The camping thing... was FUN.

Yeah, I know, several of you witnessed 'the camping trip from Hell', the one that I came back from and GAVE AWAY MY CAMPING GEAR. Oh, the horror. The tent, the cooking gear, everything but the sleeping bags.

Well, a funny thing happens when you have kids. You do things to make them happy. Sometimes you do things you absolutely swore you would never, ever do again. Like camping.

Last October, we ventured forth with new gear, old gear and the idea that the weekend would be lots of fun. It wasn't exactly that: 95 degree temps, no shade to be found and two porta potties for about 150 people isn't exactly the way to get me to commit to camping again. However, there was enough fun between the sunburn and the heat headache that I agreed to another try. Even looked forward to it, imagine that!

This time, the trip had enough interest for me. Fort Wilderness. It's Disney-what's not to like? Toilets, running water and showers-saves my sanitation gene from the heebie jeebies, check. A pool? Now we're talking-haven't been in one for ages! Add my three menfolk and I'm in. Better yet, add the scouts and other adults and the kids are happy and Ed and I won't go crazy.

So, we didn't get too early a start. I didn't get my butt motivated because I had no key to the car loaded up. Additionally, Gameboy needed his meds, but they weren't going to arrive at Target until 2. Ed got out of work late, too. Once he got home, we load up and head out for the ever important cash-and I send him and Gameboy over to WDW. Chef Jr and I end up hanging around Target for a bit while the meds were culled from the pharmacy's delivery.

Its a good thing we were delayed. Ed calls me as I'm about to pull out of the parking lot and informs me we forgot the sleeping bags. This made me happy that we decided to take both vehicles over! I stop at the house and grab them. The delays meant Ed and Gameboy got the tent and air mattresses prepped. Chef Jr and I arrived just after sunset with the sleeping bags, food and clothing. Another parent had finished their dinner of beef stew and had plenty left over, so they bequeathed it to us. It was good, basic, filling and saved us from eating grilled cheese sandwiches and soup. Ed said it reminded it of his mom's. We get the kids bedded down fairly easily and soon after, we pack it in. I worried about the air mattress and not getting sleep-but I did sleep fairly well.

Saturday morning dawns with the perfect weather that was promised in the forecast. Younger son's den has committed to planning, preparing and cleaning up a meal cooked outdoors. We had a breakfast that was heavy on the proteins. :) The cleanup, well, most of the parents got roped into that.

Then, various activities ensued-the kids went fishing and saw some gators. During family time, we ventured over to the trading post and swam. We came back and vegged for a bit-I even found time to catch a nap. The evening's activities included a cookout, a flag retirement ceremony (IMO, there were far too many flags being retired at one time-we each put in about 7 or 8 stripes-and this was about 25 people participating) and s'mores were cooked around the campfire.

Fort Wilderness is large, very large. As such, they rent out golf carts for campers to use. A few people in our pack got them. One of the boys wanted to see the electrical water pageant, as did Chef Jr. Keys were tossed to me-ended up going with another leader and three boys. It was pretty neat, but I gave the driving duties to her-I've never driven a golf cart! Ed was a bit miffed that I went off without him, but when I called him to see if he wanted to go, he was involved in an activity.

Back to bed-yes, I slept for another night on an air matress without the leg screaming in agony. Morning came far too early for my liking, though. It was time to head out. I'm still trying to figure out why it seems like we don't have enough stuff when we get to the campsite, but it seems like we have way too much crap when we're trying to load it up in the cars.

We don't have any scout camping trips on tap, but it appears our family is unanimous in wanting another trip. It's almost getting too warm around here to go-guess we better figure that out soon.


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