Somehow I was persuased to go camping at the beach recently. I am sure it comes as no surprise that I am NOT a camper. But Emily was so excited and has always wanted to go camping.
She had a list of things she wanted to do while camping:
- Sleep in a tent
- Make shadow puppets with the fashlight at night
- Roast marshmallows over the fire
I found a campsite called Oregon Inlet at Nags Head beach. We didn't know much about the campsite, but decided to try it out. Originally the idea was started by Andy's family, but they all backed out, so we invited my sister Ashley's family and my mom. It was really nice to have Ash and Chuck there and the girls loved playing with their cousins. And my Mom was a HUGE help in keeping track of the girls and entertaining them while we were busy doing "camp stuff."
We arrived Friday night about 6:30. We knew we had limited daylight left, so Andy and I quickly tried to put up our tent while my mom entertained the girls. This is were we experienced our first problem - THE WIND. I am not sure what the actual speed of the wind, I think Ash said it was 18 mph. Try to picture Andy and I trying to stake down a tent that is just flapping in the wind. I just laid down on the tent while Andy put in the stakes. Once we got it up, the wind was still just blowing through the tent, so we had to literally take turns holding onto to the tent, so it wouldn't blow away!
We thought if we got the rain fly on the top of the tent, it would cut down on the wind getting inside the tent. However our second problem was that we had no idea which way the rain fly went on the tent.We couldn't lay the rain fly down because the wind was so strong and it was dark outside by this point.
Let me just note here, that Andy was not happy and very frustrated with the whole thing... to the point that he was ready to pack it up and head home. At about 9:00, Chuck and Ashley arrived and we decided to change the location of our tent and anchor it to a picnic table. With 4 people, we were able to get the rain fly on the tent. Finally at 9:30, we were able to let go of the tent and it didn't fly away!!
Our tent is the blue one with the "fancy" screen porch.
Andy is obviously way more laid back than I am. I don't think I would have let Sarah hold a kite by herself; much less turn around while she was holding it!!! But she did great and loved it.
Larry came up Saturday afternoon.
That night we attempted to roast marshmallows over the fire, but you could only have an open fire on the beach (not the campsites). However the beach was really windy and cold. My girls and I stayed for a bit, but the wind was just too much for me. So I took them back and got them ready for bed. Emily was passed out asleep as soon as I got her pjs on! What a day!
Unfortunately the adventure was far from over. About 10 it started to rain a little bit. Andy got up and put some stuff inside the van and he helped Ashley and Chuck put the rainfly on their tent. Then the rain got really heavy and it was still pretty windy. Soon I realized the rain was leaking inside our tent and anything touching the sides of the tent (i.e. my sleeping bag and pillow) was soaking wet. Andy and I were discussing what to do but I didn't want to wake the girl. However Emily soon woke up and said, "Mommy, why is it raining inside the tent? I am getting all wet." So we bundled up the girls and headed for the van. We drove around for a bit to get them back to sleep. Sarah barely ever woke up, but Emily was wide awake. Andy went back to the tent because a 6'4" man doesn't sleep comfortably in a mini van. I moved some stuff around in the back (the seats were already down) and Emily and I cuddled up back there. Oh, I was aching in the morning! Poor Andy couldn't make it in the tent and tried to stretch out in the driver's seat. At one point, I heard Sarah wake up and say, "Go! Go! Go!" like she does when we are stopped at a stoplight!
The aftermath the next morning was horrible! Everything in our tent was soaked... air mattress, all our clothes and blankets. There was puddles of water inside the tent. Next time I am definitely packing everything in rubbermaid containers. Wait, did I just say, "next time"???! I am not committing to anything at this point!
So we packed up and headed home - in our pajamas since everything else was soaking wet!