Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s Off to Camp YOU Go!

A couple weekends ago, The Brother and Uncle B took Little E on her first overnight, sleep-in-a-tent, pee-in-an-outhouse camping trip:

home away from home!

Little E rocked the experience. They hiked…

walking in a (june) wonderland

Set fires:

looks like a very scenic spot!

And made s’mores!

everyone's favourite camping dessert!

Aunti does not camp.

I did give it the old college try about seven or eight summers ago, now. We went up to Haliburton Forest for what was supposed to be a four night stay. I lasted two nights then begged to come home before we called it a success! and returned home. It’s just not my cup of tea to sleep on the ground, listening to bugs and bears and creatures of the night. I do enjoy a day hike where you can catch some sun, feel a light breeze on your face, admire flowers and ripples on lake water…then come home like civilized people do, to tv, a shower, and air conditioning. Now, that’s a nice day!

I have super-fond memories of our family vacations, when we were little. Quite often, we went and stayed at my grandparents’ trailer (later cottage) in Goderich.

Some years, we rented a cottage, most often on the shores of Lake Huron. My favourite cottage, ever, was in Point Clark, the summer I was five:

i still remember it was an A-frame cottage...

...and i adored these open stairs; i used to do "gymnastics" on them, hanging by my arms or legs, off the back of them!

Other cottage stays, over the years,  included rentals in Port Elgin, Barry’s Bay, Tobermory – good times, each of them!

The summer I was twelve, we went out East on a road trip for a couple of weeks:

as you can see, we were in prince edward island, here; this trip was the first time i ever took my own snapshots and made my own photo album

Then the summer I was fourteen, we flew out West:

in british columbia, somewhere (?) - i shoulda made detailed notes!

[Each of these trips deserves more in-depth coverage; I see “Way Back Playback” blog posts dedicated to those trips, at a future date!].

The summers when we didn’t have “anything major” going on, we’d do day trips: to Toronto (Wonderland, the Zoo, a Blue Jays game), Niagara (Marineland), Goderich (the beach), Grand Bend (the beach)…all very fun (and you can come home at the end of the day!).

day trip to dundern castle, hamilton, the summer i was twelve

Anyway, I explain all this just to show that camping was not a part of our summer vacations. And I honestly don’t feel like we were deprived…it just wasn’t my parents’ *thing* to camp. Oh, and I never did overnight summer camp, either (or even day camps). As a reserved and rather shy little girl, the thought of staying for a week or two in a cabin with tons of other kids did not appeal to me, at all!

So, how’s this for a wild ‘n” crazy thought: a multi-generation, overnight camping trip (nudge, nudge, family members)…if Little E can have an enjoyable New Experience, I bet there’s hope for Aunti!

What types of family vacations do you remember, from childhood? I have the most fond memories of Goderich.

the summer i was six, up at the lighthouse, in goderich

I learned to blow a bubble in Goderich! I totally remember I was chewing grape Bubble Yum gum and we were sitting out on the pier, in the Goderich harbour.

How about you? Do you enjoy camping? B is a hardcore pro. Self-supported hiking trips are his thing. Right now, he is eight days into a six week hike of the almost-500 mile Colorado Trail. Thus far, he’s already experienced water shortages, hot temps, and snow eight feet deep. Yikes!

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  • Jayme @ Runner-n-Spice  On July 8, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    Oh boy – I am SO with you. Don’t mind the outdoors per se, but….sleeping with all the creepy crawlies? No thank you 🙂

  • Johanna B  On July 8, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    I’m a backpacker from way back. Enough gain in elevation during a hike and I can sleep anywhere. Would love to spend some time exploring the Canadian rockies someday but maybe I’m getting too old. Loved summer camps as a kid. Went to every one I could find – Baptist, Presbyterian, YWCA, Kiwanis. You name it – I went.

    • 1970kikiproject  On July 8, 2011 at 6:10 pm

      great reply, johanna! i am so envious of people who can fall asleep at the drop of a hat…you’re never to old to pursue a dream – put the rockies on your bucket list, ok! wow – you’d have been quite the summer camp expert by the end of august!!

  • Gina Unger  On July 8, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Oh wow! Don’t even get me started here! I LOVE camping! Anything outdoorsy in the summer is for me! The more rugged, the better adventures will happen! I love the cottage and day trips too. But getting dirty is so much fun and then getting clean feels so awesome afterwards! Good for Little E and the guys taking her camping. Awesome! BTW, who are you piggy-backing in the second last photo? Thanks for the trips down memory lane once again. 🙂

    • 1970kikiproject  On July 8, 2011 at 10:58 am

      Haha, I was thinking of you and your family as I wrote this, g! You are the camping queen! I know your family has had so many great camping times and now your children are enjoying tenting/time at the cabin, too!
      That is chris in that photo! 🙂

  • Holly  On July 8, 2011 at 9:08 am

    We used to camp every summer when I was younger. We’d either stay in tents or my parents would rent some sort of camper. I remember hating it as a child, but then when I was in college and went camping with friends I had a ton of fun. Maybe it was the beer? I have no idea, but it probably helped 🙂

    Jason is not a camper — he’d prefer to stay in a hotel which is fine by me!

    The family vacations I remember — going to see Mount Rushmore, going to Washington DC, going to California (for a wedding) and then driving up the coast. It was so much fun!

    • 1970kikiproject  On July 8, 2011 at 9:15 am

      Haha, yes, beer cannot hurt, I bet!
      California and mt rushmore – would love to visit both!
      Great that you’ve had such a variety of vacation experiences over the years, holly! Thanks for sharing!

  • Lisa  On July 8, 2011 at 8:22 am

    Oh my gosh…we really are twins!

    I say that line ALL THE TIME: I don’t camp.

    I slept in the yard once with friends…that was it. I also slept in a cabin (but it had running water, etc) with my relatives a few times.

    My mom and aunt shared lake property (given to them by their parents) when I was a kid. It had a trailer on the property…but no one slept there (it was only 15 min from our house). Interestingly, my family didn’t use the property all that much, except when the relatives spent three weeks in town in the summer (from cali). So I always considered that “vacation” even though I slept at home.

    Our fam vacays were to places like Myrtle Beach…always. I guess we went to Maine once and my dad got this big idea to drive around PA one time (we were bored silly and the weather was awful).

    We went to Marine Land in Canada once, but I only remember riding the elephant and being scared stiff. I think I was 4.

    Lots of great memories…so fun to see pics of you and the trips from the past! It motivates me to take my camera later today when I take the kids to play at the lake…have to capture the memories for them to cherish later—just like Little E will have of her camping trip!

    • 1970kikiproject  On July 8, 2011 at 8:38 am

      great comments, lisa! thanks for sharing! i HAVE TO LAUGH at your dad driving you around PA. remember our trip out east? my dad drove us around the cabot trail and i’ve never been so bored in my life! gorgeous scenery is completely lost on an 11 year old! myrtle beach would be a great vacation spot! yes! do take photos – years from now, they’ll be treasured by the kids.

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