Our first night, in a word? Theworstevercampingexperience,shortofabearattack. I mean, it was awful. We arrived at Cape Henlopen State Park which is near Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. It was a lovely coastal town with an old fashioned boardwalk and carnival rides... All priced very reasonably!
I mean, at least that is what Google told us when we were still home thinking this was a good idea. Unfortunately we were unable to verify the grandiosity of these claims because when we arrived to set up camp, so did a torrential downpour.
We scrambled around like wild, setting up our tent with two complete strangers who came over to help us (which was the sweetest thing ever) but who also kept walking on the tent with wet/sandy feet (which was the worst because that meant we were sleeping IN wet sand all night.) Blast those kind and thoughtful idiots!
This was just the beginning, at some point during all the craziness, I did something to my wrist which caused me to lose the rotation function of my RIGHT (ie; useful) wrist. Let me tell you, this mama rotates her right wrist about forty three times every minute. Between cooking, dishes, wiping things and people, setting up the tent, unrolling sleeping bags, drying tent floors in a panic, braiding pigtails, what have you... My wrist needs its rotation function, got it!
So, while my wrist went on vacay... The kids did too. The sites were all sand, so once the rain stopped the kids mistakenly believed that we were at the beach and proceeded to ENJOY what was happening. You would think that would be a positive, but me and my floppy wrist had decided to hold a grudge about all the happenings and we had a hard time recovering. The kids being wet, then covered in sand, was not the best news... Especially since our tent was in the same exact condition.
Once we finally rigged a tarp shelter to eat under, the rain had stopped, the kids were soiled and the temperature was around ninety degrees. No. Joke. By the time I was in the tent setting up sleeping arrangements (with four excited, rambunctious kiddos) I pretty much lost it people. There was whisper yelling, there was my injured, desperate, captain-hook-like attempts at the unraveling of sleeping bags and laying out sheets so we didn't stick to the floor or each other. There was even (low point) the accusation that I "squeezed" Harper's eyeball.
I forbade them all from making any human contact for fear that we would all have a heatstroke. This did not deter London from draping her calves across my chest or spooning Tom... nor did it stop Harper from making sure that at least one of him cwas touching me at all times throughout the night. In yet another moment of heat-rain-sand induced insanity, I told my poor four year old boy that he may not touch me one single time because every time he did it felt like he was laying baked potatoes on my legs.
Sleeping was rough because we used the rain tent and rain fly and not our airy screened-roof tent. It's the camping equivalent to sleeping on a sandy sauna with a a flannel pillow case over your head. Oh, and you got a stinkin' baked potato on each leg.
It was so hot in the morning (and my wrist was completely immobile by then) that breaking camp took forever for Tom to do completely by himself. It was that 'doing your chores under water' kind of s-l-o-w. We decided to scrap our plans for the day, and push them off until tomorrow to give ourselves the day to recover from the hellacious beginning to this trip.
It worked, because a slower paced Day #2 has helped us get our groove back. We are now camping at Greenbelt National Park which is a totally unexpected campground in Greenbelt, Maryland. We will stay here two nights because it is conveniently located between Baltimore and Washington D.C. which is the itinerary for the next two days.
Tomorrow is the National Aquarium in Baltimore and then crab cakes for dinner...I love myself a city where you can learn about sea life and also eat it within blocks.
The nightmare first day is over, and Tom stopped quoting the song The Gambler ("...you gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run!") So, I think we are all back on board with this trip and how great it is going be. Except for my wrist, which is still refusing to participate.
I sang the kids to sleep in the airy, screened tent, without any whisper yelling and not a single eyeball was squeezed inadvertently. All in all, this gets filed as a success.