My family, along with a very large group of other families, has gone on an annual camping trip the weekend of Halloween since I was about six or seven years old (last year’s trip can be found here). This being said, my child has yet to own a Halloween costume in her short life.

So, while everyone else is showing their kid’s Halloween costumes (And they’re all ADOOOORABLE, by the way!), I shall write about camping-ish’*.

* Camping-Ish: Going on a trip that is CALLED a camping trip, but staying in the lodge on the campgrounds, because you’re too much of a wuss to tent-camp – not for fear of the outdoors, but for fear of your child waking up a daybreak because she’s used to having blacked out windows. This fear is doubled on the weekend of the time-change, because sleeping in a tent with said toddler would guarantee that you would not, in fact, get your deserved extra hour of sleep.

On our way to camping-ish, we had to stop at our favorite treat in the world, Wing Stop (which is sadly no longer in Birmingham, so we look for any excuse we can to stop there “on the way” to anywhere else.)

Our family’s pig-out portion: WingStop

Just so you know, in case you have a Wing Stop near you and should be appreciating these delicacies regularly since we can’t, not only do they have amazing wings, but their FRIES are what really put them over the top. They have sugar AND salt on them – and wow is it amazing. And their ranch dressing – again, perfection.

And Chris and I aren’t the only ones who think so:

Ali was a very happy Wing Stop customer.

(Wing Stop did not give me a single free Wing to say how great they are, but I wouldn’t mind it a bit if they did.)

We were camping at Maranatha Camp and Conference Center, on the lake in small-town Guntersville Alabama, where such high-brow shopping such as “Bubba II: Fine Gentlemen’s Clothiers” can be found.

(I especially love that it had the “II” on it, as if to say “We’re so fiiiine that we have TWO shops! Now hand me thar my spitoon!!”)

We got to the campground about 4pm, in time for a VERY late nap for a VERY excited, yet tired toddler. She ran into our lodge hotel room, all while screaming, “YAY!!! CAMPING!!!

My Mom laughed at us. “She has no idea what camping really is, does she?”

Why spoil the magic?

After she woke up, we headed out to see the fire that Chris had been building “for our enjoyment” (aka: He’s a raging pyromaniac). IMG_4839

I’m afraid that Chris might pass on his obsession to Ali:
Ali and Pop had a fireside chat (maybe he was trying to counteract Chris’ pyromania with his fire-safety talks that I got as a child):IMG_4789
And Pop showed her how to use her “camping surprise” from Daddy, a lantern: IMG_4793

Another girl on the camping trip gave Ali a glow-stick. This, of course, gave her the esteemed award of Favorite Person of the Weekend. Ali immediately dubbed her “The Girl in the Pink Shirt”, and insisted that was her name, despite our efforts to explain that her name was ACTUALLY Avery.

(In fact, this morning, Avery dared to wear a green shirt. But no worries – Ali quickly adjusted and referred to her as “The Pink Girl in the Green Shirt.”)

I taught Ali how to wave her glow stick around to make pretty lights in the sky:IMG_4824
Although for the most part, she enjoyed the fire, every time she would get cold or bored, she would whine, “I wanna go back CAMPING!”

“We ARE camping, baby!”

“No – I want to go back to our camping room!”

Yeah…she’s definitely an outdoorswoman.

After a long, late night by the fire despite her random outbursts of desire for the indoors, it was time for bed. Wanna see how much we like to sleep in? THIS is really “roughing it”:
IMG_4855Ahh…blacked out windows = sleeping until 9am = TOTALLY worth it.

Now I must say, without boring you all yet again with my medical woes, that I was rather zoned and quite a bit anti-social (sorry, fellow campers), due to discovering that apparently, my Prilosec (that I quit taking on Thursday) was covering up the fact that I have a stomach ulcer or something similarly painful. I had constant stomach pain from Friday night on through today that fluctuated from mild to don’t-talk-to-me-or-I-might-scream severe.

I did go to the doctor today when we got home and am on new medicine, but will need to go to a specialist if it continues. But thanks to my stomach pains combined with a very graceful camera-to-face crash which busted my lip and swelled my nose, I was a sight to behold.

