Our FAVORITE vacation - CAMPING!

Posted by  | Tuesday, March 4, 2008  at 11:12 AM  
Jacob and I love to travel and did quite a bit before Will was born. As I looked back over the past (almost) two years of Will's life, I realized that we have been so blessed to take many vacations. Most trips are short - usually long weekends - but they have all been so wonderful for our family. Here are the places we've gone as a family, with highlights of things we've done:

December 2006 - Slovakia for about a week to visit family; Will was 6 months old.

April 2007 - Atlantic Beach for 3 days; Will was 9 months old; visited NC aquarium

May 2007 - Will's first camping trip at 10 months old! Long weekend at Mortimer in the NC mountains.

August 2007 - Camping trip (14 months) for the weekend at Stone Mtn. State Park (NC - not GA).

September 2007 - Atlanta, GA (15 months) for 4 days to visit the Georgia Aquarium and other sites.

November 2007 - Austin, TX (17 months) to visit friends and attend a wedding!

In addition to these "planned" family vacations - we've spent a lot of time with family on the Outer Banks during the summer and at Christmas. Weekend trips to see Grandma and Grandpa an hour away happen at least every other month. Will is a very good traveler in the car and very adept at sleeping in his pack n' play! He has flown twice now (once overseas) but the majority of our travel is by car - or minivan rather.

Our FAVORITE vacation is camping. You can't beat camping for a cheap way to vacation. I'm going to post some pictures to give you an idea of the kind of camping we do. "Car camping" as I like to call it, is not exactly roughing it. We mostly camp at family or group campgrounds at state parks, like Stone Mountain or Hanging Rock in North Carolina. Almost all have full shower houses. The cost for the site is minimal (usually around $10-$15 a night)- you can check this website for info on all of the North Carolina State Parks. Hammocks Beach State Park is down on the coast and although we've never camped there, it's a great park to visit! I'm sure there are similar sites for parks in other states as well.

Will's First Trip at 9 months to Mortimer (not a state park, part of Pisgah National Forest)

*This album includes pics of our little collision with the mountain on the way home. We met a truck on the curve of a muddy mountain road and side swiped the rock face on the passenger side of the van. Thankfully, Will rides on the driver side! I didn't know how to edit the album without permanently deleting, so they remain. It happened just outside of the campground - so we were able to turn around and regroup at our campsite. Will rode home with his Aunt and Uncle while Jacob and I drove the windowless van for almost four hours. Everyone was fine - the van did need some repairs. :)

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Camping at Stone Mountain In August

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Hopefully, these albums will you give you a good idea of how we camp and the kinds of things we do while camping! Lots of hiking, playing in the water, games and eating! Some things to point out from the pictures that I think make our trips easy:

1. Having a tent large enough for us and the pack n' play! Our tent easily holds an air mattress for us and pack n' play for Will. (I told you we don't rough it!)

2. The ergo or other backpack for hikes! Will is definitely too young to go on long hikes without these. He loves riding in them!

3. Having a swimming area or waterfall to cool off! This is a MUST for summer camping in the South.

4. You can see from the second set of pictures that yes - we used cloth diapers on our camping trip. It was fairly painless, although I'm not sure I'd do it if we were gone for longer than a weekend.

5. Our child is a light sleeper, so we always bring his sound machine with us. This helps drown out the noises the adults make after the kids go to sleep. The first time Will went camping - it rained HARD and was a great natural sound machine!

6. Camping with family and friends makes the trip TONS more fun for us. We plan meals together and can split the costs of campsites. It's also nice to have extra adults around to play with the kids!

Feel free to ask questions or share your camping ideas and tips! Camping has become second nature to us and we have boxes of our supplies packed and ready to throw in the car. I don't even have to think about what to pack anymore! We look forward to camping again this summer and fall once our baby girl comes along any day now!

1 comment:

Rachael Davis said...

I am SO GLAD you posted this! My husband and I loved to camp pre-baby, but have been too hesitant to try it since she joined our family. JUST YESTERDAY, we were contemplating giving it a shot. The sound machine idea is crucial. Thanks for giving us the little push we needed!

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