Off the grid and out of our minds

It was a beautiful warm day.  That’s how this story should’ve started.  But actually, it was a dark and stormy morning (first warning sign).  We were packing for our first (hopefully annual) family camping trip and everything was going wrong (warning signs 2-5).  It was like the universe was saying ‘turn back now’ (yet another warning sign) but no, we were determined to win.  Against nature.

We spent the morning packing and playing and getting excited for our trip.  The kids kept talking about smores by the fire as we piled into the van.  In keeping with tradition, we played Bob Marley and turned our GPS icon to a flying eagle as The Hero Hubs and I held hands in a state of complete euphoria.  We were going off the grid, baby!

IMG_1469*This is what ‘going off the grid’ looks like, in case you were wondering.

IMG_1477*And this is the mini van’s fanny pack, filled with more ‘off the grid’ items.  It technically has a different name, but it’s not nearly as cool as ‘fanny pack’.

IMG_1472 IMG_1474 *Last laughs before we piled into the van, where it got real.

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So I’m just gonna skip the part about how we got lost,

had to stop 4 times and it started monsooning (which is now a verb.)

And how the park was eerily empty when we finally arrived.

Fast forward to setting up camp.  This is done better with visuals.

But please note that my camera did not accurately capture the rain, wind, cold or misery.

IMG_1483*no fire tonight, buddy

IMG_1485

IMG_1486

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IMG_1489 *I just have to say one thing here: If you’re planning on going off the grid and get stuck in a monsoon, YOU WANNA BE WITH THIS GUY!

Ok, so we eventually pile into our new, awesome (water RESISTANT as opposed to water PROOF) 12 person tent and hunker down for the night.  Dinner consisted of yogurts and crackers, and bedtime stories contained strange animals in the woods, which I realize now didn’t exactly set us up for success.

IMG_1491 IMG_1492 IMG_1496 IMG_1497*Sweet baby.  Swaddled and always along for the adventure.

So I’m gonna bypass the next 5 hours.  The ones where we shiver in our sleeping bags listening to the howling wind and driving rain and I try not to panic, which required A LOT of effort.

I know, you’re thinking ‘Why didn’t you leave?!’  Well, we did.  At 3 am, the rain let up just enough for us to pile our groggy, soggy kids back into the van and abandon ship…um….tent.

We stopped at a gas station for a round of hot chocolates and as I walked in, “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” was playing.  I felt a strange connection to Bob Dylan.

So we get home, sleep in, go out for a warm breakfast, come back home and roast hotdogs and smores by the fire.  And recover.  Notice the eyes.  The glazed over, vacant stares.

IMG_1498 IMG_1504 IMG_1510 IMG_1513 IMG_1515 IMG_1517 IMG_1518 IMG_1519 IMG_1520 IMG_1521 IMG_1523  *Did I mention we were celebrating my 34th birthday?

The End.  Except it’s not, because we had abandoned ship…tent…remember?  So stay tuned for Part 2!

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