Monday, June 25, 2012

Lessons From The Forest


It finally arrived!  June 17th, aka: Vacation Commencement. (delicious shudder, chills on the arms...)  I know, I know--be still thy walloping heart!  The whirlwind of packing; purchasing stacks of batteries, vats of insect repellent, thousands of marshmallows.  The roof rack was jammed like a big dude in a speedo, the car rivaled a tin of sardines--my husband is a packing GURU.  Three monkeys buckled in the back seat--absolutely vibrating with excitement.  The dog (having been drugged for the trip) drooling like an irrigation faucet.  Anticipation, expectations, palpable thrill!

We will be one with Mother Earth, bond with the forest, meld minds with deer and fish and....well, maybe not the toads.

Things to Remember:

1. You must eat peppered bacon three meals a day. Rock. On. (What? My jeans are tight? What else makes up for the 'squitos and bugs and mud?) Seriously, when was the last time you ate a sandwich of grilled french bread, fresh tomato, smoked hot pepper cheese, and piles of bacon....Y.U.M.

2. I live in sundresses for the summer months, even camping.  As these are, only...thing I'm wearing, having a lightening bug explore your cleavage resulting in squealing and unforeseen nudity will indeed get you on the "drive by often" list of the bikers camping a few spots down.

3. Sex in a tent involves explanations the next day. ("honey, there was a spider....I screamed...daddy took care of it....")  Thank goodness for separate tents.

4. Bug spray can be considered perfume. (look for my new line, "Chemicalicious.")

5. Rum is not optional.  Ever.  

6. If no one sees you pull the daddy long legs out of the didn't happen.

7.  When you use ALL of your swear words on the dog at half past one in the morning as she is attempting to get into your sleeping bag, your children will repeat them in the morning and tell daddy to ground you.

8. ELEVEN loads of laundry after we got home.  Is there some kind of medal my kids could compete for in multiple clothing changes?  S'more attacks, mud wrestling, full-contact fishing--they can kill four pairs of socks/shorts in less than 8 hours each.

9.  A week unplugged....leaves you with 63 e-mails.  Yeesh.

Every year when these escapades are conceptualized we must suffer from temporary amnesia.  Is it the pure oxygen from chemical-free greenery that spazes my brain?  Are the deer telepathically glamoring me?  What exactly is in that water?  Then there was the "herb bread" we picked up at the roadside farm stand.....

I'm plotting out next summer already. Crazy.....utterly crazy.


Summer said...

I loved this. It made me want to go camping.

Anonymous said...

#2 and #3 both had me busting out laughing! :o) At least you know how to keep the boredom from settling in.

And I can completely relate to #8 and #9, except tack on an extra week to our laundry load and missed emails. Eeek. I thought our well was going to run dry with how many loads of laundry we did in a day!

I'm glad ya'll had a good time though! I take it this is an annual visit to the same place? I'd love a tradition like that for our family.

Shelly said...

This is as delicious as one of those peppered bacon sandwiches. Sidesplitting hilarious, too. I have a tent story which I could not put out on the internet, but rest assured, I was nodding in understanding at yours.

terlee said...

This brought back so many memories: four kids piled in the car every August, still fresh, clean, full of excitement, though the thin veneer of civilization seemed to fade with every mile.

Two weeks later, the smell of woodsmoke, burnt marshmallows, insect repellant, and disappontment the advenure was over for another year, permeated the car.

Ah, the good times.

P.S. About #3. Are you saying there weren't any bugs in your tent? Ooooh. I'm calling my sister right this minute...

Robbie Grey said...

Ah, yes, camping. I'm thinking I'm going to want to be right at the precipice of tree-line, if not on the tundra itself. The stars and cooler temperatures might make it interesting.

Where's my framepack?

Anonymous said...


Chantel said...

Summer--thank you, and you should!

Sarah Kate--no boredom allowed here! lol Yes, we camp every year and the shennanigans get more wild with each season!

Shelly--kindred souls, dear, those tents can get you into all kinds of trouble! ;)

Terlee--lol! Um, those pesky bugs... (and you're so right about that smell of disappointment--even the dog seemed sad)

Robbie--pack it up, the wilds and stars await thee!

BamaTrav--it was. And then some.

Wow, that was awkward said...

Holy cow, do I ever want to camp with you! Your hub is a lucky man!!

