Thursday, May 22, 2014

Epic Camping Fail

A few weeks ago, Marc and I arranged to have a few days off work together so we could take a long weekend somewhere. We decided we wanted to go camping and invited his brother and his girlfriend to head up to Dillon's Beach for the weekend (a place Marc and his family camped often when he was a kid). Sadly, his girlfriend woke up with a fever on the day we were supposed to leave so they couldn't make it. **Sign #1 that this trip wasn't going to go as planned** But instead, we decided to just head out and it would just be a weekend to ourselves.

Once we arrived to the campsite around 1:00, I was surprised to find it was really just a patch of grass with a picnic table. I asked Marc where the fire pit was and he pointed to a patch of dirt with no grass growing **Sign #2** The "campground" was a field of grass separated from the beach by some sand dunes. Roaming freely in the field were about 30 cows. Yes, cows. Mooing, eating grass, sniffing people's tents. It was most definitely a camping scene I'd never experienced before! **Sign #3**

We set up camp, pitched the tent and made some sandwiches to enjoy in the windy sun. Did I mention windy? It was a very windy day! Probably in the 60s but with 15 mph winds. This wind was blowing so hard our tent was whistling and the fabric was whipping around in the wind. We were sort of worried it was going to rip our tent to shreds. **Sign #4**

After lunch we decided to take a walk down to the marina where Marc said we were going to do some crabbing the next day. We bundled up with jackets and hoods, I had a down vest and a scarf even (that's how cold and windy it was and it was only about 3:00!) **Sign #5** The marina was very small, maybe a 20ft dock with some odd looking boats and interesting people around. But it was cozy, it's always nice to be in a different crowd and environment from time to time. Then we decided it was such hard work setting up the tent that we'd take a little nap (realizing then that we'd forgotten to bring pillows) - only to be woken up by a huge mama cow mooing at it's calf from about 10 feet from our tent. Talk about LOUD and hilarious!


Then, we walked over the dunes to the beach to watch the 20 kite surfers going back and forth in the waves - they were the smart ones in this story, enjoying the wind and actually wanting it to be there.

We decided we were hungry by then and wanted to head back to camp to make dinner. We grilled up some polish sausages, warmed the baked beans and made a gourmet bag salad. We found ourselves eating on the ground next to the car which served as a wind blocker (on the ground mainly because we forgot to bring chairs). **Sign #6** It was a good old camping dinner. Easy, quick, and yummy! After we washed our dishes, I thought Marc was getting something out of the car, but then I noticed he was sitting IN the car... As I opened the door to get in and ask what he was doing, I instantly realized. It was SO warm in the car! So I climbed in to warm up for a bit too. **Sign #7** The next thing I remember is Marc waking me up saying we had missed the sunset.... we had both fallen asleep for over an hour!! It was no nice to relax our bodies and warm up that we just passed out.

We agreed that our only chance of warmth outside the car was to start a fire, so with a push and a shove, Marc got out to start chopping the wood. By now it was about 8:30 and getting dark, and colder and windier. I was about to change into even more layers of sweat pants when I got out of the car and noticed Marc had only chopped 1 piece of wood in like 2 minutes. HA! He was so cold and tired it just wasn't happening. **Sign #8** So, I decided to ask him the question of the day: "Um.... are you still having fun...?" He looked at me with the same little bit of shame behind his eyes that I knew he could see in mine and responded with a quiet "Not really..." So I said what we'd both been thinking for a few hours - "want to just go home?" I promised that we could be packed and driving home in our nice warm car in 10 minutes tops! Much to my surprise, he agreed!!

So while cracking up, we jumped into action and deflated the air mattress, balled up the sleeping bags, ripped down the tent, threw it all in the car along with the ice chest and fire wood, and we were off!! It was a record pack job! The nosey woman eyeing us from inside her heated trailer 2 sites over was probably thinking that we were nuts and huge camping idiots. HAHA! I wish I had pictures of this part!

We headed back to the "ranger" to check out and explained, while laughing like weirdos, that we were leaving because we were cold and we didn't care about the non-refundable $60 fee. They, too, thought we were idiots, but we didn't care! We just ran back to the car and jumped in only to start laughing again at the sight we were to these people. We were home and warm in bed by 10:30 pm - even left all the food in the car to be unpacked the next day because, hey, it was going to be outside all night anyways if we were still camping, right?

The rest of the weekend turned out to be fabulous! We laid around all day being lazy because it felt like a free day to do nothing productive at all. It was definitely a memorable weekend to add to our collection of fun & silly things we've done together. And we got lots of good laughs out of it!

While we proved to be terrible withstanders of the cold & wind, we will return someday soon to try again at Dillon's Beach. But next time, we'll make sure we pick a warmer weekend, pay attention to the countless signs of camping failure, and make sure our friends can join us!

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