Camping. In my book, there is only one way to go and that is with a camper. Some might call this “glamping” but I like to think of it as maintaining a females healthy, happy and balanced hormotional (hormones + emotions = Hormotional) level while she endures the great outdoors of spiders, snakes, and weird spooky noises.
So what on earth was I thinking when I surprised my hubby with one night of “tent camping”, the kind he would prefer, for our monthly “Reigniting the Spark” date? I don’t tent camp! I like my bed. I like my shower. I like not swatting at flies, running into spider webs, freaking out over falling leaves because I thought they were falling spiders, and carrying a flashlight to the nearest bush in order to release thy liquids. But I knew it was something he has always wanted to do with me and I thought, “Why not?” In my fairytale mind, I imagined our trip would look a little something like this…
Needless to say, it looked nothing like that. And I mean nothing. The campground we agreed to call our humble abode was only twenty minutes away from our home and together we chose this location due to Goldilocks (our foster child) staying with my parents for the first time. I didn’t think it was necessary to “research” the campground beforehand, but once we arrived, we both looked at each other and quickly realized that a little “homework” would have been nice.
You see, in order to reach the camping site, one has to hike uphill approximately 250 yards. This wouldn’t have been a big deal, however the high maintenance one (me) decided we not only needed a tent, but also a queen sized air mattress; and not just some toilet paper, but also a bucket to utilize as a toilet. I also decided that “hot dogs” wouldn’t be enough and therefore we needed to pack chips. However not just one bag of chips would suffice, but rather a variety.
My thought process was there is nothing worse than being miserable, bored and hungry. Therefore, by purchasing a variety of food items, I was going to eliminate the prospect of being hungry. Not to mention I figured if I was eating, then I would also eliminate the issue of being bored. Winning.
We (he) also had two large coolers to carry. One for drinks which was fully stocked with Diet Coke, Mountain Dew, water and Orange Juice (I like my OJ in the morning). In the second cooler were not only the hotdogs, but also the necessary condiments, as well as one can of cinnamon rolls (an excuse to try out the new camping dutch oven I purchased), eggs, one can of biscuits, jelly and bacon for breakfast. I would like to add that while it sounds as though I emptied the contents of my refrigerator and put it inside the coolers, I did not. Daniel seemed to have forgotten to pack the ketchup for my hotdog. This might not seem like a big deal to anyone else, but it is a must have condiment item if I want to choke down a hotdog. I can only eat and enjoy a hotdog if it has the right mixture of mustard and ketchup. Needless to say, he was reminded about 30 times while we ate our dinner that I couldn’t believe he forgot the ketchup. A part of me is still wondering if he is paying me back from last month when I failed to pack water to go with our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for our 1 hour hike through the Garden of Gods.
But it doesn’t stop at the two coolers that needed to be carried uphill the 250 yards, so lets move on to the next item which is the all-important firewood. I can’t even begin to describe how heavy these logs were or how many trips it took to bring it all to the campsite. I can’t describe it to you because I have no idea. I sat that one out. After his first trip, I noticed he was sweating and all I could think about was how I did not want to go to bed that evening still sticky from the sweat earlier in the day. Nope! So I set up the two lawn chairs and cracked open a diet coke. I will say that he looked like a mighty stud carrying in all that wood. Wink, Wink!
Once we, I mean he, carried the two coolers, firewood, ax, bucket, two lanterns, lawn chairs, five gallon container of water, and two large storage tubs filled to the max with a tent, pots, pans, blankets, sleeping bags, and other non-essential camping items, we were ready to set up camp. I once again, sat this one out. I do not know how to “pitch a tent”, chop wood, or light a fire and I wasn’t going to learn now. To me, it was like learning formulas in Math. I know I am never going to need this skill again so what’s the point? Not to mention it would have been like actress/singer Jessica Simpson trying to help out survivor enthusiast Bear Grylls–pointless.
After Bear Grylls, cough, cough, the hubs was finished setting up our cozy home, chopping up his wood and lighting my fire, I looked around and realized the campsite looked nothing like what I had previously envisioned; but I was still happy with the results…even if my bathroom was a bucket…and out in the open for whomever to see…
Everything was all fun and games until I noticed the sun going down and that is when my heart began to race and my blood pressure went into the warning zone. I also became very serious about trying to remain as quiet as possible in order to intently listen for animals, slithering snakes or other unsuspecting
killers guests lurking around our camp. The only conversations I can remember having after I saw the sun slowly go behind the horizon were these:
Me: (After the campsite is set up) Sooo…what do we do now?
Dan: We just sit here and poke at the fire every once in a while.
Me: (nods head and looks around) Oh.
Dan: (Gets up and pokes around at the fire)
Me: This is thrilling.
Dan: Isn’t the great outdoors GREAT!
Me: Hey! I gotta go pee.
Me: I am a girl. A girl needs toilet paper.
Dan: Oh! Here it is.
(Tosses me a package of outdoor toilet paper)
Me: It say’s “rapid dissolve on the front of the package.” How rapid dissolving is this?
Dan: Better make it quick so you don’t find out.
Dan: You ready for some hotdogs?
Me: Sure. Did you bring any baked beans?
Me: Pasta Salad?
Me: Potato Salad?
Dan: I told you earlier we were camping, not going out to eat.
Me: I wish my Aunt Marcia was with us. She would have made sure we had those things and cookies.
(After many long moments of silence)
Dan: What’s your favorite childhood memory?
Me: (I just stare at him with a confused look)
Dan: What? These are the types of questions your Dad asks when we go camping together.
Me: Eating frozen pizza and watching TGIF. I know, lame.
Dan: Didn’t you guys go camping?
Me: Bahaha! Yeah! But after the last couple of hours what makes you think that would be the answer to my favorite childhood memory?
Dan: (Lights the lantern)
Me: Ummm…I don’t think the lantern itself should be on fire. Should it?
Dan: This isn’t good!
Me: (Laughing hysterically and looking for my camera)
Dan: This is not funny!
Me: What was that?
Dan: A leaf.
(Five minutes later)
Me: What was that?!
(Five minutes later)
Me: What was that?!
(And this went on until he finally fell asleep and quit answering me)
Me: Wouldn’t it be easier to go to McDonald’s for breakfast?
Dan: This is all part of the camping experience my dear.
Me: Haha! I have experienced enough.
All in all we had a great time unwinding, unplugging, and just enjoying the stillness of the night in each other’s company. Infertility has had a way of reducing our once burning flame to a mere flicker and so my hope for this month’s trip was to have fun, reconnect together and reignite the spark and I think despite the clash in our camping styles, we did just that.
So the question today is, what’s next? Well, tomorrow is the beginning of November and first thing in the morning, I will have sitting beside his Saturday morning Belgian waffle and coffee, the next “date card.” I will go ahead and let you know that I am done with the “wild” adventures and this next date will officially kick off the holiday season as we travel several hours to tour a home. Does anyone have any guesses? Need a few more hints? Here ya go!