camping: the wrap up

We had an amazing weekend. I don’t say that often, to be honest. There’s often a scheduling hiccup, a logistical issue, a sour mood, a big mess or some other kind of annoyance that can, to varying degrees, put a damper on the time we’re having — that’s just life with little kids (we can’t put all of the blame on them either; Mike and I have had our share of disagreements to send a day into the crapper).

But this weekend was one for the record books. We were outside, away from it all (while admittedly having access to our phones and semi-consistent wifi), well fed, entertained and happy.

Here are five things that made it great:

1. Family friendliness at its finest. Jellystone is made for kids. There’s a huge playground, complete with sandbox, two different jumping pillows, an outdoor pool with lots of chairs for lounging parents, mini golf, a rec hall with arcade games … I could go on. Plus, lots of pre-planned activities like crafts, scavenger hunts and organized games.


2. Eating outside is the actual best. We bought a single butane burner and it was perfect. I did some food prep at home, but we used the burner to heat pasta, boil water for coffee and grill bagels. Since I now know how awesome it is, we’ll be planning more cook-in-the-outdoors meals for our next outing.



3. Fresh air does us all good. We went full-tilt for 48 hours and enjoyed great sleeps in our tent. We decided to opt out of the air mattress and it was the best. We had great sleeps, the weather was decent (only a few showers) and we all soaked up some much needed Vitamin D.


4. Extra adventures. Since we were about an hour away from home, we took advantage of one of the area’s best amenities — the drive-in movie theatre! Luckily, they were playing something (semi) kid friendly — Spider-Man. We tried enjoy it from the back of the car with the hatch open, but the mosquitoes proved too annoying, so we snuggled up with our pillows and blankets in the front seat. The wee one toughed it out for a full hour, which is saying something since the movie started at 9:40 p.m., and was happy to go to bed in the back of the car. The big one enjoyed the entire movie and will be bragging for weeks to come that he stayed up until midnight.


5. Brotherly independence. Now that the big one is almost seven, we trust him with a lot of new responsibilities (he’s always been the dependable one … jury’s still out on his brother). For this camping trip, it included letting them explore on their own. They ventured to the playground, occasionally out of sight of our tent, but not further than shouting distance, and maybe the better part — Jacob accompanied Isaac to the nearby washroom facility every time he had to go (which not only helps the wee one in his independence for Primary, but allowed mum and dad to keep their feet up and relax). They were an awesome team all weekend.


Now that we’re home, everything’s cleaned up and put away, the only task left is to book our next weekend camping adventure.


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