Another great Memorial Day rodeo weekend in the books! We headed to Shelton Wayside campground on Friday and spent two nights, returning home on Sunday. We did go camping one night last summer, but Charlie was still in full-on baby mode, so this was the first official camping trip with two mobile kids. To be honest, I was mentally preparing for the worst. We generally tend to avoid sleeping in the same room as the kids at all costs and always seek out vacation lodging options where everyone can have their own sleep space (this means Charlie has slept in more than a handful closets and bathrooms in his life). I was envisioning over-tired kids who wouldn’t go to bed, kids crying in the night, kids waking up at the crack of dawn, kids having to use the outhouse at 4am, etc…
As it turns out, I was very pleasantly surprised by how awesome the camping trip turned out. The kids had SO much fun and it was SO much fun for us to watch them really enjoy themselves. Ava is starting to enter the phase where she can really play with other kids, rather than just along side other kids. My friend Ashley had her kids there too, Rory (4.5) and Riley (8.5), and Ava and Rory totally hit it off and played so well together. Charlie loved just wandering around the campsite, exploring. Both the kids were so tired by bedtime that they easily passed out without much cajoling. On Night 1, Charlie woke up crying around 2:30am, probably because he was too cold. Despite the 90 degree day temperatures, the temps dropped to extremely chilly at night. It took us about 2 hours to finally get him to sleep, and luckily Ava slept through it all. But, once we woke up, saw the sun shining, and drank a cup of coffee, all was right with the world. On the second night, we put a hat on Charlie before bed, and had him sleep on his Pack’n’Play mattress between us, and he fell right asleep and slept through the night.
Saturday was taken up with rodeo events. Daniel started off the day by running the Spray Half Marathon. We met him in town for the buckaroo breakfast. Ava had a orange tang mustache for the entirety of the trip after downing two cups of the sweet elixir. Then, the rodeo parade, which Ava absolutely loved because she got to admire the rodeo queens with their glittery horses and sparkly shirts. Ava also really enjoyed the rodeo itself, and was quite perplexed by why the cowboys kept falling off the bucking broncos. Charlie seemed to enjoy himself too. The hardest part of the whole experience was the heat. The days heated up to above 90 degrees, which was quite difficult with two very small children.
Overall, we had a blast, more fun than I anticipated. The trip was a great test for us, because now we realized that a) we can do more camping this summer and b) we can be a little more flexible with vacations because sleeping in the same space as the kids actually wasn’t so bad.