I had the best weekend ever camping with my friend Olivia. They had so much fun stuff to do. I love KOA camping.He said
It's official. We have joined the sordid world of glampers. I mean the fact that we have a trailer with slide-out dinette, an awning that is push button automated, and… on board air conditioning should have been enough clues. But this weekend we camped at a KOA in Port Huron that had amenities galore—such as pizza you could order and have delivered to your site—and despite our love of being in nature and away from such over-the-top comforts, we actually enjoyed it!
As we drove home Danielle said to me, "You know I'd thought I'd miss Wolfie a little more, but I am really happy with Wolfie Too." And the thing is I feel exactly the same. I think we both feel a little guilty about not feeling more loss, but the truth is I love that I pulled into the campsite and precisely seventeen minutes after putting the truck in park, we had everything setup! And that we have a lot more space and comforts to boot. While Wolfie gave us an amazing five camping seasons, she goes on to another family who we know will create similar memories like ours!
There was all sorts of hesitation for us going into this weekend. I mean we were excited about going camping with friends, and that Emelia got to spend the weekend with one of her besties from gymnastics and there would be no shortage of stuff to do. But, a lot of the camping that happens at KOA campgrounds is the sort of thing we used to openly mock… like sitting outside the trailer and watching a wide screen TV. And yet, there we were this weekend doing those sorts of things, and enjoying it.
Part of my hesitation about this weekend's trip was memories of our camping jaunt to Niagara Falls the first summer we had Wolfie to a Jellystone park where the trailers were jammed in like sardines and the focus was less about camping and more about floffing your kids off in activities like ride Mom or Dad's scooter to get an ice cream cone cause one hundred feet was too hard to walk. It wasn't until we were checking in Friday night that Danielle pointed out that Jellystone was not a KOA campground. Mind you there is a lot of ridiculousness at KOA's like everyone and their dog having a golf cart to get around the campground rather than walking, but overall we had a great weekend. And we may have even sat out by a firepit at someone's trailer watching a Bluejays baseball game on a large screen television!
But what really sold us on the whole experience was seeing Emelia happy as happy can be having a friend there to play with and seemingly endless opportunity for things to do all weekend long. She was like Yellow Dog in the Chevy Chase movie Funny Farm – we would see her in passing along the horizon line. Friday night Emelia slept over at Olivia's trailer, and then Saturday night they slept in ours. It was so great seeing her so happy and having such freedom – all the things we want her to associate with camping. And, it certainly didn't hurt to have friends to sit around a fire pit with in the evenings to boot.
Now, make no mistake this doesn't mean we will move away from Provincial Park camping as that is just something I can't ever see us tiring of – especially places as beautiful as Bon Echo and Sandbanks. But seeing our daughter delighted with so much to do and a friend to do that stuff with makes us realize that we will be able to navigate through the years when camping might not be as cool or attention holding as it once was. And that is probably the most important thing to me as camping isn't so much the places you do it—its the people you go with and the memories you create outdoors that become part of who you are. This weekend, as absurd as it may have seemed going into it, crossed off everything I needed it to and then some. So if it means we've become glampers, I guess I'm okay with that if it includes a daughter grinning ear to ear asking when we can camp there again, before we've even left.
What another amazing camping trip!!! A few months ago when we discussed the idea of going camping with our friends the Sherwoods we went with the thought that we would do this one weekend as a way to please our 10 year old. We drag her all over the province to the things we love like nature camping and music festivals. She adores all the same things we do but this camping with one of her best friends and with all the kid-friendly amenities. John and I knew that we would have a great time because we get along great with Justin and Stephanie but we figured we would be secretly tolerating everything else about it. We are fundamentally nature campers, have moved passed really roughing it anymore but still nature campers at heart.
Well we arrived and it was as much bedlam as we had expected but as the weekend went along we thought – you know what for a change of pace this is pretty fun. Emelia had an absolute blast – John and I got to relax and hang out with adults and we even took in a bit of the conveniences that this camping resort had to offer. So as much as I never thought I would say this we will go back and I think our next trip will be a bit longer.
Friday we did our usual pack up the trailer with the intentions to get out and on the road as soon as the last little one left. We got hung up a bit because John was taking care of a last minute addition to the trailer. A bike rack that would take care of getting at least 2 of the bikes on a bike rack and out of the trailer. What this involved was a trip to our friends to buy part of the rack and then to the RV store to get the mounting brackets. John was working on the install right until he had to get Emelia from camp and then back as the last little one was leaving.
This left a bit more packing to the trailer and hooking things up. We got on the road a bit later than we wanted but once we hit the border there was no lines at all and we made our way over to Michigan in record time. Once we unloaded the trailer, caught up with our friends we then popped out to Meijer and stocked up on some supplies (AKA cheap American booze). By 9:00 we were back on site with drinks in hand and enjoying the campfire and the baseball game. Yes, baseball game – we were really roughing it as you can tell. I have to admit there was some internal giggling at this point – as we sat there in our friends neighbours site watching a TV on the flat screen – thinking we are not camping this is full on glamping. But as we saw how much fun Emelia and Olivia were having and the fun the kids had all around us we thought we could do this once in a while. This isn't the way the last public campground was – yes the trailers are really close to each other compared to what we are used to but we were there not to take in nature but to take in the company of our friends and some new ones – and honestly that is what the summer is all about.
The first night Emelia and Olivia quickly plotted out sleep overs in each other's trailers – first night they were in the Sherwood's trailer and the second night ours. The kids were up way beyond their bedtime, tummies filled with s'mores but their heads and hearts were full of amazing childhood memories. They may have stayed up well past their normal bed times but then again so did John and I.
Now does this mean we have converted to glampers? No – but we are certainly more open minded about the idea of doing this once in a while. And I am not going to lie it was pretty sweet to be able to soak in the pool once the sun came out and the heat came baking down. We are already talking about next year and perhaps seeing if we can squeeze one more trip this year over state side with our friends. But if not next year we will be back and for sure we will make it a longer trip.
Now we shift gears to our next trip which is only a few weeks away. In just a few weeks we will be back on Wolfe Island and then our annual trip to our favourite Provincial park of Bon Echo with some other amazing camping friends. We cannot wait!