Life’s Usual Routine…

Once again we find ourselves reluctantly returning home from an extended stay in our trailer.  Everyone’s always a little sad the fist day back but I think I take it the hardest.  I find the reality of not being able to live our dream very frustrating.  That saying “so close I can feel it” has never been more true while we’re in our trailer but when we return home it slowly slips away as the days go by and life picks up it’s usual routine.

We almost didn’t make it home today, we almost got stranded at the campsite.  The decision was made to stay the Sunday night so that we could fully enjoy father’s day – being in the trailer for special occasions is still the novelty in our household.  Since we were camping so close to home we were able to do it.  We just packed everything up Sunday night and woke up really early this morning.  Daddy popped the kids into the truck while I started closing up the slides and making sure everything was ready for the ride.  I heard the truck trying to turn over, but it just didn’t, the battery was completely dead.  Thankfully Daddy had the foresight to park the front of the truck facing the trailer’s hitch and was able to jump start the truck’s battery using the trailers battery.  He’s so smart!  We were able to make it home ok – I was secretly hoping we’d have to stay.  It turns out we needed to buy a new battery.

Our trips are never dull.

Camping was great.  Wompatuck State Park is beautiful – very much about the nature.  There were lots of things that I loved about the campground and a few things I didn’t like so very much.

Here are some of the things I liked…

The price – it’s really hard to beat $15 a night, especially for electric hook ups.

It was close to home and work.

The campsites are beautiful, quiet and private.

There wasn’t a long list of strict rules and restrictions.

The bathrooms were clean, old but clean.

It was great to be able to watch the kids play and amuse themselves with nature.

Here are some of the things I didn’t like…

The campsites were hard to back a 36 foot trailer into – we couldn’t get into the first site at all.

The electric hook ups are only 20amp.

The showers had very low water pressure and the shower heads are very low –basically only good for children with very little hair to wash.

Everyone drives really fast, even the rangers.

There are so many bugs, harmless but annoying.

There’s no park for the kids.

The good definitely outweigh the bad even if the lists are even and I can see us going back there many times, especially with the price and location.  Still, had we been full timing – our next stop would have definitely been somewhere with full hookups, a park and pool and cement pads to camp on.  Liking nature is definitely a new concept to me, one that I’m embracing, as it goes hand in hand with camping but “roughing it” has never been something I enjoy – the fully loaded trailer with two tv’s and stainless steal appliances probably gave that away already.  

I wouldn’t call Wompatuck roughing it, after all it does have electric and the comfort stations,

but there’s a whole lot of nature going on!

Taking a bath in the trailer


The Sun Appears

It rained for a day and half.

For a day and half I was stuck in a trailer with 4 kids.

It was fine at first – they stayed in their pj’s watching cartoons and eating popcorn.

We accomplished some school work and had nice warm soup for lunch.

Everyone was so happy to be snuggled up together, protected from the angry storm.

By this afternoon, it was a whole other story.  Accusing fingers were pointed in all directions, no one was getting along, we certainly weren’t holding hands singing Kumbaya.

I would have chosen to have my toe nails pulled one by one if it would bring out the sun.  Fortunately, it didn’t have to go that far!

The sun came out in full force and it’s warmth was fabulous!

I was so happy and I’m pretty sure I saw a sunbeams reach out and smack the grumpy moods right off the kids – then again it was probably just a case of “trailer” fever.

We celebrated our return to freedom with a delicious dinner!  Grilled chicken topped with avocados and mangoes over a bed of baby spinach leaves with a mock green Verde sauce ( a reduced gazpacho).  The only sounds that came from the kids and Daddy were “yum”, “mmm” and “Can I please have more?”… a sure sign of a good dinner!

Who says camping food has to be hot dogs over a campfire?!

Quick Before the Mosquitoes Get You…

This is the first camping trip where we’ve really had to deal with mosquitoes, especially early in the morning and in the evening.  So far we are winning…though the mosquitoes have scored a few.  We keep applying the bug spray and have the citronella candle going and it really seems to help.  Our site is so wooded and we love it because it gives us amazing privacy and keeps us nice and cool during the day, which is so important because we don’t have a 30amp hook up at this campground, so we can’t run the AC.  As I’ve mentioned before, the trailer turns into an oven on a sunny day!

