Sunday, July 25, 2010

Our First Family Camping Trip

We are back!! Not only did we survive, but our trip was fun, memorable and successful.  I'm not sure I would call myself a "camping girl" now, but I do foresee a camper or RV in our future at some point.

(Jaden didn't look too happy, but none of us were overjoyed at our cramped car situation.  THAT was one thing I wish I could have changed).

Our trip got off to a rough start: we got out the door over two hours later than planned, got on the wrong freeway, had to head back home after we were on the freeway (we forgot our car registration back at home), then realized my car keys were missing, because we accidentally put them on the roof when we got gas, and then moved onward anyway!  (No names will be mentioned in the last sentence to protect the guilty).

Anywho, after we finally got on the freeway, it was smooth sailing from there.  Until we got to our friend's house and called Mobil Speedpass and found out someone had already used it from my lost keys.  Only for $6.45, but still!  Ugh!

The boys did amazing on the drive up to our friend's house (3 1/2 hours away), and we spent the night there the first night.  We take a trip with this family almost every year, and this was our 5th vacation together.  We started when I was 6 months pregnant with Micah, and now we have 4 kids between us.  Micah & Rachel are 6 months apart, and Jaden and Ruthie are 3 months apart.

The next day we headed to Yosemite from there (another 3 hours away) and found our campsite.  It was perfect.

Our view (if you look closely you can see the river in the middle of the two trees):

So, we were right by the river, had tons of shade, and connected directly to our friend's campsite.  My parents were right up the street and we could see their site too.  Everything was going great until we saw this:


Um, EXCUSE ME?!  The bathrooms were broken?!  Oh, and not just our bathroom (which I specifically chose our site to be near), but every bathroom in the entire campsite except for ONE which was over a MILE away.  Yes, my worst camping nightmare.  I tried.  I tried to be understanding.  I took Micah in that porta-potty when we arrived, tried to make the best of it, but when I was overtaken by the stench of 1000 people's poo, AND had to look down and see it as I stood behind my son, AND had to hold his arms like a straight-jacket so he wouldn't touch anything, I had a moment. In that moment I was angry, and I vowed to not use that porta-potty again, the entire 4 day stay.  And thanks to this:

The Porta-Potty 100 Series, I was successful.  Thank you, Dad!  (Do you see the glimmer?!) Sorry if I grossed you out with the above paragraph, but you have to understand my horror.  We took many trips down to the working bathroom, and in the middle of the night, this adult potty-seat did just fine, thankyouverymuch.

Anyway, now that I've wasted my whole blog entry on the bathroom situation, let me tell you about the rest of the trip.  Which was fabulous, by the way. The weather was beautiful, the kids had a BLAST, and our days were full of fun.  We played in the creek:

Visited the Wawona Hotel:

And the Pioneer Visitor's Center behind it:

 went to Yosemite Valley and did a small hike:

Visited the Indian Visitor's Center:

Had dinner with the family:

Gave the kids S'mores for the first time:

Laughed and hugged a LOT:

And some more:
And some more:

(I have about 10 pictures like this) :)

We had campfires, told funny stories, and had more S'mores:

I took over 300 pictures, and could not even pick some of the best ones yet to feature in this post, so maybe I'll write more again later about it.  But overall, a success.  It was a LOT of work though.  I did not read one sentence of the 3 books I brought, or journal one time, or crack open my Bible, or play a deck of cards.  We did play games by the lantern light until these gigantic beetles started hitting us in the forehead on their way towards the light.  That wasn't fun.  But other than that, we had no bears visit, no bees, and only a few mosquito bites.  The boys slept well, we were comfortable, and it went even better than I thought it would. But still, a camper or tent-trailer would have been much easier.  Oh well, maybe next year?  Nah.  Maybe in two years after I recover.

And when it was over, we were happy-sad.  Happy that we had so much fun together, and sad it was ending.
 Until next time.... :)


  1. Wow...I couldn't have said it or presented it better in pictures myself! You are so good at this blogging thing, Jaimie...I love the way you had pictures included to tell the story.

    We had an absolutely amazing time with you guys! I am so honored to have been able to experience Yosemite for the first time with you and your family! You are the best tour guide!!! You inspire me. We LOVE you guys SOOO much!!!

    Until next time...

  2. Looks like such a great time! We've been wanting to take the family camping there in Yosemite for a long time now...when we do go at least I know who to call for tips!! :-)

  3. What a fun and memorable family adventure! Thank you for sharing it with us through your words and photos - so sorry about the potty situation!

  4. Gorgeous pictures!! I'm so glad you guys had a good time. That bathroom being out of order?? AWFUL! Couldn't imagine!!

  5. Jaimie...What exactly did you bring? That car is LOADED!

  6. Looks like so much fun!!! I love and miss camping.