the last full week of april we went camping for a whole week with the boomsma family. it was an adventure to be sure. hehe…
let me just start out with a little bit of “andrea’s camping history.”
– i grew up camping! it was a more economical means of vacationing, so it’s the type of vacation my parents opted for many times.
– we started out tenting it and graduated to a tent trailer around the time i started high school. a very nice improvement, especially for my mom (who isn’t necessarily a big fan of camping).
– i’m not a full-blown “rough it” kind of girl. i can handle a decent amount of roughing it, but let me put it this way: growing up, my mom and i had a butane curling iron that we used for our bangs.
– the last camping trip i went on was with a group of singles from the church… about 10 years ago. it rained. and was cold. and one of my best friends saw a very different side of me, evoked by the cold and wet misery i was in. thankfully, she’s still my friend.
– in general, i think camping is fun. as long as i am dry and warm (especially at night).
as a married couple, our collective camping gear totaled a few flashlights and a hatchet. so we spent the previous 3 1/2 months saving our money, buying equipment, planning, prepping and packing. it’s a lot of work to plan and prepare for camping! yikes! i have [yet more] new found respect for what my mom had to do in preparation for all the camping trips we took as a family!
food/kitchen stuff (minus the keyboard – that stayed home ) :
the gear and everything else (and this is just for 2 people!):
after a few initial car troubles (trailer tail light not working properly – it’s the senior boomsma family’s vacation curse), we finally got on the road!
less than 2 hours later we pulled into beautiful El Capitan State Beach:
if you’re confused at all by the term “beach,” let me explain. or rather, let me sum up. beautiful wooded camp ground… located on the coast just north of santa barbara. so you camp amongst trees and such… and during the day you can walk less than 1/4 mile from your campsite, down a few flights of stairs, and find yourself on sand staring at the ocean. pretty awesome combination if you ask me! also? this campground has flush toilets and coin showers. being able to take a shower every few days was a huge plus!
setting up our little tent:
took all of 10 minutes:
“next door” at the family’s campsite, zach hung the friesian flag, haha. (the dutch province of friesland is where his grandparents originally lived prior to immigrating to the states in the 50s). the red things are lily pads. i knew you were wondering.
sooooo remember that part about not liking to be wet or cold while camping? yeah. it rained for 3 of the days we were there. and another night we had crazy intense winds. sigh. with rain and wind, there was really no other option (other than hunkering down in the tent or the car) but to spend the day in the nearby towns.
monday we went to solvang, which was a lot of fun!
found a cute little danish bakery where we stopped for a snack and something warm to drink:
there were lots of cute shops and fun things to look at…
the other rainy days we spent in santa barbara strolling along state street, and thrift store shopping in ventura.
we braved one particularly rainy night with snacks a game of yahtzee huddled under a screened tarp that we set up over the picnic table:
tuesday, friday and saturday were sunny and beautiful and we took full advantage of it!
lots of reading:
and sitting around the campfire (my favorite part of camping)!
oh and did i mention the food? we pretty much ate our way through the week. the joke became that we ate for every reason OTHER than hunger, haha. it was something to do… it was WARM… it was fun food that we’d gotten especially for camping… we were bored, etc.
we had some goooood camping food:
i made “trefzger donuts” (affectionately named after the family i grew up camping with that always made them):
i told my husband that this was not going to feel much like a vacation to me if i had to do dishes. our apartment doesn’t have a dishwasher so i do all of the dishes at home by hand. the last thing i wanted to do on “vacation” was camping dishes (no running water, etc). my husband heroically made sure that i never had to wash any dishes on the trip
father and son:
zach and his dad worked so hard all week long making sure that the rest of us stayed covered and dry and warm, that we had a fire as often as possible, that all of our stuff got packed up and protected from the roaming skunks and raccoons each night… oh and we learned that paige [admittedly] turns into a 14 year old boy on camping trips – she was also right in the thick of all the tough and dirty jobs, working very hard to keep us all comfortable.
overall it was a decent week. memorable to say the least! we’ll probably make a few changes for next time (we both decided that even though we managed to stay comfortable, dry and cozy, 6 nights in a tent is too much), but we are up for making this a regular family trip!