Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Camping Trip One - August 2018

It feels odd to write about our first camping trip of the season in August but, that's the truth!  We had planned to do to other trips earlier in the summer but it just didn't happen.  We tried some new ideas on this trip and learned some things about what we really like and don't like. 

As we started to finalize plans for this trip, we decided to try and take one vehicle.  So, with this in mind, I decided to pack as light as possible including not grocery shopping until we arrived so we didn't have to carry bins of food.  Well, then Darryl ended up without practice on Wednesday night and we now had to bring all of his guitar stuff with us to his concert (which we were attending first) so plans changed and we had to take two vehicles.  I still decided to wait on the shopping in order to keep things more simple . . .or so I thought! 

Day 1 - Sunday
The vehicles were loaded so all we had to do is get up, get ready and hit the road which is exactly what we did.  We stopped for breakfast on the go from McDonald's and then headed down the road to Darryl's concert.  Arrival and set-up at the concert went just as planned.  The benefit for the boys is that their bikes were in the van so I could easily pull them out and they enjoyed riding their bikes all over before the concert started. 

When the concert finished, we loaded up and headed out on our great adventure.  As we arrived into South Haven, we wanted to stop for lunch.  So, we stopped at a Taco Bell.  As we walked inside, someone stopped us and said, "We waited for 35 minutes for our food so you might want to go elsewhere."  We did not want to wait - we wanted to camp!  Instead we headed to the McDonald's which was located in Walmart.  (We thought that it would save us time to eat and shop "really quickly" before heading to camp!)  Well, McDonald's was slow . .and expensive (like $2.00 more a meal than normal).  Our food was messed up (we got it fixed) and it just took forever.  Now, we had to shop.  Well, I never shop in Walmart so when I made my list I based it off of what I know Meijer has and I was so turned around that I struggled to get what we needed.  After wandering the whole store and leaving with half of what was on our list - we headed to the campground.  So, lesson learned - I will never wait to shop again.  I will always buy our food before we leave AND meal prep before we leave!!!  Set up at the campground when fabulous - for real.   Fastest we have ever set up before so that was a HUGE bonus. We had chicken and salads for dinner and then We could finally sit down, relax, and enjoy our campfire after a very long day. 

Day 2: We. slept. in.  We never sleep well the first night but we were all tired and it was cool enough to sleep.  We enjoyed donuts for breakfast and leftovers for lunch.  The boys played a couple of games of ladder ball.

Josh wanted to do some blueberry picking too.  Considering it was South Haven and the Blueberry festival had just ended the day before, it made perfect sense to pick blueberries!

From there, we headed to the beach at the state park. 

To be honest, this is not our favorite beach but the boys enjoy it.  There are tons of rocks making it hard to walk out to the sand bar BUT I found that if you walked a bit down the beach, there was a sandy part to use to walk out into deeper water.  We hung out at the bean for a good 3 hours.  Now, remember that when we went to Walmart we wandered everywhere?  I didn't get anything for dinner HA!  So, we went back to the campground, took showers, cleaned and went to find something for dinner at 8:00 pm.  We found Pizza Hut and it was perfect.  We were starving and all that good pizza filled us up!!  Our night ended with another great fire!
Day 3- We enjoyed blueberries and cereal for breakfast.  We hung out at the campground for awhile before loading up and heading into town to eat at our favorite Italian place (we debated it since had pizza the night before but couldn't resist!).  Lunch was fabulous!  From there we headed to the city beach, which is by far one of our favorites.  We were blessed when we arrived because someone saw us looking for a parking spot (that you pay for) and they stopped us, told us they were leaving, and gave us their parking pass (which is good all day).  It was something unexpected and really appreciated!  We then spent hours upon hours at the beach once again.
 The boys love playing in the sand and we love watching them play in the sand!  The water was perfect on a pretty hot and humid day! 
Darryl and the boys took a walk on the pier.  I enjoyed sitting on the beach relaxing in the sand.  

We were starving when we left so we swung through McDonald's.  (Not our favorite HA).  From there we had to go to Meijer to pick up a few things.  On the way back to the campground we stropped at this ice cream shop we had seen every day as we drove out to do things except . ... it wasn't an ice cream shop !!  It was a little store!  Geesh!  It did have things like ice cream sandwiches and Popsicles but not really ice cream. 

Back at the campground we enjoyed our last campfire and just hanging out at night. 

Day 4 - Our last morning we slept in, ate a simple breakfast of muffins and fruit and then started loading up.  Just like set up, this was the fastest we ever tore down.  Checkout is at 1:00 and normally we are still wrapping up at 1:30 (which is fine as long as they see you loading up).  Well, we were pulling out of the campground at 12:30!  We stopped for lunch and then headed for home. 

It was really a great vacation/get away.  A lot of times we are all ready to head for home by day 4 but this time, amazingly, we all said, "Man, I wish we had a few more days!".  

We are hoping to fit in one more camping trip in September.  It's penciled in on the calendar so hopefully it will all work out!