Friday, October 5, 2007

Heat + Humidity + Bugs = Fun!

We went camping on Tuesday. It's one of the advantages of having Anton home all the time so we can go play whenever we want. There are a lot of photos involved in the telling of this adventure, so be warned. You might want to grab a snack.

So we chose to camp at a state park near here since Alex had never been camping before. That way, if everything went wrong we could pack up and go home. We arrived in the afternoon and got our tent all set up. We were all nice and hot and sweaty after that so we decided to go swimming. The campground is by a river that has white sand beaches. Kindof an odd place to find white sand beaches, but I won't argue.

The river was shallow too so Ella could play in it to her hearts content. Alex of course kept on with his favorite beach activity:

eating the sand. He picked up a new fun one this time too:

drinking the water. What a goof. We all had tons of fun playing in the water:

Ella liked floating down river on daddy's back.

What a cutie!

And again!

After all that beach fun we got pretty hungry. So we headed back to camp to get our fire going.

Look! A picture of me! How did that happen? But there is our roaring fire.

Anton thinks that Ramen noodles is an appropriate camping food but I convinced him that foil dinners are much more suited to our style of car camping. We've done the foil dinner thing before and they turned into charcoal briquets, but we wanted to brave it again. This time they only came out partial briquets.

We had to pick out the edible pieces, but those were good. We're determined to figure out the art of the foil dinner some day. But when all else fails you can always turn to the standard camp fall back:



That made up for every piece of burnt potato.

We made the mistake of leaving Alex's sippy cup at home. We couldn't have the little guy being dehydrated so we had to be creative.

We took a regular old water bottle and poked a hole in the top.

It worked great until he figured out he could dump milk out of the hole. Oh well. He pretty much hung out in the pack and play the whole time so he wouldn't get in the fire or run into the street.

He did get to move into the booster seat for dinner, which he promptly tipped over and fell flat on his face. Poor kid. Camping is no fun.

Ella liked the fact that there was a playground right across from our campsite.

We let her play over there to keep her out of the fire.

Before calling it a night we went on the hunt for a geocache. We found one before the swarms of mosquitoes drove us into the tent. It was 7 PM and we didn't dare venture outside. So we just sat there in the dark playing whispered word association games while the kids slept. Such fun.

The next morning, with a fresh layer of bug spray on, we were ready for more. We were up bright and early, thanks to Alex, so we went on a morning hike. To preface this I have to show you the spider we saw on the way to the beach the day before:

This guy was probably the size of a quarter and about as big of a spider I really ever want to see. However, we do live in the swamp so I should have been prepared for what we encountered next.

Now this guy was big. We had to duck under his web while we were hiking. Yuck. Heebee geebee's galore. But just wait. There is more to come.

On a side note, while on our morning hike it took us past another one of the river beaches and it had this sign:

Um, thanks. You couldn't have posted this by the beach I was swimming on?!? Though it's probably a good thing I didn't see it until after or we wouldn't have gotten to go swimming.

Here's my darling family on our morning hike. We came back to camp and packed everything up. Anton found an ingenious way to deflate our air mattress (yes I camp with an air mattress, I'm a sissy):

What a silly head. We then drove over to the other side of the park to hike another trail. Ella hiked well over a mile during the course of the morning.

I only had to carry her at the very end. What a trooper. And all in a pair of crocs!

So you ready for the rest of the bug story? We're hiking along and come to this beautiful open area amongst some pine trees:

Well, what you can't see in the picture is right above Anton and Alex stretched across the entire trail is a HUGE spider web. And in the middle of it, a spider. Now my camera would not cooperate in getting a picture of this guy and I wasn't about to get close enough to get a good one so a substitution will have to do.

It was this big and that same kind of spider. Got the creeps yet? Well there's more. We walk on and notice that between almost every pine tree out in the wooded area there is another large web with another large spider. There were hundreds of them!!!! If I thought I could've run out of there I would have. Darn humidity with my asthma. I kept as close to the middle of the trail as I could and kept a very wary eye out. I'm shivering just thinking about it. yuck.

Our purpose in going on these various hikes were to find additional geocaches, which we succeeded in doing.

Here's Ella checking out the haul in this cache. She chose a set of Spiderman playing cards. She also scored a purple necklace and Alex a firetruck. We leave little gifts in exchange. The kids love "treasure hunting" as we call it. Though next time I'd like to do it without the spiders. By then the heat and bugs had done us in and we headed home to showers and air conditioners. No more swamp camping for us!


Stephanie said...

What a fun trip! Those spiders were DISGUSTING. You are a very brave woman.

AndreaT said...

You didn't mention how very poisonous the spiders are!! And how the stupid park ranger told you the best place to find them!!! Silly Park Ranger!! I love those pictures!! Ella at the beach is adorable!! Why didn't you just sit alex on the ground??? LOL!! Love the camping pics!!