Dealing with all the mosquitoes has brought back memories of the Little Professor and his experience with them in his early years.  We bought our house when he was 2 going on 3 and where our house is located, there are a lot of those pesky, itchy bugs.  We’ve never stayed out late in our backyard because of them.  When we would arrive home we’d say to the Little Professor “Hurry up, the mosquitoes are out!  We need to get inside before they bite us”.  He took it very seriously and would scurry into the house without pausing for anything.  For about two years we would arrive home and he’d join us in rushing into the house and proclaiming “We need to get in the house before the Mosquitoes get us!”

I don’t remember exactly how it came about…I think the Little Professor asked us where the Mosquitoes live or a question like that, but we soon realized we had been terrorizing our child for years every summer season.  It never dawned on us that he didn’t know what a mosquito was.  He was assuming they were as big as dogs and instead of leaving itchy bumps, they would most likely rip your arm off if they got a hold of you!  The unmistakable relief, on his little face, when we told him they were tiny little bugs was enough to make any mummy feel guilty for all the anxiety we had caused him.  Now, a couple years later, it’s something funny we can all laugh about, like we did the other night!

Daddy says… Poor little Chipmunk

Camping is always a great experience.  There’s this relaxing, laid back feeling with camping that is hard to feel anywhere else.  It’s  funny because we’re enjoying this comforting isolation, deep in the woods, separated from the rest of society, and yet- we’re only 15 minutes from our house!

As it is, I took the Little Professor to a Doctor appointment today, continued onto work for a few hours and was back at the campsite by 3:30 in the afternoon.  Thankfully I work for a company that encourages working from home, and my manager is also very supportive of the process – so I have been able to spend part of my work week right here at the campsite, logged into work on my laptop.

As fun as it is, there is, of course, the occasional bug bite or scraped knee to deal with. Last night each of the older kids needed Mummy to fix some boo-boos.

Just look at these sad faces!

         

As you may, or may not, be able to tell – they are all faking!  They were giggling and having fun with Mummy while they were getting bandaged – and Mummy decided to see if she could get a “sad face” picture of each to demonstrate the pain and suffering of their wounds.  So, in order to get sad face pictures, she would tell each in turn a sad little story about a down on his luck chipmunk that ran into all sort of adversity. Hit by a car – with his Mommy chipmunk watching, but he lived… however the little chipmunk had amnesia now and couldn’t even recognize his Mommy chipmunk… So Sad.

But, minor injuries (and memory impaired chipmunks) aside, everyone is having a lot of fun and we just don’t want it to end.

Let’s go camping…again

While cleaning the trailer out late Saturday afternoon, Daddy and I had a great idea…let’s go camping!  Sometimes I like to do crazy spontaneous things and it just happens I married a wonderful man who is willing to indulge me.  So…we packed up the trailer for another week long trip.

We are camping close enough to home that Daddy can still go to work during the day and we brought all the “technology” so I can work from the campsite.

After arriving at the campground, we set ourselves up and headed out for a day trip down to Plimoth Plantation.  It was Little Miss Fancy’s first time and she had a blast.  One of the 17th Century women put the girls to work watering the garden and beating the bedding with a stick.   They also spent some time feeding a bull…this was not a recognized chore and is possibly frowned upon by the establishment.  We were given a private tour to the chicken coup where the Princess announced it smelled like chicken poop and spent a lot of time asking many questions about life in a new colony, during the 17th century.  During all this we periodically gazed out to the ocean and breathed in the warm, salty air.  I can’t imagine being anything but truly relaxed there!

   

When we returned back to our campsite we roasted hot dogs and Smores over a roaring fire.  The kids all found their own sticks and Daddy whittled the ends for them.  Everyone was exhausted and super giddy…there were lots of giggles and silly jokes.  Halfway during the meal we were visited by a very odd looking Caterpillar.  Someone tried to feed it leaves, some of us took pictures, we all got a really close look.  Once we were all finished studying him, I gently tossed him onto a bush and was met by screams from all three kids doing a voice over for the Caterpillar falling to the ground.  What a bunch of cheeky monkey’s I’m living with and I love them all!  I’m just so blessed!

   

 

 Before and After pictures of the backseat crew…

  

Now that’s a good day!

Home Safe & Sound…

We are finally home after a long day of driving.

It’s bittersweet!

It has it’s positives…unlimited running water, unlimited wifi and access to all the TV channels, but it’s not our trailer, it’s not our dream of life on the road.  This trip was definitely our longest trip in the trailer and the most consecutive time we’ve spent in it.

We have come to realize that we love, love, love life in the trailer.  We are much more relaxed as a family even with all the crazy issues we’ve encountered.  It’s a giant step out of the rat race, a whole other view on life – one that I could easily adopt.

