As a kid, camping was a ritual. We would go what seemed like several times a year. Mostly the mountains but sometimes the beach. My cousins, my brother and I would climb rocks, play baseball in the meadow, build dams in the creek and toast marshmallows in the campfire. We had so much fun and made a lot of great memories.
I really want my kids to experience the same things I loved as a child and hope they love them just as much. So, this past weekend, I took them camping with my family for the first time. This pictures is a reflection of their feelings about camping.
We arrived at Idyllwild Park on Friday and the girls loved the big rocks in our campsite. The first thing they did when we got out of the car was start climbing. This is my favorite park to camp at in the mountains. There is a lot to do within the campgrounds like hiking trails, a couple of meadows and a creek. Also, the town of Idyllwild is so cute!
After we got camp set-up, we took a little hike to the meadow. There was a tiny little wooden bridge over the completely dried up creek that we had to cross over to get to the meadow that the girls just loved. The girls ran over to the far end of the meadow where there were some logs arranged in a semi circle for special presentations the park puts on. Suddenly they started screaming and flailing their arms. Turns out, the log they kicked had a nest of yellow jackets and they were angry. The girls were stung at least 3 times each, their cousin once and my mom and my uncle got a couple. I was a slow poke and thankfully missed out on that party. The girls have never screamed so loud. The rest of the day, they sat fully covered and pouting in camping chairs.
The yellow jackets seem to only be bothersome when you have food out. We ate dinner after dark the first night so they weren’t a problem. They came out in the morning when they smelled bacon and sausage from the camp stove and when we started cooking dinner before dark. Other than that, and disturbing their nest, they were not a problem.
The next day, they seemed to have forgotten about their traumatic experience. They climbed the rocks, played with sticks, ate food and colored most of the day. They even sat at the table with the grown ups when we played Cards Against Humanity. They were coloring most of the time and had no idea what anything we were saying meant but they laughed along with us.
They loved exploring the forest with their cousin and picking up rocks. They even found a piece of a branch that looked like a hammer and they used it to break open rocks (which didn’t actually work). I picked up these cute little lanterns for them at Target before we left on the trip and they were obsessed with them the whole weekend. They also loved sleeping in the tent and asked if they could do that at home too.
My uncle brought his cat. This is Carl. He loves camping!
The only thing the girls really missed out on was a good campfire. Because of the drought in California and the massive amount of tinder in the forest, there was a fire restriction. We could not have a wood or charcoal fire. We did have a propane fueled fire pit but it’s just not the same unless your clothes and hair reek of campfire.
Overall, they liked camping but hate yellow jackets so they don’t want to go back there again. We will go again and hopefully they will keep themselves busy and not even notice the bugs. Maybe we’ll try the beach next time…..