I am sorry the picture is so grainy but I couldn’t find the original and I had to use a copy of the photo. Besides, the photo was taken in early Spring 2002, long before I had a digital camera. Juan and I were dating and things were getting serious. We were spending more and more time together and on those weekends that we had custody of the kids, we would take them to the zoo, the park, or other outings. In this photo we were driving home from our very first camping trip with the kids. I use the term “camping” very loosely. Juan never really camped before, while I grew up camping with my family, and had great memories of spending time outdoors. I wanted our kids to experience the fun and adventure of the great outdoors, so I convinced Juan that we should take the kids camping one weekend. As an introduction to “roughing it” I chose a campground about 2 hours north of us, in Solvang.
When we arrived I discovered that the “campground” was really an open meadow located a few blocks out of town. The campground was accessible to restaurants and grocery stores. It wasn’t quite the getaway I envisioned, but the campground had flush toilets, and showers, and with three young kids, I figured it would be a pretty safe introduction to camping. The campground accommodated tent campers like us, and RV’s like everyone else there that weekend.
Instead of the wild call of nature, we heard the hum of generators. Instead of campfires and marshmallows, our neighbors listened to their radios and watched their portable TV’s. Even though it was not the camping experience I wanted for our kids, they thought it was a great adventure. They ran around the meadow, dodging RV’s and trailers, while Juan and I struggled to pitch our tent. After a take out pizza dinner we roasted marshmallows. We tried to sleep but the noise of all the other campers did not make for a very restful night. The next day we packed it all up drove to a nearby beach. Between the sleepless night and a day at the beach, the kids were wiped out. They slept all the way home and I took this picture.
Do you have any camping memories?