For now, we are home and already planning our next trip.  We are also working towards our goal to be on the road full time.

Last night we stopped and spent the night at Darien Lake State Park – not to mistaken with Darien Lake Theme Park and Resort Campgrounds, however it is right down the road from that.   We pulled up to the front gate around 7:30 pm to find out everyone who works there had gone home.  There was a white board sign telling campers to find a site and just check back in the morning.  We were really impressed with how beautifully green and lush the park was.  All the sites were well maintained.  We found a great site with the help of an older couple who were camping in the park.  It was right next to the washrooms so that was an added bonus.  It took us about 10 minutes to set up in the pouring rain, but once we were all inside the trailer it felt like we had arrived home.

Miss Fancy was excited that we were able to find the channel that had a special on featuring her favourite singer – Miss Fancy made me smile as she sang along loudly to all the songs.  Our youngest two children played by my feet while I prepared dinner for everyone.  It was very cozy and relaxing, and stopping for the night helped break up a very long drive and we were able to get a great nights sleep!

The more we camp the more we realize all the things we need to have.  Important things like fuses in all the necessary sizes, extention cords in different lengths, some tools and even simple things like a toaster.  We will be stocking up on those things before our next big trip.

We are all counting the days until we are back on the road, even if it’s just to a local state park.  In the meantime I’m going to take a long, hot shower and not care about how much water I’m using and whether or not we’ll have to dump the tanks!

With Great Power….

We are finally back in the good ole US of A!  We had a wonderful time the past couple days at Long Point Provincial Park.  It’s always so sad to leave Canada, more so when we do not have any set plans to return.  I really wish we could have spent at least another week at Long Point but we decided to leave today so we could split the long drive into two days, stopping to camp tonight.

The drive was mostly uneventful up to the border.  The trailer was pulling really well and easy, we were even able to stop and get some Tim Horton’s on the way!  Mmmm…coffee and Timbits!

The border on the other hand was super eventful.  It started with us getting caught in the wrong line at the border.  The lines were long and we didn’t see the sign for “RV’s” at the far right of the border until we were stuck in a line on the left side – it just wasn’t visible.  I frantically tried to see if people would let us cut to the other side so we could be in the correct lane, but as I hung out my window people would either look the other way or shake their heads in shame at us for not “obeying” the rules.  Apparently there is no excuse for unawareness when there’s a trailer attached to your vehicle.   It amazes me how incredibly helpful and understanding other RV owners are but the tolerance level from non RV owners is extremely low.

Since we were stuck in our lane we had to go through the border hoping we would be able to make it out the other side.  Maneuvering in tight spaces is very difficult when hauling a 36 foot object behind us.  We were also hoping to get an understanding border agent too, we’ve always had great experiences at the border so we weren’t too worried.  Unfortunately, we were not met with understanding at all, instead we were met by an extremely young guy who thought being in a position of authority meant he could treat us as rudely as he wanted.  He snapped at us and kept muttering things under his breath and when we would politely ask him to repeat himself he would yell at us sarcastically.  I was seriously shocked at the way he was treating us and doing it in front of our kids causing them to get upset and stressed.  We did our best to keep smiling so the kids would keep calm.  I’ve always found that if we can our countenance calm and composed that the children will react the same.

He then asked to see in our trailer – actually what he did was tell us to give him our trailer keys and also give him the keys in our ignition.  He was extremely agitated and tried to open one of doors with the wrong set of keys.  I leaned out my window to let him know he had to use the other keys…I was more concerned for our trailer and the fact that he was being so rough with the doors.  I get that he’s doing his job, and by all means, he can  search our whole trailer all he wants, we have nothing to hide but I don’t think damaging our home away from home is part of his job description.  When he didn’t pull our steps down fully and he jumped up on them when they were half folded in I just about jumped out of the truck.  The thought of my children kept me in my seat.  I was so disappointed because we’ve always been treated with respect before.

As it turned out, he suspected us of being trailer thieves – the kind with 3 kids and a baby in the back and crayons strewn across the seats– and we were escorted to the side and asked to exit our vehicle with all of the children. We were then met by two other border agents who were so nice!!!  I was so thankful for that!  The kids were all freaked out by this point.  Daddy brought them into the building while I gave the the new border agents our trailer Registration and helped them find the VIN number.  They explained to me that our licence plates were reported stolen but it’s obviously a mistake and they just needed to figure it out.  It was so nice to be dealing with people who were reasonable and mature! 

