first camping trip

We did it! We survived our first family camping trip. And there were moments we all actually thrived–not just survived–in the great outdoors. Phew. I knew we would have a great time when we were greeted by a walking stick as soon as we got to the DH Day campground. I hadn’t seen one in years – so cool!

I had forgotten how much I love camping and don’t really care about being a bit dirty. It sure helps to be so close to Lake Michigan for an easy dip to clean off the layer of marshmallow, sunscreen and grime. Who am I kidding? I usually live like I’m just a step away from camping so real camping is not really much of a stretch for me… No make-up, hair in a messy pony tail, coffee stains on my shorts and a smile on my face. The life!

I feel so unexpectedly refreshed after a few days of being completely unplugged and miles away from the chores of day-to-day life. I was a bit stressed getting ready for the trip and truth be told, I think we just about spent more time preparing and packing (and repacking after the birdies took everything out) and then unpacking when we got home… than actually camping, but sometimes that’s the case the first time. Next time it will be easier and faster, right? Ha.

What is it about a kid when they cross their legs? They look about five years older. Gulp.

We went with another family with two girls so there was a lot of girl power and girl drama, including tears over a prized Dora chair and princess cups, hair pulling and an all-out sandy brawl over a PILE OF SAND on Sand Mountain, but thankfully these moments were balanced out with lots of squeals of joy, giggle fits and squishy toddler hugs and super wet kisses. Girls, oh my!

Just a hop, skip and a jump down to Sleeping Bear Bay from the DH Day campground for a refreshing dip. Refreshing=chilly. What happened to our summer water? Regardless, we spent a lot of time in and around the water.

We got into hunting for “cool” rocks too. I’m hooked! I found a nice little Petoskey stone that will be my souvenir from our trip. Please don’t tell anyone from the NPS that I kept it, shhhhh.

When we were getting packed up to leave, there was a lot of screaming and crying about not wanting to leave. I didn’t want to leave either, but it’s best to leave before you’ve overdone it and eaten your weight in s’mores, right? Plus we’ve got a beautiful fall ahead of us and hopefully another camping trip before Old Man Winter comes…