Camping is something I did so much as a child growing up in the country with hot summers. I have so many memories fishing, hiking, hunting for horns, campfire songs, and making s’mores with my family and friends. The first time, I brought my first born home for a visit, I knew I couldn’t wait until he was older so he could appreciate camping as much as I did and still do. Then his sister came along shortly after and fast forward to this summer, we finally had the chance to go on our very first camping trip in America.
We only stayed two days to see how they would cope and like it the first time. We have been a few more times since our first trip too. It was about an hour drive from us which wasn’t bad. There is a small private beach with a lovely playground on it. The kids went back and forth between swinging and playing airplanes to swimming and letting the waves crash into them from the boats passing by. I couldn’t get enough of the fresh air, sunshine and their giggles floating through the air. We went with our best friends so it was extra special to have them there with us for our first camping trip in America.
I am so grateful they get to see both cultures, both countries, both sides of living in a city to living in the country. I hope this helps them stay grounded. I hope each year when we visit they get something out of it that they wouldn’t otherwise get back in the UK. I hope they also cherish our time in both countries as much as I do. I truly feel like I have the best of both worlds and my family is so supportive on both sides of the world too. There is nothing greater than sharing so many great memories with your children and teaching them what is important. The fun, the laughter, the love, the cuddles, the 100% attention I can give them here is very special. It’s not only good for them but it’s also good for me to step back from work, rushing around and the chaos that normal consumes me back in the UK.
There are places (most places) where I have no service at all so I can’t text, call or look at social media. I can’t check emails from work or personal ones either. I don’t feel the pressures of laundry, dishes, what’s for dinner and house chores even though I actually still do all those things here on a daily basis. I probably do all these for more people as there are visitors constantly coming over to see us. I love that part too. The forever revolving front door of family and friends. It makes me not care that I need to cook more food, have more dishes, and possibly need more beach towels washed and ready. It’s so worth it to be surrounded by the people you love most. It’s one of the hardest things living back in England without every around us.
Our first camping trip really reminded me what I want out of life. Where I want my life to lead me and what I want for my family. It was those few days running back and forth on the beach that it really hit me how much added pressure I put on myself back in England. How much I try to fit into a day when I have a whole week, month, year to do that very thing. It also reminded me how much I push the kids to do and I want to change that. I love them being involved in things but I want them to enjoy being a kid too. I want them to remember how much fun we had not just how busy we always were and rushing around. I know the rushing gets to them as much as it does me. I want to fix that before they are grown up. Before I look back and say, I wish I would have done things differently.
CAMPING DAY ONE:
Our first day there, we set up camp and got all our things organized then hit the beach. The kids loved this airplane teeter totter/ see saw. For once, they both fell in love with the swings which surprised me. I have only been trying to get them to go on the swings since they were born. They both wanted to be pushed higher and higher to my amazement.
They built big sandcastles and knocked them down over and over. They swam on their floaties and also braved the big waves that crashed into their face when a boat would go by. Their swimming has come on great since we got here and they are more confident in the water this year. I couldn’t be more prouder than I am of how much they have grown and changed since we got here. It’s funny how fast kids can change in just a few weeks. Hardly any of MM’s clothes fit now and will be left to her bestie when we return to the UK soon.
We also had picnic lunches on the beach and soaked up as much sun as we could until it was dinner time and the sun was setting low in the sky. It was time for the best part of camping, lighting the campfire. The kids were truly mesmerized by the flames. We had to go over campfire safety a few times before I really thought they had it. We roasted our very first s’mores together with our friends. I think the kids were shocked when I handed them a s’more to eat. We don’t normal have a lot of sugar treats but special occasions need to be celebrated. Our first camping trip, I thought it was definitely worthy of a s’more celebration.
We woke up having slept soundly through the night. The kids were excited to go explore. After the coffee was poured, we took the kids on a morning walk to explore the woods and gather pinecones (their woodland treasure). Our morning walk is now a thing the kids think we must do in the morning when we camp. I love that they adapt to wherever we are and whatever we are doing. It quickly becomes the norm to them. The second time we went camping, our friends dogs came with us and joined our exploring and swimming adventures. The kids loved every minute of it. They kept asking why we never go camping in the UK. So I guess that will be on our list to do when we get home. I might start with glamping there as I am not sure they are too many guarantee sunny days in the UK.
B was the leader of his sister and K. They are like the three musketeers when they get together. It really is so cute. I can’t wait until they start to remember these adventures together. I hope they always stay close as their mothers are and their grandfathers were too.
Of course, it was scorching hot so we ended our first camping trip in America with swimming and fun in the sun. The kids headed back to the beach to dive in and ride the boat waves as they rolled in. They took advantage of having the beach to themselves, digging holes to bury themselves in and running around the playground cooling off in the shade when it got too hot. We went home red faced and happy.
I don’t think they left one pinecone in the woods on our camping visit. You probably can find their stacks of them years from now. I am sure they will add to these stacks and their camping memories every year. We can’t wait until we come back again next year and get to take Daddy camping with us. We are so sad he missed out on the summer fun this year. This is one of the things I love about having a blog, documenting our family adventures and sharing them online for all those that want to be apart of our family journey. Daddy has been following along our every move and when we are back in the UK, Grandma and Papa do the same along with so many other family and friends. I love I can reread my blog and relive all our favorite memories and moments together as a family.