It was actually a dealer licence plate with the exact same number as our camper licence plate that was stolen.  So whoever stole the dealer car, thank you for all the excitement in our day!  When we finally made it back to the truck – all the new border agents waving goodbye to all our children – the Little Professor very solemnly asked us “Why did the police arrest us Mummy?!!” his eyes so big and his face a little pale.  I felt so bad for him.  We explained that we were detained, not arrested and that if someone had stolen our trailer, isn’t it great they would have found it so fast!  He eventually agreed it was probably a good thing, but I really wish the first border agent could have used a little more discretion when dealing with us.  It’s disappointing our little ones had to encounter such immaturity from a person of authority but in the end it’ll be a good life learning experience.

As a wise man once said….With great power comes great responsibility!

Before our brief incarceration we encountered a bomber plane – at least that’s what I thought it was.  It was amazing!  He was swooping – probably not the official word for planes – all around us…and at one point it looked like he was coming straight for us.  It was very cool.  By the time I was able to get my camera out he had started to leave the area.  I kept hoping he’d come back but I guess it was time for him to head home and it was time for us too.  It’s not every day we get “swooped” by a bomber.

 

A Trailer-full….

I’m amazed at how much laundry we generate while camping!  Today we had to do laundry.  We held off as long as we could but we were at the end of wash cloths, towels and under clothes.   Everything gets so dirty very quickly.  I was hoping that some how camping in a trailer would help us avoid the dirt, but no such thing.  Most of the time we – and by we, I actually mean the kids – are filthy!  It just comes with the territory.

At the last campground it was all about the grass stains but here it’s sand, sand and more sand!  We just can’t seem to avoid it.  The kids love to jump in it and dig in it…I even caught the Princess burying her flip flops in it – thank goodness, they would have been impossible to find.

Nana L took the kids down to the beach while Mummy and Daddy had the fun job of hauling the laundry into town – the Milk Monkey came with us.  The kids changed into their bathing suits and waited patiently as little Miss Fancy (the name we’re trying out for our cousin as she takes so much care with how her clothes match.  There’s always a head band or hat that goes along too.  Soooo cute!) finished getting herself ready.  We all turned around to look as the trailer door was dramatically swung open and out came little Miss Fancy in her beautiful, little ruffled white bikini with a matching sunhat and earrings.  She looked like she was ready to sip pina coladas poolside at a 5 star tropical resort. Loved it!!!  She was 10 going on 18!  However, I explained to Miss Fancy that one trip down to the beach would wreck her beautiful bathing suit and promised we’d take her to a pool one day soon, where she could wear it without damaging it with sand particles caught in the fabric weave.  She agreed to put on an older bathing suit and then the kids were off to build sand castles.

Now as I write this our trailer is packed with sleeping family.  We have Daddy and Mummy, Nana L and our dear friend Baba (that’s what our children call her), the Milk Monkey, the Princess and the Little Professor, Miss Fancy and my brother Tim all sleeping in our trailer.  You would think with so many people we’d be completely full but no, we still have one more spot available, so if anyone wants to join us….   You’d have to be a little bit crazy!  Having all these visitors makes it feel more like camping and less like a roaming home.  Having more family around means more hugs for the kids, more love and more people to take them to the “other” park, the one that needs an adult accompanying them because we can’t see it from our site.  Having more family around means lots more love and fun!!

 

Bronte Creek Provincial Park….

Today we left Bronte Creek Provincial Park and headed off to the next campground on our agenda.  It was kind of nostalgic camping at Bronte after all the years I spent going there as a child.  Our visits were always day trip ones because way back then wasn’t a campground.

  

I’m so glad they added the camping!  I’m hoping we get to go back soon.  The kids had so much fun and the views were so beautiful.  I wish we could have spent more time there but I’m also excited to continue on with our adventure.  The days at Bronte went by quick because we spent so much time running around with all the celebrations going on.  We did manage to hop over to the “day use” side of Bronte and the kids had a chance to experience the “play barn”.  Being there brought back so many great childhood memories.

Yesterday my little cousin officially joined our family for the following month – cute name for her to follow!  I’m surprised at how well she has fit in to our family.   I thought for sure our gang would have driven her crazy by now, making her regret her decision to spend the next 4 weeks with us but she’s already very comfortable and thoroughly enjoying herself!  She’s super helpful and I’m already beginning to wish she’d never leave!!!

Something exciting we saw today…a turtle getting ready to lay eggs.  We never actually saw her lay the eggs.  She was getting scared with so many people watching her.  We took a few pictures and waited, then decided to give her some privacy.  All the kids really thought it was cool to be able to be so close to the turtle.