We have been planning to go camping for AGES. Last time we went camping, Mayana was only about 10 weeks old! Since then we have collected a few more bits and pieces, and talked a lot about little changes we would make to ensure that the experience was comfortable and enjoyable.
Of course, life got busy… weekends were rainy, and somehow we haven’t managed to do another camping trip in four years! Every time we’d have a plan it would rain or someone would get sick. This time we asked my sister and her husband to join us, we set a date and decided to stick to it. Pete even took a day off work so we could make it a long weekend. Unbeknownst to me, he had also invited a whole stack of people to come and join us as well, as a celebration for my birthday. He’s never organised anything for my birthday before, let alone a surprise like this! Unfortunately rain was forecast for the weekend, and one-by-one people who had planned to come pulled out. Eventually, on the day we were meant to leave, Pete told me of the plans that had fallen through. He was so disappointed! We questioned whether to bother going, because to be honest we didn’t really fancy camping in the mud that much either! However, we decided to go out for a drive and check out the area. We’d chosen a camping ground only about 25 minutes from home, and when we got out there we saw that the ground was actually reasonably dry, and after agonising over the weather apps on our phone for a while, we rang my sister with the news that the camping trip was back on. Rain or not.
And I’m so glad we went. Sure, it rained pretty much all night Friday, and most of the day Saturday, but my clever husband had rigged up a fabulous shelter that kept us and our belongings dry, tweaked very carefully with the dozens of ropes that he is obsessed with having (they’ve finally come in handy babe!). I had invested $30 in a large, heavy duty tarp which became our floor, and that along with the massive 3mx3m picnic rug that we bought from Aldi a few years ago meant that we even had a dry floor, and plenty of space for Reuben and Mayana to crawl and play. On Saturday afternoon the sky became lighter, and slowly but surely patches of blue began to appear. By Saturday night the sky was filled with stars, and we woke to a perfect blue sky on Sunday morning. Everything (including the ground) dried out so quickly, and we had a perfect camping day for our last day.
My aunty and her partner and my cousin’s little girl came out for a surprise visit in the rain on Saturday. Even though they couldn’t come and stay, it was so so lovely that they made the 4 hour round trip just to come and hang out for a while.
We ended up having such a lovely time, and none of us regretted going, in spite of our one rainy day. It was fun to live simply for a weekend, with no technology and distractions, being able to give 100% quality time to each other and the kids, engaging in fun games with Mayana, eating, playing board-games and chatting... I’m so glad we went. And it wasn’t as hard to organise and clean up from as I had built it up to be in my head. Peter really is a fabulous person to go camping with. He is efficient, and does a great job at making a comfortable space. We feel that we have a good enough set up that we could easily go for a weekend camp on a whim, especially that the spot so close to home where we camped this weekend. We are already looking forward to the next time we can go out!
Until then, I’m sure we’ll all enjoy looking at our photos from the weekend and reliving the lovely memories that we made…
We went for a few walks in the rain. I bought the Safari sling with us, and Reuben enjoyed riding with his Tante Boo. He LOVES umbrellas and thinks he’s so clever holding onto them.
Mayana was absolutely delighted to have her cousin Keira visit our campsite!
No dodgy camping food for us! Bethanie and I cooked up gourmet dinners and breakfasts, we definitely ate well…
On our rainy day, Pete dug trenches with his heel to keep the water away from our campsite, and then went for a dunk in the freezing cold lake to get the mud off. When the sun came out we all went for a swim in the lake and it was absolutely beautiful.
Our brother in law Lachlan took charge of a lot of the cleanup (did I mention how much I LOVE our camp kitchen? Makes life so much easier) and Mayana was his very willing assistant.
Reuben has started playing peek-a-boo and thinks he is just so hilarious. Let’s face it, he kind of is. Cutest baby ever.
Our brilliant, dry set-up.
On Saturday morning I snuck down to the lake to take some pictures of the reflection while the water was glass-still.
Pete was most impressed with his bargain $5.00 double burner gas stove! It was the perfect addition to our camp kitchen. Look how brilliant our living area was!
I just can’t get enough of that smile!
Bringing along a drawing book and a pencil case was the best idea ever. Even when it was raining and Mayana was confined to a relatively small space, she was quite happy to entertain herself with drawing many gorgeous pictures.
I love this jump between this photo and the next. One minute he’s sitting peacefully watching what’s going on around him, when suddenly he realises his Papa is mixing up his wheetbix, and he wants it NOW!!
Camping in the rain was made bearable by the fact that I had dry feet. And when it was really rainy, I also had gumboots. If I had had wet feet and a muddy floor, I’m pretty sure I would have made Pete take me home immediately!
Reuben has been doing a lot of standing up without holding on lately. Of course as soon as he realises he’s not holding on he gets a fright and falls over. I managed to snap this blurry picture for evidence. He actually took his first independent steps not long after this was taken! He can only manage about four in a row, but it’s definitely a start!
Mayana loved helping in whatever way she could. She absolutely had the best time camping, and tells me she even loved it when it rained.
When the sun came out, Pete strung up his hammock and invited me to go spend some time reading. It was lovely, and I was feeling very dozy laying there in the sun when I suddenly heard footsteps coming towards me. I peered over the edge expecting to see Mayana, and instead was confronted with a huge and very disconcerting goanna! I squeaked to Pete to come and help me (although the rational part of me knew that he wasn’t going to be able to jump up in the hammock), and jumped out of that thing quick smart when he made a mad dash up the tree that my hammock was attached to!
Blergh. Still gives me the shivers!
We had gone for a walk in the rain and found this gorgeous spot, and I was very keen to go back and take some photos when the sun came out. We went back and got these snaps just before we left on Sunday.
It was a little more rippled than I would have liked, because Mayana and the boys were having great fun throwing and skimming rocks in the lake!
Isn’t she just the prettiest!
And isn’t he just he handsomest!
So there you have it… we FINALLY went camping. It was a brilliant weekend, and we hope that next time we have some other people who would like to join us!