It rained. And it was ridiculously cold. But other than the weather, camping was great!
Eleanor was a fabulous little camper. When we first arrived at the site and got out of the car, I don't think she stopped "talking" to herself for the first 10 minutes, at least. She kept squawking and squeaking as she held onto my fingers and toddled up and down the driveway. By the end of the weekend, I think she'd gone up and down the drive at least 50 times. Sometimes with me or Keith, or often with my parents. It's a good thing she had various escorts, because one person would not have been up to that much toddling over the same 20 feet over and over again.
My Mom helpfully told me to forget any idea of a schedule, so we didn't even try to put Eleanor down for her normal bedtime, 8 o'clock, when it was still fully light outside. We just took turns holding her and eating our hot dogs and brats as we sat around the campfire. Finally, she fell asleep in my arms and I laid her down on the sleeping bags in the tent.
Going to bed late, however, did not necessarily translate into sleeping late. The next morning, she still woke up early (maybe about 6ish? I'm not good at telling time from the angle of the sun's rays). Her eyes flew open and she sat up, taking in her surroundings. You could just see her thinking, "Where am I and what is going on?!?" But she soon saw that her father and I, plus the dog, were all there with her, so she decided to go with the flow and started exploring the tent.
Saturday, she wore the camping outfit from Grandma and Grandpa Lubbers. It's an adorable little pink cargo pants and a cream-colored onesie that has a raccoon on the front and says "Little Explorer." It was very appropriate for Eleanor! She was into everything, and loving every minute of it.
Of course, once the weather turned cold on Saturday evening, she stayed bundled up, but the rest of us were freezing. Instead of hanging out around the fire for long, we called it an early night because our toes may have been toasty warm, but anything not directly experiencing the heat of the flames was frostbitten.
There was actually a frost warning out for Sunday morning, and it was really, really cold. We were fine during the night with the family bundled up in the sleeping bags, but it was really hard to get out of bed in the morning and put on cold clothes. We hurriedly ate, threw everything into the cars, and said our good-byes. I couldn't wait to get home and warm up. Also, I had been missing all the usual comforts. A bathroom that wasn't a short walk away .... a faucet with hot water for washing baby bottles, and with cold water to easily refill Beckett's water dish. And, of course, our bed.
I breathed a sigh of relief once we were in the car, warmed by the morning sunshine, and on our way. We weren't even out of the park, however, when the feelings of relief were tinged with sadness. Eleanor's first camping trip was over! I felt a little guilty for wishing the end of it away .... but did I mention the cold? And the rain?
So I was sad that the experience was over, but at least it was a good one and we are all looking forward to our next camping trip with her. I just hope the weather cooperates next time! And that she might consider napping once or twice throughout the weekend. I must admit, though, that the 3-hour nap she took on Sunday, back in her crib, was a great way to end the trip!