Thursday, July 27, 2017

Camping Trip #2 - Fun, Food and Family

We just arrived home from our second camping trip yesterday!  It was a pretty perfect trip with great weather, new friends, and lots of fun!

Darryl had to work on Sunday (to make up for days missed due to unplanned emergency dental surgery!) so here comes the first "first".  I had to drive the truck, pulling the pop-up to meet Darryl in Grand Rapids.  I have never pulled anything with a vehicle but, I did it.  We survived and now we know that Darryl can work on the day we are leaving and I can meet him in town.  Granted, I refused to drive it through downtown and all of the interchanges - I left that up to the professional driver . . .my husband HA!

Sunday - We arrived in South Haven at the State Park in the midst of heavy humidity.  That's not fun for set up!  But, we did it.  This is one of the boys favorite places to camp because there is a huge playground right by the site we pick and they make instant friends.  I had planned a simple meal with some new recipes:

D: The perfect picnic sandwich and Ranch Bacon Pinwheels.

Well, they were awful HA!  Two of the worst sandwiches I've ever tasted.  Good thing we had Hot Dogs to roast over the fire later!

Here's a few of my camping tips from Sunday:
1) When using an electric cooler (which I love - no ice!), plug it in the day before so it's already cooled down.  Then, keep a few items for later in the trip frozen and place those in the cooler to help keep it cold.  Add all of your cold food just before leaving and it will stay cold until you can get it plugged in again!
2) We use our ice cooler for drinks - if possible, make sure the drinks are cold before putting them in the cooler otherwise the first two bags of ice you put in the cooler will melt very quickly as they warm up the drinks :-)
3) Sandwiches are a great meal for the first evening - just make sure that they are sandwiches you like!
4) Lunchables - best camping food ever for kids.  They are perfect for the first night to keep things easy and also for any other meal to keep the kids happy and fed!

Once we were set up on Sunday, Darryl got a great campfire going so we could roast hot dogs.  Honestly, the kids played with their new friends until it was time for showers and bedtime.

Monday - This was our quiet day.  The boys were up and out of the camper before we were so they could meet up with friends at the park.  Darryl and I enjoyed a quiet breakfast while they played.

 Josh convinced Darryl to push them on the Merry-Go-Round. 

 Notice all of the kids? 
 This little girl and Nate became fast friends - so much, in fact, that they exchanged phone numbers and have talked already on the phone. 
Why yes, we do bring some electronics when we camp.  They don't use them very often but they are great to have for quiet time and also when it rains. 

After lunch, we loaded up and headed to the beach for the afternoon. 
 This was our first visit to this beach and we didn't realize how rocky it would be.  The boys didn't mind though.  It was a " Red Flag" day due to the huge waves.  The boys were able to enjoy them close to shore.  
 (Yes, they did put life jackets on to play in the water!) They also loved digging in the sand. 
 Nate and his rock tower.  The rocks were, for the most part, all flat and round so they boys worked on building these cool towers. 
 Josh and his tower. 
Nate is my beach baby - he loves the beach and would stay all day if we let him.  

After the beach, we returned to the campground for more playing and relaxing. 

B: McMaster Sausage McMuffins and Hard Boiled Eggs
L: Sloppy Joes, Potato salad and chips
D: Steak Kabobs, Salad and chips
AND, Smores after dinner! 

Tuesday - This was our super busy day!  We left the campground at 10:30 and got home at around 9:30. 

We started out at a Blueberry Farm and picked our own Blueberries.  Now, lets keep it real - I hate picking fruit but Josh loves Blueberries so we thought it would be a good experience for the boys to picked some and they both liked the experience.  
After picking our berries, we drove around South Haven, which we love, before stopping for lunch at Maria's - one of our favorite pizza places! 

 After lunch we headed to the Ottawa County Fair.  We missed our local fair (which is HUGE) just due to the timing so we told the boys we'd take them to this fair.  They started with the Merry-Go-Round. 

 They loved the roller coaster.  Notice Nate's hands are in the air (In the last car) and Josh is holding on for dear life? HA!
 The slide is always a huge hit! 
 The Pirate Ship is Nate's favorite ride. 
 While Josh prefers the Swings. 
 The Ferris Wheel ended the day for us at the fair. 

Wait . . .the day isn't done yet!  After consuming some Fair Food (Ice Cream and Elephant Ears!), we headed to another beach. 

 That huge barge was coming down the channel when we got down to the water. 
Today, at this beach, it was a "Green Flag" day so it was pretty calm.  The boys convinced Darryl and I to get into the FREEZING water, which is always fun. 

Once done at the beach, we were starving so we ran through fast food for the kids and Darryl and I ordered dinner from a favorite Thai Place.  We stopped at a park and ate.  I must confess, the food from the Thai Place was not as good as we remembered and we won't go again but the experience was fun! 
From there, we finally headed back to the campground to have one last campfire and roast some marshmallows! 

Meals:  Our meals were eaten out today :-)  (Breakfast was just Pop tarts and Hard Boiled Eggs)

Wednesday - We just focused on packing up and, of course, the kids played until it was time to leave. 

Breakfast: Hard Boiled Eggs, Pop tarts, and Blueberries!
Lunch: Hot Dogs and Peanut Butter Sandwiches with potato salad and Chips
Dinner (at home): Pineapple BBQ Pork Sandwiches and fried Zucchini! 

Despite being so tired and dirty (sand everywhere!) when we got home, it was a fabulous trip away!