Camping Challenges and Good Eats

Did you think I gave up blogging?  Never fear, I am not at a loss for words. (In fact, I have about 15 blog posts in the works, just don’t feel they are complete yet…) I was just sick. Very sick. Shame on me, but I never got around to getting the flu shot this winter and I recently paid a hefty price for this: two weeks of June (of all months). And if that wasn’t enough, I was subsequently stricken with a stomach virus last Thursday. But by the grace of God I was feeling better by Friday, so our End of School/Father’s Day camping trip with our neighbors was a go for Saturday!

We packed everything we own (for five people, it really seems like it), loaded up the car including the top carrier, strapped on the bikes, and squeezed the dog in the way back. We got on the road Saturday morning (a little later than we thought, after all that packing) to meet up with our neighbors at a state park in central Virginia.

En route, B and I realized we are a bit RUSTY at this camping thing. He locked up the bikes to secure them on the car, and two hours into the drive we realize I forgot my bike lock key. We almost forgot SA’s bike seat for my bike, only to arrive at the camp site and realize I neglected to grab the small clip sitting next to it that attaches it to my bike. We also bought new self-inflating mats and didn’t read the directions until the next morning, so we essentially slept on gravel. Ugh, I’m too old for that.

Well, as you can see, we made it to the bridge!IMG_5450 IMG_5449

 

 

 

 

 

Fortunately, our neighbor friends are old pros at camping! Sarah was so organized, she had even created an Excel spreadsheet packing list, which she shared with me in advance. All three of the other families had arrived Friday, bringing camp stoves and other handy cooking equipment, and of course, food and beverages to share. They even brought fun games (corn hole, a slack line) to entertain our kids (and as it happened, other nearby campers). When we arrived, their zip ties, duct tape and tools were offered up–along with a bloody Mary–and soon we remedied the mistakes we’d made with the bikes. It really adds to the enjoyment of camping when you team up with experienced, fun people!

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Speaking of which, even when it comes to food, I realized I had a thing or two to learn from my neighbor friends on this camping trip. Father’s Day brunch consisted of these delicious, personalized boil-in-a-bag omelettes! “Fancy Nancy” (pictured above) as we began to call her, had nothing short of a system in place to crank these omelettes out. It was impressive! First, she wrote a name on each omelette bag, and then cracked two or three eggs into each bag. Large zip lock bags were turned down to form bowls, which held the toppings: broccoli, asparagus, ham, cheese, onion, peppers, squash. She took our order and scooped out the toppings each person wanted into their omelette bag. Then she tossed all the bags into the boiling water for about 15 minutes. I was in such a hurry to eat this masterpiece, I forgot to take a picture of the finished product! But trust me when I say she even had a fruit garnish on the plate! My kind of camping. I love good (easy, real) food!

Although, in full disclosure, I am not going to pretend we didn’t have some junk food this weekend. I mean, for example, how can you camp without s’mores? We go camping so rarely (once a year, or once every two years), I really don’t see a problem with this. But…it is indeed possible to eat easy, real food even while camping!

On the way home, the kids (before conking out) were already asking, “Can we go camping again?!” B told them to wait three weeks and ask again. Ha!  Yes, camping is fun, yet hard work. But I know he’ll gladly do it again for them–preferably with an air mattress. Happy Father’s Day, B!

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