Who has two thumbs and is a super happy kid? THAT DUDE pictured above.
This weekend was our first camping trip of the season, and Wes was beyond excited to be back to the great outdoors, getting filthy and just generally causing a ruckus outside.
We took a short, "pregnant Ella" single night test run up to Green Valley Falls in Julian, CA which is a really great place for families and folks who are generally not huge on camping in general. It has a beautiful short hike that leads to waterfalls and a stream with plenty of kid friendly hang out spots where the younger set can splash, throw rocks, and look for fish (that I would be shocked if they found), but, I am a damn liar, and have no qualms sending my kid on a wild goose chase.
We had site 68, which was a pretty good set up. A huge oak for shade, lots of places to safely explore within eyesight and, look, not gunna lie. It wasn't far from the bathrooms. Which in my book, for both Wes and I, is pretty ideal. Priorities....they have changed.
Camping with Wes this year as opposed to last year (look at those chubby faces!) has been a HUGE difference, and is less containment and more, well, just a lot of fun. He is an active participant in the camping trip, from his excitement, to being able to help get dinner ready, hike on his own, and help carry things from the tent to the car as we clean up. He is part of everything, and loves every second of it, which...well....is good, because if he was a camping wet blanket, I don't know what we would do.
It was also really nice to watch Gray and Wes do their man thing. I am not into gender roles too much, so it being a "man" thing is less of the thrill, and more, it is so nice to see your partner in crime and offspring do tons of fun, positive and enriching activities together. Handy skills? Our kid will have them, thanks to Gray.
Gear wise, we have spent the "colder" months culling our supplies and trying to minimize what we bring, and we did pretty good. No crazy pack 'n' play, no mat to keep a precious baby clean, no stash of toys that were edible, nope. Dude is a regular person. Child specific we took two trucks, a bucket and a shovel, along with an extra set of clothes, two extra sets of socks and called it a day.
Also, we kept it easy food wise. Veggie dogs and baked beans for dinner, and an egg/potato hash for the morning. Apparently, somewhere into Wes's second veggie dog, with -baked beans dripping down his shirt I realized I sorely misjudged camping food. Apparently roasting veggie dogs in the fire is one of the more exciting things Wes has ever done?
Oh! Yeah, totally forgot. Pregnant me? Totally survived and totally ready to do this whole thing again next month...and the month after...and...I think that is all we have booked now, but, you get the idea.
Haven't taken your kiddos camping yet? I am not one to tell people what to do, but dude, come on, it is one of the more exciting adventures a family can participate in, and it can be as easy or as intricate as you want. Living in Southern California we are lucky, the weather is nice now, and we have a lot of options. From local mountains like Palomar and Julian, all the way up to Sequoia National Forest where you can grab a fire permit, follow an old logging road and find your own spot wherever you wish (Which, I wouldn't recommend without a serious skill set and body of knowledge in place - logging roads go on forever, and ever and it would be easy to get lost)!
Random tangent? I love these guys, together and individually. Our tiny family is my favorite