When someone says “camping,” I say, “what kind?” Are we near water? Are we near bathrooms? Are we near people? Yes I have restrictions. Some may “demands.” But for now I can use the excuse that we have kids and need these kind of amenities so we’ll see how long I can run with that. We recently planned a trip to Henry Cowell State park in Felton which is near Santa Cruz and honestly I was a little nervous. Originally it was just going to be my husband and the girls because they have been fascinated with everything camping all summer including sleeping in the backyard. I was iffy about taking Lucca because… well babies and camping right? But about a week before I decided I was just going to DO IT. Lucca is a good sleeper and pretty easy going so I figured this would be a good start because it was only one night.
So we left on Friday morning and drove to Roaring Camp Railroads where we rode on a hundred year old train through the woods and mined for gold. Definitely a fun experience that I will always remember especially because it happened to be on one of the hottest days of the year so it quickly became one of those sticky, red cheeks, stay in the shade, kind of days. Fortunately we brought tons of water, but unfortunately Derek was mining with the girls for what seemed like forever while I was feeding Lucca and the little ice cream shop by the train closed by the time we got it because it was too hot!
Once we made it to the campsite Derek and the girls set up the tent and everyone wanted to hike down to the water. The hike took longer than we were planning but surprisingly there wasn’t much complaining going on. The dramatically tall redwood trees overhead were covering us with shade and when we made it to the water it was seriously like Christmas morning for the girls. Totally worth it! They gave each other mud facials and sang at the top of their lungs.
Ella also told us she had to go to the bathroom and we told her to go ahead in do it in the water because we. thought. she. had. to. pee. We were wrong. We noticed it was number 2 when we saw little logs floating in the water. Soooooo now we now she can go anywhere. We were starting to get hungry for dinner….and by “we” I mean Derek and I, so we hiked back. The girls would have been fine playing in the water all night so we had talk them into hiking back. We brought hot dogs for dinner, played a card game, made our traditional smore’s with reeses, then off to bed.
Lucca was so tired from all the action and heat of the day he slept most of the time. Poor guy gets worn out pretty easily. When we woke up, Derek made us pancakes and the girls wanted to go on a scavenger hunt collecting a bunch of stuff from a list we made before. Titled “Things found in nature.” We ate and packed up then drove to another part of the creek to swim and have lunch. It was such a hearty trip that felt much longer than it actually was. In a good way! So keep an eye out for my next post this weekend about different tips that work for us when we take the kids camping to help our trip go as smoothly and fun as possible. Although camping may not always be MY first choice, I know they make for some of the more memorable experiences and since my husband and kids love it so much it becomes sort of…contagious.
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