I swear my body is dyslexic and thinks that I’m 82 instead of 28.

However, I did manage to clue in and have some fun:

On Saturday, Mom put us in charge of coming up with treasure hunt clues for one of the groups of kids. So we set off, looking for great clues.IMG_4863

Since our clues were for 4-6 year olds, we couldn’t use this, but were very puzzled by this plank, with “Romans 8:28″ carved on it:IMG_4864
To save you the trouble of looking it up, it is: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. “

I’m not quite sure what that has to do with walking the plank, but I guess the idea is that if someone makes you walk the plank – no worries! God will use it for good.

So, Ali and Chris put it to good use and walked the plank:

We finished our treasure hunt duties and headed to play some ball. Ali was shy about her mad skills:IMG_4886
But she finally let loose…IMG_4889
And beat everyone at horse.IMG_4891… or not.

Poor thing worked the whole time on being able to actually LET GO of the ball when attempting to throw it.

We furthered our camping experience by going on a canoe ride together:IMG_4893
(Luckily right before my busted lip and nose)

We didn’t know how Ali would like it, given our history with boats, but it turns out that, unsurprisingly, Ali prefers slow, quiet boats to fast, loud ones, and didn’t want to come off the lake, even when it began to rain on us.

This morning, after fooling her into having NO IDEA that she had a justifiable reason to wake up an hour earlier due to the time change, Ali helped Pop make breakfast, again showing her outdoorsy side by insisting on wearing a crown and being referred to as PRINCESS Ali:IMG_4915
…and then, it was time to head home. She sat, dazed, holding for dear life onto her sucker, all the way home.IMG_4919

Camping. It wears a toddler out.

14 thoughts on “The Only Blog Post This Weekend Without Halloween Costume Pictures.

  1. I still think that Ali needs to try the real thing…hint, hint, hint. If not, we do need to hang around the fire pit soon. Welcome home! We missed you today!

  2. That sounds like a really fun tradition! I loved tent camping as a kid, but as an adult it's not so great…especially for the very reason you mentioned…hardly any sleep when working with a toddler in a tent! I would love to try your kind of camping. :) Glad you guys had fun!

  3. One day when she is older you are going to have to take her real camping. Looks like everyone had a good time. I am sorry you are having so much stomach problems, I can relate I was miserable the whole week I was in Wisconsin with stomach pains. Mine turned out to be an allergy to wheat though. I have to say that my doctor recommended Pepcid complete over the counter medicine and it works great. I haven't had any side effects.
    Hope you find out what is wrong soon.

  4. I'm trying to decide what is my favorite part about this post:
    – the plank that says Romans 8:28
    -Ali's fabulous curls
    -the garbage bag over the window (exactly what I'd do)
    -that she wanted to go inside and go CAMPING.
    -finding fallen leaves

    Hmmm….Can't decide. Loved it. All of it!

  5. Sounds like you had a great time, other than the severe stomach pain & busted lip and nose! I definitely like your idea of camping!

  6. Looks like Ali had fun. Ali and Chris must have great balance to have negotiated that plank with nobody going in.
    Sorry about the stomach pains especially since you and medicine don't get along. Hope the new med works better.

  7. I like your version of camping. And the blacked out windows-hilarious! And Ali is my kind of gal-"lets go camping inside."

    So sorry about your stomach. You need to "get thyself to a stomach doctor" and get checked out!

  8. Now this is my kind of camping. Looks like fun. I had to laugh out loud about the girl in the pink shirt. My son called my mom the grandma with the pink shirt for a year when he was about 2.

  9. Guntersville is my neck of the woods. (:

    I found a gastro guy that I like if you ever need one. He might rank up there with your dentist if you know what I mean.

    We just got back from "camping" too. We stayed in a cabin while his parents stayed in a popup at a campsite. Best of both worlds almost. I brought dark colored bed sheets for my windows. It goes with me on every trip! Hope you feel better.

  10. thats my kind of camping!! Ali certainly makes a cute "camperish" girl! :)
    we, however, the same weekend, went TENT camping in the FREAKING RAIN. thats all i'll say on that subject. :(

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