Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sunny, High of 91

Sunny, high of 91.

That was supposed to be the forecast for the state park we visited over Memorial weekend.  It was the perfect forecast for floating down the river and splashing around with a hundred of our closest camping buddies.

What was the actual weather like?

Rainy, high of 75.

Not so much fun for floating down the river and splashing around with our friends, especially when the five inches of rain the area got made the river (at least the part we were camped next to) a raging, rapid-y mess and made the campsite look like a small lake.

Did I mention that our tent leaked the second night and got Syd's pillow soaking wet?  Or that my air mattress wouldn't hold air for more than two hours so I pretty much just slept on the ground?  Or that Ryan got a speeding ticket on the way?  Or that our canopy (that doubled as a clothes line) collapsed at two in the morning so Ryan and I had to pull in soaking wet towels and shove the mangled canopy off to the side of our tent while wearing our pajamas?  Or that all that activity in the middle of the night made me realize that I needed to use the bathroom so I had to pull on wet shoes (that had been drying under the now collapsed canopy) and hike a quarter of a mile to the community bathroom that was definitely feeling the strain of the 300 or so people using it during the holiday weekend?  Or that I had to hike back the quarter of a mile to our tent (in the rain, of course) and got lost because all campsites look exactly the same at two in the morning?  Or that Liam woke up with his tell-tale "seal bark cough" that let us know an asthma attack was imminent?  And of course, we didn't pack his breathing treatment apparatus because he hasn't had an asthma attack in months.


But....during the waking hours that it wasn't raining, we had a great time.  Really, we did.

The kids donned their life vests and braved the fairly rough waters of the aptly named Frio river.  They splashed with their friends, sprayed each other with water cannons, caught tadpoles, painted themselves with mud and collected river rocks.

They climbed trees, gawked at the vultures that were scavenging around neighboring campsites, rode their bikes and played with their friends.  At one point, our tent was filled with kids doing Mad Libs.  Of course, every verb suggested was a bodily function and every noun suggested was a bodily fluid, but there was a lot of laughing going on in there.

Ryan hung up my new hammock and I actually got to read a bit of my book, relax and listen to the gross Mad Libs being created.  The cooler temperatures made this possible; had it been the predicted temperature, it would have been way too hot for me to enjoy my hammock.

Behind the giant piles of river-floating tubes used by our camping group, there was a Speak Easy containing a homemade margarita machine (a cooler, some piping and a garbage disposal).  It sure was nice to have a yummy margarita to go with the delicious barbecue the dads made for dinner.

And Liam finally lost his first tooth.  The poor boy was so upset that he had literally lost it somewhere in the campsite.  He was worried all day that the Tooth Fairy wouldn't find him because we weren't at home or that she wouldn't leave him any money because he didn't have the tooth to leave under his pillow.  We sat down and wrote a note to the Tooth Fairy explaining the situation and my weekend was made when he woke up Sunday morning and found a dollar under his pillow.  The look on his face was priceless.  And then he coughed his terrible cough and we knew our camping weekend was over.

We quickly packed up our gear, grabbed breakfast, apologized profusely for leaving a day earlier than we were supposed to and headed out just before another terrible storm hit.  My sister told me later that the spot where our tent was placed was a giant puddle after that storm so I'm glad we left when we did.

Despite the rain and all of the mishaps, we really did have a great time and that's saying a lot coming from a person who does not particularly like camping even in the best of circumstances.

And it certainly was memorable.

But I am kinda glad most of the trips are for dads and kids only.  I can only handle that much excitement once a year.

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