Happy Campers!

I met The Accountant in 1996, and I think ever since the start of our relationship The Accountant has always been trying to convince me of the merits of camping. I’m just not a camping type of girl, my family didn’t go camping on our holidays and I like my creature comforts. The Accountant has many fond memories of camping with his family from weekends up at the coast fishing and four wheel driving to heavy duty camping for months as they travelled around Australia.

This weekend was a momentous occassion for our family. We bought a tent!

The Accountant’s reasoning for camping has been making more and more sense now that we have a family – particularly with two sons. We will be able to getaway more often for short breaks since we don’t have to pay hefty accomodation costs, very important to the Accountant. Most people I talk to who did camp as kids have many fond memories of the experience – unlike my memories – I think you just need to get into your camping groove. The J Bomb had picked up on the talk about tents and camping and has been super excited.

We decided to go camping last weekend, however because we have been so busy lately, we didn’t have time to buy a tent. Some would then reserve the weekend for buying the tent and postpone the trip. Nope. Not the Accountant. He has waited a long time for this event. We went into town, after The Baby had his sleep – The Baby is still sick, and not a particularly happy chappy. Bought a tent after going to two stores, then back to the first one. We decided to go all out, this was a long term investment after all! We got a three room tent with 100 denier fly, so it shouldn’t leak in the rain.

Went home, chucked clothes into bags and anything else we could think of, loaded the car up and headed to Caloundra! Setting up the tent went smoothly. The boys loved playing in the dirt while we were setting it up. They are starting to get to the stage where they want the same thing. There hasn’t been full fights yet, but The Baby certainly yells, cries, growls when J takes something off him. The point of contention was the little shovel with a pointy end. I don’t know why The Baby formed an attachment to it, poor J kept trying to substitute other things, because he was trying to dig, and the point was better. The baby refused to share though.

It was 5:00 by the time we were all set up, The J Bomb was keen to try out the pool, so Daddy and him had a quick swim, followed with a walk on Dicky’s Beach. After showers, we wandered across to a gourmet fish and chips store for a tasty meal of prawns, beer battered chips and fish. Mine was barramundi with a pesto and Japanese crumb. Totally delish.

Back home to our three rooms.

Not the greatest nights sleep, The Accountant had forgotten to pack the port-a-cot, so the baby was with us, and had a tendency for constant movement and wanted to cuddle up close. Of course he slept, well, like a baby. Mummy and Daddy not so much.

J Bomb and I woke up early the next morning, so we headed down and checked out the beach. Then we bought some muffins and juice from the bakery for brekky.

We had a lazy Sunday morning on the beach and in the swimming pool before packing up the tent. I had been worried about setting up the tent, and had not even considered the complexities of pulling it apart. I tell you, folding the fly was such a challenge! Our bag full of tent gear was considerably larger then when we arrived. No doubt we will perfect the process in time. While we were there folding it all up, while the boys played happily in the dirt. I looked at the Accountant and had a flashback of all the times I had played “Mummy’s and Daddy’s” as a girl. I had such a sense of contentment and awe that we weren’t just playing anymore. We were the Mummy and Daddy, and we I feel a profound sense of gratitude to God that we have been given these roles.

Lunch at the surf club at Kings Beach. The J Bomb had a play in the water spouts on the esplanade. Then onwards home with two tired happy little campers in the back.

So am I a happy camper after our debut family camping trip? Well, during the overnight trip, I did have many flashbacks of why I don’t like camping. Shared toilets/showers, (even if they were clean), ´╗┐noisy campsites, lack of privacy, guys spewing over walkways from the big night they had, lack of sleep, dirt… But when I looked at the happy smiles on my boys faces, (Accountant included) I think that the lack of creature comforts are a small sacrifice for the great opportunity to create family memories. So, my camping days have begun, and I’m actually looking forward to the next chance we will have for a getaway.

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