Friday morning, we packed up every inch of our Honda Civic with gear, grabbed our passports, and headed for the Canadian border...
We joke around that we went "fake" camping.
Truth is, we pitched our tent in a huge, grassy field on the edge of an RV park in Surrey, BC (called Hazelmere if you ever want to check it out). There are RVs, yurts, and tent camping. There is a swimming pool, a playground, and miniature golf. So - not in the middle of the forrest, hike-in type camping, but kid-friendly camping :) They were super excited to just go camping and sleep in a tent!
Once we set up our camp site, we took full advantage of pool time! And then, the playground, which was an old-school playground with a big, looooong metal slide that the kids loved :)
So - sort of "fake" camping, but it's oh-so-real! We got the kids each their own sleeping bag for Christmas last year and they were excited to sleep in them, in the tent. We don't have any blow-up mattresses or anything like that, so in that sense, they def. got the sleep-on-the-ground camping experience.
Sawyer was especially excited to get bundled up for bedtime.
I wish I could say Aspen was equally excited to sleep in her sleeping bag. We should've known better...
Pretty much, we all laid there pretending to go to sleep (saying "Aspen, lay down and go to sleep!") and she literally ran around the tent like a little hooligan from the time we tried to go to bed (around 10pm) until midnight. We were part amused, and part frustrated. Somehow Sawyer fell asleep while she kept running across our legs, tripping, falling down purposefully, saying "tickle tickle" and then trying to jump on our legs while singing, "no mo momees umpin bed!!!" (her interpretation of "no more monkeys jumping on the bed". Hilarious. At first. But at midnight, we were glad we had brought the pack n play as backup, we set it up and put her in and in 5 min. she was asleep. sigh.
Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed the next morning!
(half way through the night I was worried Aspen would be too cold in the pack n play so I let her share my mummy bag...good times ;)
Amazingly enough, our neighbors didn't want to strangle Aspen in the morning...in fact the two kids and their Dad, camping literally like 20 feet from us, were actually super excited to come over and play the next morning.
The girl was 6 months older than Sawyer, and the boy was 6 months older than Aspen. We played together for a good two hours, playing impromptu games of soccer and then Sawyer and his girl buddy having balance bike races while the younger tots cheered them on.
After breakfast was consumed (and shared with our cute neighbors) and we freshened up a tiny bit, we drove about an hour north to Lynn Canyon and the suspension bridge. There were lots of trails (luckily the further you went, the less the crowd) so we ended up hiking around the trails a good 3 or so hours.
I was proud of our generally-cautious boy, for wanting to walk across the scary-ish suspension bridge. It feels like those shaky playground bridges, only a bit more pronounced the more people that are on it - and WAY WAY WAY higher.
I felt great to take our time and hike to our hearts content with our two little kidlets. Good times!
Later, we drove back to White Rock, this cute little beachy town near our campsite. We walked out on the promenade and pier and watched fishermen, sailboats, and got to see them pull in some fresh crab.
Oh yeah, and the train goes right by here.
Oh yeah. And we went out to pizza for dinner one night. It was a joint that had huge screens with sports on. There was a football game on - and we realized our kids have never seen a football game (we don't have tv in our home, and even if we did we'd never watch football). When the players would get tackled or fall down or throw themselves on the ground, our kids would shout, in unison "fall down!" and then laugh laugh laugh. They thought it was sooooo funny!
Aspen was so funny on the board-walk. She didn't want to step on the cracks, and then she kept bending down to look through them and see the water. I'm not exactly sure what she was thinking, but it was pretty funny to watch. Sawyer, on the other hand, loved running out to see the fishermen and sailboats. It's a beautiful place to watch the sun set.
Overall, we had a wonderful 3 day weekend. Always a lot of work packing up and then unpacking, but always worth it, too.
The second night was better with Aspen since we used the pack n play. But it did make us re-think the 5 day trip we had planned in a few weeks - half of the time which would be backpacking in - no way we would bring a pack n play. So, maybe we just need to come up with a different plan or a different trip until we do a few more "practice" camping test-runs. Wouldn't hurt if the kids were older and could carry a few pounds of gear, either :)
It is always so refreshing to just get away and be unplugged from everything for a few days.
Hooray for camping!
ps- good thing our swagger wagon account continues to grow...we have pretty much outgrown our Civic even with just two kiddos!