As I mentioned earlier, we took Little F on his first camping trip this past weekend. He had a great time and we’re already planning our next trip.
We decided to go to Perry Lake, which is a little less than ninety minutes away from our house. Big E took that Friday off work so he could get the gear organized and the car packed; we were able to leave pretty much as soon as I got home from work that afternoon!
On our way we stopped in Lawrence and had dinner (and a couple of beers) at Free State Brewery. I went to college in Lawrence and I don’t remember Free State being as family friendly as it was that night. Perhaps it’s because I wasn’t there for the 6pm dinner rush in college.
After dinner we drove out to Perry Lake. We stayed at an Army Corps site instead of at the State Park. It was less crowded at this rec area and the sites were shadier than what was available at the State Park. After doing a drive-through we actually ended up camping in the RV campground instead of the tent only campground. And yes, we were camping in a tent.
Our decision was based on the following: The tent campsites were all located near the lake. As in you could zip open your tent and roll into the lake if you so desired. I had no such desire for Little F to be that close to the water. Especially at night. *shudder* Also, the tent sites had little in the way of trees to provide any sort of shade. It was supposed to get into the low 90’s so we definitely needed shade.
We got the car unpacked, the tent set up, the fire started. And Little F was too excited to sleep. Mom, on the other hand, was tired from a full week of work, having a beer with dinner, and being on Little F duty. I was sound asleep in the tent long before he was.
The next morning we woke with the sun, as you tend to do when you’re camping, so we ate breakfast, played around, and did some exploring.
Later that afternoon Little F and I went down to the lake and Big E and Lucy went fishing. Neither Little F nor Lucy were too sure about the big body of water and neither wanted to get in right away. So Little F and I played in the
sand small rocks at the water’s edge and I waded around the shallow part of the lake until I was able to talk him into going into the water. If I carried him out he was happy to splash around and kick his feet. When I dipped him and bounced him up and down he was very excited. When I did our “1-2-3 Toss” routine and pretended to throw him into the water he was ecstatic. We played until his teeth started chattering and then went back to the tent to dry off and warm up.
The second night we were there Little F went to sleep at his regular bedtime and Big E and I were able to hang out together by the fire. LucyDog was very relaxed and chill. She actually laid down at our feet, something she never does when we have a fire in the fire ring at our house. This was only the second time she’d been camping and I have to say she did a very good job.
We’re so excited this trip was a success. Camping and being outside is very important to both Big E and myself. I hope that we can introduce Little E to the outdoors in a positive way and give him a love for being out in nature too. I know some people would argue that car camping isn’t really being out in nature, and I agree to a certain extent. But with a little one and very few, if any, places to really get into the back country in this part of the world, we’ll take what we can get. And we’ll keep planning the next trip.