Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Vacation from H.E.Double Hockeysticks

Maybe it wasn't that bad, but it was a real challenge to relax. First of all, when was the last time you went camping with 6 kids? The amount of stuff you have to take is staggering! We did manage to get it all into and on top of the car thanks to my amazing organizational skills. And I'm really good with spatial relationships.

We had a great drive to Skidaway Island State Park, just south of Tybee Island and Savannah, set up our tents and headed out to the beach.

Oh, and did you know that most people camp in RV's these days? We were seriously outnumbered at this place!

We had to drive farther than expected to get to the beach on Tybee (about 30 mins.), but that's okay. We were having a great time in the waves until it was time to go and we discovered that the tide had come in and soaked all of our clothes and towels. Imagine driving back to the campground with the 6 aforementioned kids---soaking wet, sandy, and hungry. Did I mention it was 30 minutes?

Master of the World had asked me if laundry facilities were a requirement for camping before we went. I said, "No, just electricity to blow up my Aerobed!" Thank goodness MOW supplied a washer and dryer anyway!

Wednesday, we had a beautiful hike through the salt flats and marshes around the campground with a naturalist guide. Then we headed out to the beach after lunch at the site. MOW and I swam a little and watched the dark clouds coming up the coastline, wondering if the storm would stay offshore or not. When the lightning started, we decided to pack up the car to keep our stuff dry and avoid a repeat of the night before. So we headed for the boardwalk. Ice cream and shopping while waiting for the showers to end. The showers that never came.

Finally, with the wind picking up, we went back out to the beach. The kids were psyched to get back in the water. Oh, honey, the flags say the water is hazardous and the beach is closed. The kids promise they'll just stay in the shallowest surf while Mom and Dad watch. Did I mention the wind? It's blowing the sand into us like needles! It's raining north of us, but the wind is blowing the rain to where we are. Kids still want to tough it out. No! We're not going to get soaked! But before we can get to the car, we and every other blessed thing within a mile are completely drenched. It was raining hard!!

You remember the 30 minute drive with 6 soaked, sandy kids? Yeah. Again. To a soaking wet campsite.

Laundry. Yeah. Again.

Thursday---the heck with the beach. It was already raining in the early hours of the morning. Let's try Savannah! We started out at the Visitor's center and then started walking. Our first stop was the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. Beautiful. It was lovely, so lovely in fact that we decided to wait around a while and attend Mass at noon. And pray for the rain to end. After Mass and a look around, we started to leave. Wait for it....

It was raining torrents!

After that we spent the afternoon using our 2 umbrellas off and on and ducking into shops when the rain was too much for the unprotected ones. Lots of walking and rain, but on the whole a lovely day. Except for the stores that have signs posted everywhere "No Public Restrooms". Darn them. Don't they know how hard it is to coordinate the bathroom breaks of 8 people? Fortunately, KT remembered that the Starbucks (with facilities, thank you very much!) was closer than the Hospitality Center. She was happy to buy a coffee for the cause and we were all happy to join her. Especially a certain desperate child.

I think that night we went out to dinner (where we waited for a table much longer than it took for 8 hungry people to get their food and eat!) after washing only the towels that had been hanging on the line and getting soaked in the rain.

It rained again in the night, so we left the depressing, wet site and went back to walk along the Savannah river and enjoy the views and the shops.

We also went shopping at a mall, of all things. Madden desperately wanted to go to Bass Pro which was 10 miles from the historic district, so we obliged him. Then we took the older 3 to see The Dark Knight which Hitch had been dying to see. While they were at the movie, the rest of us had 2 glorious hours to enjoy the beach where....

it did NOT rain!

I still did 3 loads of laundry that night (now, I'm keeping it in trash bags, in the car where it will stay dry!), and 2 more the next morning, despite MOW asking why I didn't just wait until we got home. He figured it out when we got home and everyone unloaded and sorted all their dirty, wet and clean, wet clothing. I had 10 more loads to do at home!

Did I say that 8 people take an astounding amount of stuff camping? Even when "packing light"?

After organizing and repacking every blessed, wet thing, including tents, we made a fun trip to Fort Pulaski where we saw (and heard) 2 cannons fired. Despite a specific request that we see NO cannons on this vacation, they all, surprisingly, enjoyed the fort.

But wait, there's more! I know, you're so over this campout already!

The bugs! OMG! The bugs! Poor Madden had 105 mosquito bites after one day. We're all covered in bites, but he's the worst. In spite of my homemade olive oil/citronella oil bug repellent. I thought it worked fine, but bought the real stuff for him.

Oh, and my fabulous, full-sized normal height Aerobed that we lugged along and needed electricity for? It has a leak. A slow leak. By the time morning came we were floundering around trying to get up. If one got up, the other rolled into a hole. When one tried to lie down again, the other flew up into the air as if on a trampoline. I hate the fact that my expensive bed was only used once, a year and a half ago, now has a leak. OTOH, my back didn't bother me at all on this trip, cuz MOW sweetly blew it up again every night. I'm thinking we should actually get a waterbed. Or just put the Aero in our room, which is leakfree, has air-conditioning, and electricity. For now.

Lastly, the humidity. I don't ever want to live in a place where Spanish Moss grows on trees. Which, by the way, didn't come from Spain and isn't moss.

We all had a great time in spite of the rain and the kids were awesome. They didn't start behaving like normal children until we were halfway home. Need I tell you how happy we all were to get home to our waterproof home and beds?

1 comment:

  1. Oh, you put me to shame! I refuse to go camping with the family anymore, because it is so much work! We just do day trips, or Larry takes them camping. What sort of tent do you use? How do you keep the sleeping quarters dry when people walk in there with wet feet from outside? This is the sort of thing that drives me crazy! That, and the last camping trip I went on was when I was pregnant with Brian - the same day that Hurricane Floyd hit the area. Talk about wet! And I felt so sick! To this day, I cannot eat canned baked beans.


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