Anonymous said...

Isn't it damn tempting to delete those 63?
2&3 took the stress & bitching(not mine, btw) out of my workday.

Truly, you've just relaxed me...& made me laugh like hell.~Mary

PS I don't camp, but once at Yosemite, I looked out the window of my hotel room & waved to the campers. I try to do my part.

Anthony said...

Only 63 emails? I get more than that per day in SPAM emails :)...great blog post as always.

Pigasus said...

11 loads of laundry!?

My dad said bring one pair of everything, raingear, long johns and a coat or sweater. What your wearing is not drying, what is drying is what you will wear the next day!

On another note, the farmers drove north to see another farm this weekend and camped out- what did we learn? Wrap the bacon around the hotdog before roasting. Oh, and DO NOT pack the water jug on top, as upon arrival we discovered that sleeping bags and boots were soaked. And it was raining to boot.

8 beers later, who needed the sleeping bag any who?

See Kate run. said...

bahaha! Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. But the results you described are totally the ones you're going for. "Daddy took care of it: has me giggling.

Shea Goff said...

Welcome home, Chantel. What a lovely vacation!

Freckled Philologist said...

Glad you had so much fun!!! Maybe more your kind of fun than mine. . . hahaha
I was hoping you didn't think I blog abandoned you. Not me, not ever. I'm still hoping for your someday trip to Spain.
Here it's been a whirl of kids and friends of kids in our little townhouse. Multiple commutes to Madrid, because what else do you do when you live in a remote town and the airport is four hours away? The next time, I swear we have to time it with the Rastro. Wedding in the south and much more that I hope to put up in photos soon. Glad to rejoin, glad you "detalladamente" describe all those things that always make me groan, smile and laugh out loud.
Love you from Astorga.

Out on the prairie said...

Sporadic camping hass a charm.i try to get out for a bit, but last summer spent most of my time in tent or cabin.

Mary said...

Sounds like you had a great time. I stopped going camping because I just can't stand the bugs. I see you had a few bug adventures of your

Chantel said...

Brett--lol, it's an adventure, lemme tell ya!

Mary--seriously, it was more exhausting to go through the e-mail than to unpack! (and I appreciated that wave....)

Anthony--yikes, dude--hike up your filters! (I probably get tons of spam...but I rarely check it. Is this wrong?)


Chantel said...

lol Whatever key I just hit did something odd...

Austin--I'm taking your father's thoughts into consideration. And great minds think alike. ;)

Kate--oh, did he ever. (wicked grin)

Shea--thank you darling!

Mary--so glad you're back! Missed you, but am thrilled that life has been overflowing and beautiful. xo

Prairie--an entire summer? That would be a dream!

Mary--oh yes, those pesky bugs, good thing Jason was there. *ahem* (a whole new meaning to "ants in your pants"....ha, I slay me!)

Brian Miller said...

daddy long legs in the omelet...ewww...haha...nice...and if you go to the lake there is no reason to explain anything, just saying...smiles....

Mel Heth said...

Awe I'm so jealous! I haven't been camping in years, but grew up doing it and adore the outdoors (darn that high maintenance Mr. W...).

The first thing I thought when I read this post was, "Man she is a master with the metaphors." Lovely writing as usual.

Anonymous said...

Chantel: this escapade was sooo funny and exhilirating!
You guys bring to meaning to- and a good time was had by all.

Thank you for sharing.

Christine Macdonald said...

Hard pressed to pick a fave.

Adding you to my blog roll, as I don't want to miss a post!


Carrie Lynne said...

I'll take my eggs hard boiled please.

Camille Griffiths said...

Love this! My husband and I have gone camping every year since we got married, actually I think it's been every year since we met! :)

Life Unordinary said...

hope you went someplace fun! we are at 109 degrees here in atlanta, not a fun summer at all.

Chantel said...

Brian--yeah, I'm thinking camping a 'la kids-at-grampa's next year.

Mel--lol, with a 13 year-old in the house, you metaphor your ass off!

Shauna--it was indeed--thank you!

Christine--thank you, what a compliment!

Carrie--yes, they're probably safer that way! lol

Camille--sweet! Camping souls keep mother nature happy. :)

Gayatri--sorry love, I know the heat is cooking us all. Thankfully beneath the trees is always cooler--run away to the forest for a weekend!