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From Palm Trees to Pine Trees

The weekend before I spent some luxury time amidst the palm tress at the incredible Beaches Resorts Turks and Caicos. With a shortened week of much laundry and playing catch up, I was whisked away again this past weekend – this time among pine trees. 

Bug bites, fire pit, sleeping bags – camping!

For Summer 2014 we purchased a permanent lot at a campground about 30 minutes from home. With the short drive from the city, the plan is to go to our home away from home, when time allows and mood strikes. 


I have to admit though, it’s been a lot of years since we went camping. And, I’m a little rusty. 

Years ago, before kids, we camped A LOT. We actually tented-it with no luxuries at all, and I mean really roughing it. My husband and I even loaded the SUV and camped all the way to Tofino in British Columbia and back. That was one incredible trip, by the way. 

Hardcore campers to the extreme, we even set up outdoor showers on trees using water bags that we left in the sun to heat. We made makeshift walls with tarps for some privacy, some being the key word. I can’t even begin to tell you the bug bites you get when showering in complete nature like that. Yikes!

Fast forward: when pregnant with Belle, my back started to hurt hurt. I didn’t have the time and energy to set up and take down a complete camp, and sleeping in a tent became too crowded and completely uncomfortable.

So, roughing it was downgraded a little and our camping experiences were aided with a 5th wheel travel trailer. 

Moving forward to the arrival of the twins – we got a new 5th Wheel yet it was solely used by hubby when away at work. The trailer was never home to use for actual camping, so we didn’t go for a number of years.

This year, it’s a different story. We have our trailer and we have our own land. Hello once again.


Yet, is camping like riding a bike?

Can you get back on and right into the swing of things after years of distance? No. At least I can’t.

Those first couple days were hard, I have to admit that I’ve become a little … urban.

I spent much time cleaning the 5th Wheel, gagging over each cobweb, flies in between screens and crumbs on the floor. I made that face over the camping smell of clothes and sheets.

What have I become?!

This is some of the not-so-good from the weekend:

The BBQ is broken, drive into town and buy a new one. After some use, the new one stops working. Wasn’t this a full propane tank? I thought we had pots and pans in here, we actually only have two small pots. I guess we can’t BBQ these expensive steaks {not like I know how to BBQ anyway} but I guess we’ll try and pot-fry them in the trailer. One at a time, in butter. No pan spray? This sucks. 

I have gotten very used to home and hotel life. At times, I felt like I lost the ability to compensate and problem solve, to find alternatives from my usual ways of doing things.

Always rushing from activity to appointment, downtime at the campsite was hard. I just couldn’t relax for any length of time, I needed to keep busy. I actually found the kids were like this too, and this fact makes me sad.

My goal for Summer 2014 is to get my camping mojo back, or at least to a comfortable level. I want to find that balance when living away from home, learn to relax and slow down my busy mind.

Because the good from camping was incredible – time with the kids, with no interruption. Taking walks, visiting with other campers, picking flowers, and that glorious fresh air. 


I’m armed with a to-buy list for next weekend. Propane tanks and more pots and pans {just in case}, along with a dozen other items. Would a plaid button up shirt help? No?


While things have changed and I’m no longer the ‘roughing-it’ type like a decade before, I can still camp. I know it. I WILL do this. I’m ready to learn a lot of somethings new and take back what once was mine. OK, a portion at least.

What’s your take on camping?



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  1. We love camper but we do it in comfort! We have a 38 park model RV with 3 slides and all the amenities! We are set up on a seasonal site and love it because you just lock and leave it and when you come back it is ready to go. I am sure you will get back into it once you get organized.

  2. We are going to visit my son and his family in July in Alberta and we are going camping Great way to spend time with the grandkids. I am very excited to get to see them.

    1. So true, yet setting up for the first time proved to be very expensive. We needed to buy a lot! But once we do, hopefully it’s just some groceries each time.

  3. We are looking forward to camping in our RV this summer, too. I need some of those little comforts (e.g. heat!) for this Alaskan environment.

  4. I love camping! I went all the time as a kid and am definitely an outdoorsy person. My husband, however, is NOT. He hates camping. I really want to take my kids now that they’re getting a little older (ages 4 and 2), but I think I’ll be on my own, haha.

