Thursday, May 24, 2012


Lucy and Anna roughing it under canvas at our yearly camping trip. I say 'our' yearly trip, but this was the first time I'd bitten the bullet and decided to stay the night. Usually I hang out at the river for the afternoon then beat a hasty retreat as the sun begins to fade, back to the comfort of my own bed and exclusive use of the remote control.

I don't really know why this year was different. LK managed to score a ridiculously cheap tent at Costco, we had an inflatable mattress, and as you can see from the image above - a Pottery Barn duvet cover hardly screams pioneer woman does it?

Camping divas with a serious case of mattress-head

I was actually quite excited about sleeping under the stars. For one night and one night only. The real novelty of living in California is being able to sleep with nothing but mesh between you and the night sky. Not quite the sluicing down rain in a muddy cow-pat strewn field that I remember from camping with the Girl Guides.

LK told me it'd be the best nights sleep of my life, and I have to admit, as the girls and I snuggled down, cosy in our bed, and I watched their breathing slow and eyes close, I was having a great time.

It's amazing how noisy the wilderness can be though. Crickets and ciccadas chirped and whirred. Things rustled. Girls farted. Plus there was this queer periodic booming sound which might have been a Californian bittern, a truly giant frog, or most likely some dodgy missile testing from the Air Force Base up the road.

Then the temperature dropped. The sky exploded with stars. There seemed to be more stars than night sky. I buried myself in Lucy's monkey pyjamas trying to extract some heat as she slept blissfully. I resorted to stealing Anna's woolly hat that I'd made for our recent trip to England. Then I pulled on a goose-down gilet.

Anna sporting her handmade hat - before I stretched it over my giant melon.
The air mattress began to sag, every movement created a ripple effect like the cheesiest of 70s water beds. Somewhere across the campsite another child cried out for it's Mum. The river gurgled endlessly down the hill and I tried not to think about needing the loo.

LK finally climbed in the tent, sending shockwaves through the deflating air mattress. It got colder. Lucy kicked off her blankets as she does every night, except now they were mine too and I was freezing. I pulled them up to my face, my beanie down to my nose. The cold air night air kissing my face, babies sleeping next to me. It was - finally - a good night's sleep.


MsCaroline said...

When my boys were younger and we lived in Arizona, we camped (and froze) frequently. The first time we went, gale-force winds blew incessantly and Son#1 (who had recently learned to read and was able to clearly decipher all the warnings about keeping your food packed up to prevent bear attacks) asked approximately every 3 minutes, all. night. long., "Is that a bear?" Of such things are memories made.

Laura said...

I grew up beach camping in So Cal, and when you're a kid, it's the BEST thing ever! When you're the mommy, though, it's a lot of work. Still, I plan to start camping when my girls are a little older (they're 2 1/2 now). I give you a lot of credit for giving it a shot! LOVE the pictures-- your girls are so precious!

Anonymous said...

I was remembering today (don't ask why) that my mum had taught us all how to lasso, how to make a blanket bed-roll, and how to ride a horse, just in case any of us escaped from our Kentish upbringing back to the wilds of the mid-west of America. Today it was the lassoing that came in handy, but the rest is all in there, buried deep. Your girls will treasure their memories of camping trips, as will you! S xx

Seaweed and Raine said...

I haven't braved camping since our eldest was about 18 months old... I really do want to get back to it though (The boys have taken turns camping with daddy in the back yard).
Just with the warmth thing... air mattresses can be really cold... so either cover them with a woolen blanket before you put the sheets on, or invest in some therma-rests (or simmilar). It makes quite a difference.
Oh, and I love your doona cover. I take our doona camping too - sleeping bags are ok - but the other feels more luxurious some how - and who says camping has to be primitive? ;)
I'm sure you girls have tucked away some fab memories of their camping trip with you!

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