Sunday, April 3, 2011

Camping at Huntsville State Park

Yes. We are completely insane. Because who in their right mind would cart two three year olds off into the woods without power, and pitch a tent on the banks of a lake with alligators, snakes, bugs, and a campfire for the entire weekend and expect it to go well?

But that's exactly what we did. This is the tent. And the boys absolutely loved it. They were so excited to get to sleep in the tent. They each had their own air mattress and other than 2 little monkeys jumping on the beds while I was unloading other things they were perfect little angels when it came to the tent and sleeping.

We were a little nervous the first night as we put them down. The fact that someone was going to roll off into the floor in the middle of the night was a given. And Connor did, though he apparently slept right through both the initial fall and me putting him back up on the bed.

They also slept right through the neighbors talking and laughing well past 1am.

I wish I could have been so lucky. :) They also slept through the start I had as I sat bolt upright in bed and fumbled for the flash light in response to the ferocious growling I heard sometime after 3am as the biggest raccoon I have ever seen wandered through our campground growling at something.

Naptime on Saturday was just as painless. They laid down without a peep and were asleep without another sound much the dismay of our neighbor next door camping with his 4 1/2 year old twins who refused to nap and played merrily in the tent despite his repeated attempts to get them at least rest for a while.

We brought our bicycles along for the trip along with the boys' wagon. We took the boys on a couple of rides around the campground during our stay. The steep hills proved to be somewhat challenging and completely exhausting just on a bicycle. I can't even imagine what it must have been like toting the 2 ton Charlies' around, too. But the boys always enjoy their rides. Especially the kind that include a stop by the playground. Though Ryan especially was nervous about leaving our campground wondering if our tent would be there when we got back because he wanted to sleep in it again. And probably more importantly he didn't want anyone to run off with his "baby" - a small panda my mom had given him sometime last year - who had to stay in the tent.

When we weren't hauling them around in the carrier, or taking them fishing, or fishing again, or making the million and 1st trip to the bathroom, or sleeping, they amused themselves with their monster trucks - a present from one of their friends from school for their birthday. They pushed them all over the camp area chasing birds, squirrels, and just in general enjoying their time outside running around.

Surprisingly enough, other than Friday night as I attempted to setup up the tent and keep at least half an eye on them as well it was actually pretty relaxing. I even got to enjoy some time stretched out in my hammock while the boys napped.

As it turned out this was the most sought after seat in our campsite which meant that I also got some cuddle time as the boys took turns swinging in the hammock with me.

This was my view for the better part of the afternoon on Saturday as I watched the alligator swim up and down the lake area, and squirrels chase each other and scamper around the campsite and the million boy scouts and other groups wander up and down the road on their way to the other side of the campground in search of canoes.

Just before dinnertime Saturday night Kevin built a fire for us to cook our hotdogs and smores on. We have really struggled with fires in the past - seriously - how is it so easy to start a forest fire when for the life of us we couldn't start a fire when we tried last time??

We sighed with relief, letting out the breath we didn't even realize we were holding as the flames roared to life and the fire crackled merrily. Perfect for roasting hotdogs and GIANT marshmallows for smores.

After dinner the boys and I played with the neighbors. They showed us a bunny they had found hidden in some brush down by the lakes' edge as well as told us about the various tree hollows and the racoon who tried to eat their peanut butter. They also talked us into a game of tag that the boys thoroughly enjoyed.

Afterwards we sat down by the fire and watched mesmerized as it cracked and popped before finally deciding that it was time for bed.

It was the only way I was going to get my chair back after all.

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