The smell of campfires (bonfires) and food on the grill are classic signs of summer. Yet we're not even technically out of winter! (climate change has some benefits, though we won't get into all the negatives).
Being an avid sweater (not like I'm a sweater you wear, but I sweat a lot, we've covered this... this has gotten weird) and so completely Dutch/English/Scottish/Irish that even a short period in the sun (with sunscreen) causes me to not just burn, but blister (gross), I can't say I'm a huge fan of summer. I love to go to the beach, but it always turns out bad for me.
However, last year I found out that I actually like camping! Who knew?
As a child, my dad's idea of "camping" was staying at a KOA cabin with real beds, walls, etc. and a real bathroom nearby.
I can totally appreciate his desire for a real bathroom nearby and I will always cherish that convenience. I'm not ready to poop in the woods, y'all.
But it turns out, despite the lack of sleep I got the first night and the back pain from basically sleeping on the ground even though I had an "inflatable" mat , camping in a tent can be fun!
Last year over Memorial Weekend, my Bible study friends and I went camping in South Haven, Michigan. We spent 2 nights and had so much fun! It wasn't perfect, there was a lot of rain (the boy's tent flooded!) and therefore a lot of mud, but it was an adventure!
I found out the following:
1) I love camping food. Maybe it's because there is no convenience of a kitchen and even though there is a lodge with food just a 1/4 mile away you somehow think you might not survive, but camping food is the best!!
2) Sleeping in 1 tent with 4 other girls can be good and bad. But ultimately we had a blast. I bonded a lot with some of the girls and 2 of the girls from this trip are my absolute best friends now!
3) Canopies are fantastic for camping, especially when it's sprinkling. And always bring snacks, cards and music (my iPod speakers were very helpful!). Also, they are good for storing your "weapons" in the event of a zombie apocalypse. We had a plan, you guys, it was fool proof.
4) When it is a rainy day, go into town! We went for ice cream, into what we thought was a bookstore, but ended up being a toy store (score!!) and saw a movie:
5) Always have inside jokes- "Chicken Leonardo" anyone? Yeah, no one knows what that means except those who were there.
But basically I just found out that it was a lot of fun to go tent camping and I never thought I would say that. I think though, most of it is who you're with. My Bible study has disbanded recently and I am happy to say that I am still friends with most of these amazing people. It was fun to go on this trip down memory lane with you all (aren't you happy and now have a more rich and fulfilled life???)
So this summer, I'm not sure if I'll go camping with these friends. We're all in different places and have busy lives. I know I'll be heading to Toronto and (most likely) Europe this summer, so who knows if camping will be involved. But I do know that I learned something new last summer, I had a blast and I would love to go again with some awesome people. And I'm sure I'll learn something new this summer as well.
Also, who doesn't love s'mores?
Moral of the story- go camping! It's almost summer!! Whee!!!!!