I just couldn't sleep on the hard ground, and you know the raccoon."
"Oh yep you did!" I say seeing that Rory's car seat has moved to the front seat from the wake of the Grammy D tornado. 
"No one puts Grammy in a cold tent!" she yells.

It was Tina's idea to start breaking the games out.  I chose Scattegories because I'm so out of the box that I always have really random answers that other people rarely have and this usually lets me win.  Here's what my answers usually looks like.

Girls Name: Pikaboo
Way to get from here to there: Portkey
Things people shout:  Chug, chug, chug
Things at the beach: chicks

And this is usually how playing Scattegories with my wife goes:

"Things at a football game: tires," I say.
"There are no tires at a football game!" Kim shouts.
"Yes there are!" I yell back, "How did people get to the game?  Cars have tires!"
"Not at the game!" Kim grits her teeth and bites into a broccoli crown, rather than my neck.
"They are in the parking lot which is at the game.  What do the rest of you think?" I ask.
"Well, I would agree that the tires are at the game," Tim says, holding back tears of laughter.
"And... I bet somewhere at the game a quarterback is throwing a football through a tire," Tina says pensively.

And that's how I always win.  Once you get one person to buy in to your totally out of the box answer, you have the game in the bag.  And let's face it.  There are always more than one creative person that will agree with you if you sell it.  The problem with my poor wife, and she is also very creative, but in completely different ways.  When it comes to her Scattegory game playing she is very black and white.  I still love her though.  I'm sure she feels the same way as I do when she forces me to play Boggle with her.  She can see every word combination in the world where I struggle to see simple word patterns.

"Remind me never to play Scattegories with Josh again!" Tim says after 12 rounds. 
Apparently, it gets old when Josh always wins. I don't know.  I never get tired of it.

The second night's sleep was harder for Rory because his teeth were bugging him and all he wanted to do was stand up and climb on things.  There really wasn't much for him to climb on because Kim nixed the fire pit and the squirrels probably would have picked him up and taken him away if he played on the trees.  All he really had was our air mattress and well he didn't really want to be in the tent the whole time.  One of the funniest things was the strange laughing games that Rory and Tim and Tina's youngest daughter E, played with each other.  Rory and E would stare at each other and then Rory would start making mouth noises which would cause E to crack up.  Then E would make noises and Rory would crack up with his dramatic long chuckles.  I don't know where the kid got all the dramatic tendencies from?  (Oh that's weird, my mind instantly shot back to the moment of Kim's hip attack when she was pregnant and couldn't move her hip.  You can refer back by clicking on the side bar to the blog titled: Hip Attack.)

Wow!  There's really nothing better than spending your day outdoors never worrying about what time it is, until you have to figure out what time it is to feed the baby... but if you can just get past that and stare at the amazing surroundings, and sing the songs around the campfire, then I don't know how you can't be blessed by being in nature with your wonderful wife, your amazing son, and great friends!  Rory's first camping trip was a fantastic success! 

Comic by Bitstrips


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