We took the boys to Bodega Bay for some camping this previous weekend. Don't faint. The campground met all of my standards. Car camping, clean bathrooms with flush toilets, no big bugs and a liquor store and coffee shop a few minutes away. We were not exactly "roughing" it. This was our first time in a tent since Zachary was born. We went with a couple of friends, so in fact we actually had three 12 month old babies, one three year old, two six year old boys, a seven year old girl and only four adults. Yes, you read that correctly. Overall the experience was better than I had anticipated, and in fact we are actually contemplating future adventures.
A few lessons learned while camping:
- Camp some place warm.
- If you do not camp some place warm at least bring a hat and socks for the baby. (Oops.)
- If your parenting skills are not quite up to par, make sure you invite a better parent to go with you. (We failed to bring sippy cups, baby blankets and a number of other must-haves for Julian, however lucky for us the mom of twin one year old boys was very prepared!)
- Go with someone who enjoys cooking on a campfire. Because I just want to sit and drink beer.
- Be sure to bring enough beer. Running out is not an option.
- There is nothing better then the smell of bacon cooking on a campfire.
- Remember to bring more than enough bacon just *in case* the Chef Extraordinaire drops an entire plate of meaty deliciousness in the dirt.
- Camping is the perfect time for red meat. Lots of red meat.
- Set expectations with husband about camping romance in advance. Sharing a tent with a dog and a baby in sub zero temperatures = no camping romance. Isn't that obvious?
- Do not go camping on a holiday that involves pampering. There will be no pampering while camping. I had to forgo sleeping in, breakfast in bed and a shower on Mother's Day morning. Not my ideal.