  5. I am not a fan of camping. I used to go when I was younger, but it’s not my thing anymore. I’ll take the palm trees and relaxing on the beach please!! So glad my hubby is on the same page. 🙂

  6. I am not a big camper, but I want to be! I think I would be if I had a trailer like yours- it is so nice. I did not know you could purchase a camp site for long term use? Awesome! Whatever state you are in, it looks gorgeous.

  7. Holy WOW man, you guys really WERE hardcore campers! Kudos to you 🙂

    I have not really been camping before but I’ve begged several people to take me over the years. Hopefully this year it’ll finally get to happen!

    1. I know, I was like a whole different person! lol
      You need to try it, you never know – maybe you are a pro and you don’t know it!

  8. I’m not really a camping kind of girl unless it’s in a cabin. When I was younger my parents used to take us camping in a trailer but there was a nice rec room at the campground 🙂

    1. I spent a great deal of time before we left, trying to explain to my daughter why they didn’t need all their best clothes … sigh.

  9. My take on camping is that it is NOT for me! I love the outdoors but would never want to sleep in the wild!!

  10. I totally hear you, I think I want to go camping… but in reality maybe not so much. I find it hard to relax too, so used to being busy busy and checking social media and emails all the time. I am so glad you are up for the challenge, can’t wait to read how your next camping excursion turns out 😉

  11. I feel bad saying it because you’re a camper, but I can’t stand camping! I will never do it ever, ever, ever. I’m a hotel girl.

    1. Ha, no worries – I’m more hotel than camper too. Hoping to lessen the gap though I know I’ll always prefer the hotel.

  12. We love camping, I just wish we had more time to do it! We’ve been looking for a new camper, but we haven’t found one yet.

  13. I can’t wait to see your adventures. We are buying a trailer soon and plan to travel the country. It’s all pretty new to me.
    Have fun!

  14. I am a hard core city girl who happened to grow up in a lovely small town and spent her childhood out at “camp” ( a private family cottage on the lake); camping in an RV with my Grandparents who lived it up in luxury; and truly roughing it camping with friends in the middle of the bush with tents and no food except the fish we caught each day! I love all of it! Each type of camping holds a different charm for me. For the “downtime” I like to bring some good reading materials, and I also find I accomplish some of my best writing and art while I am in such a serene and self-reflective place. I collect “treasures” I find like leaves and twigs and make jewelery or use them in my drawings or collages . . . I find it really kickstarts my creativity and helps me re-engage in more meaningful ways. I can’t wait to share that with my children when they’re old enough (we’re just expecting our first this summer!)

    PS – a plaid button up shirt DEFINITELY helps! 🙂

  15. I absolutely love camping!!! We went camping for almost a month last summer and traveled through 8 different states. Texas was the hardest as we had no public bathrooms or showers. Thankfully we had our trailer and bottled water. We made our own shower hooking the hose up to a tree, it was a cold shower but felt great in the Texas heat.

  16. i don’t camp but have admiration for those who do! i would do it if someone else organized it 😉

  17. I can see the weather is the usual unaccomodating, cloudy, usual summer weather. Too bad but that is what camping reminds me of now.

  18. I grew up camping. The whole roughing it experience was something we did a lot. I miss it. We stopped camping when I was in high school.
    My husband and I have done a few camping trips together. 2 or 3 before getting married. We have gone camping a few times in the last 10 years. We have done the whole tent thing with 3 of 4 kids when they were babies. We have a very large tent which helps. The past number of years we have gone up to my inlaws trailer. It has a full kitchen, covered deck, and real beds. I’m not really sure if I’m ready to go back to tenting. We have tentative plans to go atleast once this summer, but we’ll see.

    Camping in Tofino is awesome!! I went there growing up and then we actually lived there for 7 yrs. wonderful place. I have heard it’s changed alot since we moved away almost 25 years ago.

  19. We camped as a family when I was growing up…tent, sleeping bag…but now that Sara is grown, I would love to go on a road trip with a few more luxuries.

  20. I love camping in a tent! The last time we went camping in a trailer- it tipped over because the owners didn’t set it up right. Needless to say, it kind of ruined it 🙂 Although cabins are great as well.

  21. We love going camping, and right now we rough it in a tent, hopefully some day we will get a camper.

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