In true Vermonter fashion, Avery got his first taste of camping this month. Growing up, our summers were all about camping. We used to camp in a tent – real roughing it. We would spend a weekend just being outdoors… s’mores and hot dogs over the fire, relaxing at the beach or riding our bikes around. Our family friends ‘Aunt Candy & Uncle Paul’ and their son Marcus (my ‘brother’) were with us many of those summers. To this day we still tease my sister about the rain storm we were stuck in and how she was at one tent and we were all in another, and she was so scared from the storm to run through the rain to the other tent…. haha. And then there was the times Marcus would eat ants, telling us it was good protein. Oh and I remember catching a duck one year and we got to hold it. So many memories growing up from camping…
Since then my parents have upgraded to a pop-up camper, and Aunt Candy & Uncle Paul have an RV. So, although it wasn’t really roughing it – it did make it a little easier with the pack-n-play and getting Avery to sleep before the sun went down.
But it was still camping… eating outside, playing in the dirt, sitting around doing noting – just talking and connecting. Marcus has been stationed in Germany for the past few (3-4?) years, and he’s FINALLY back home. So we made a camping weekend, like old times, of his visit home before he headed down to Alabama.
I picked Avery up at 1PM from daycare, just before his nap and strapped him into the car for the 4 hour ride. He slept 3 hours and 45 minutes! Wow. I was able to drive straight thru and he was a little fussy at the end, but before we knew it, we were pulling into the campground and Grampy was there with the dogs to greet us. They had already setup camp and it was so great to finally see Marcus. I hadn’t seen him since… last summer!
The weather forecast was threatening showers, but we made it thru the whole weekend with just a couple sprinkles. Avery didn’t take long to start exploring… first he played in the camper with Aunt Sarah.
He helped Aunt Sarah bring the dish back for the thirsty dogs and after watching them take a drink, he had to have one too…
We had some yummy stew for dinner (thanks Mom!), and gathered around the camp fire for s’mores, and we had a nice conversation about where the word s’more came from… Marcus thinks it’s because they’re so good someone wanted ‘some-more’ and they became s’mores from that. Maybe? With the sun setting, Grammy put Avery down to bed and he slept pretty well, but he was up with the sun (and the dogs) on Saturday.
Saturday was all about the boat. Uncle Paul had brought his boat (per my request!), so we (Grampy, Me & Avery, Aunt Sarah, & Marcus) took the boat out onto Lake Champlain – there’s a boat dock at the campground. Anticipating the boat ride, weeks ago I bought Avery a life-vest, which the boat gurus (Paul & Marc) approved of…. Avery… not so much…
Although it was a warm and sunny day, we knew it would be chilly on the water. So we bundled Avery up, but that made the life-vest a little snug… Avery wasn’t thrilled. He seemed a little weary and very observant of the water, but more-so awkward from the vest.
Uncle Paul drove pretty slow, and avery just sat there, observing with a grimace on this face.
We were all thrilled to be out on the water, and passed Avery around the boat as we cruised around.
He sat in the front with Aunt Sarah for a while. Still not impressed by all the water and boat.
Sarah said he seemed sleepy, and within minutes of passing him off to me, he was out!
Maybe it was the vibrations and motion from the boat, or that it was late morning and about time for a weekend nap (since he’d been up with the sun)… but for the next hour on the boat, he just snoozed away…
The men took full advantage and threw a couple lines in to go fishing.
Sarah and I don’t have fishing licences, so I relaxed with Avery in my lap while Sarah drove the boat..
After an hour of fishing and no fish, we headed back in.
Avery woke up just before we got to the dock.
He was a little discombobulated, but he loved seeing the water and wanted to go near it. And he really liked watching them pull the boat in on the trailer. He loves trucks, so no surprise.
Back at camp, we all (even the dogs) took a walk to the playground. Avery HAD to hold a dog leash too! He threw a fit until we realized he just wanted to hold a dog leash- by himself. Such a big boy!
Avery could have cared less about the slide and playground stuff, because there was a sandbox…
Everyone sat in the shade with the dogs while Avery had fun in the sand.
Back at camp, Avery explored with Frasier….
…did a little cleaning for Grammy.
And Grammy had brought along Avery’s matchbox cars from their house. These cars were actually Marcus’ cars from when he was a kiddo, passed down to Avery.
Marcus and Grampy got in on the car action, and made a ramp for the cars to race down.
Avery even has a camping chair, just his size… that Marcus tried out… a little snug.
Avery was still fascinated with the water station….
So, Avery helped Grampy bring some water back to camp…
There were some bubbles too…
But most our afternoon was spent in the boat… on land that is.
For some odd reason, Avery loved the boat. Loved to drive it and run around playing in it… while it was parked on land. We had some drinks and snacks in the boat while Avery played… he even did some fishing!
Oh, and I can’t forget to share these pictures… Grammy had spent a while looking for a tub for Avery to take a bath in. They have showers at camp, but Avery likes baths… especially in a pink tub out on the grass…
Saturday night, we had a special cake for desert, for Father’s Day for Grampy & Uncle Paul. Of coarse none of us remembered to take a picture of it! And Avery colored a pretty sign for the Dads too. The cake was delicious and we hardly spend 15 minutes around the campfire before we all crashed.
Sunday morning, Avery was so wiped from Saturday’s activities that he slept in…
Such a fun weekend… So much of it brought back memories of camping growing up, and having Avery there with us just made it so special – to be able to do with him what I did as a kid. We can’t wait to do it again!
Have you been camping? Do you rough it or relax in the comforts of a camper/RV?