Here is a play-by-play of 24 hours from my weekend.
12:00 PM – I clock out, wave farewell to the office ladies and bust out the door! I am free, at last! This is my first bit of time off of work since I started here. It may be one afternoon, but it will give The Mister and I the head-start we need to get this camping trip off the ground.
12:10 PM – The Mister is awake as I waltz through the door to our apartment. I am hungry, but we are going to grab food on our way out of town. I can’t wait to be out in the fresh air! But we haven’t packed….so we rush to throw clothes in a bag and gather bedding and food.
12:45 PM – It’s off to the grocery store for some last minute purchases – like ice and jugs of water.
1:05 PM – We stop at Taco Bell and have a delicious lunch – Cheesy Gordita Crunches were had by all!
1:20 PM – While driving The Mister says, “We forgot one thing. I’m going to start saying the alphabet. A – B – C………We forgot C Batteries.” We decide we don’t need the air mattress we can sleep on the ground – no big deal.
1:45 PM – We arrive at the campground (after making a wrong turn or two) and are ready to check-in! We go into the office and the worker is so young. He rings us up for one night of camping and a load of firewood and I correct him that it is two nights. The Mister later tells me we should have just gone with the one night to see if we could stay for free, but I would feel too guilty! We grab our firewood and we are off to our campsite along a gravel road. We spot a couple deer on our drive and I just know it is going to be a magical weekend.
2:15 PM – In a grassy opening in the middle of the forest, under a tree, there is a wooden picnic table that is now covered in our stuff: backpacks, a cooler, bug spray (already heavily applied), the tent bag, and our air mattress. I teach The Mister how to put up the tent and we make our floor bed.
3:00 PM – With our campsite set up, we drive back to the main part of the park to look at some animals. (Wildlife Prairie Park has great exhibits!)
4:25 PM – I’m standing nose to nose with a donkey that I am not allowed to pet (per the sign) and it starts to sprinkle. I look at The Mister, he looks at me and we decide to keep going.
5:30 PM – It is beginning to rain much harder so we drive back to our tent and seek refuge inside. It’s a little hot and muggy, but we laugh it off. It can’t rain forever, right? We play on our phones and talk and eventually fall into a meditative state as we both silently listen to the rain. It was absolutely beautiful.
7:40 PM – It is still pouring. We are both getting hungry and there is NO WAY we are roasting hot dogs tonight. I get on Yelp and find two restaurants. One close at 8 and the other at nine. So drench ourselves in an effort to get to the car to go get dinner.
8:00 PM – We take a seat at a booth in the most precious diner, Jubilee Cafe, and the waitress gets us started with drinks. I order a cheeseburger and onion rings (I need it, I’m hangry!) And The Mister orders 4 pieces of the best fried chicken we’ve had in a long time and some fries. IT WAS PERFECT! If anything good came from this night it was that meal.
9:00 PM – With full bellies and dry clothes, we return to our campsite where it is stilllllllllllllllll raining. I am feeling drowsy and decide to let myself go to sleep. I lay there for a while, while The Mister reads his Kindle, and eventually I meditate to sleep.
1:30 AM – I’ve been laying awake for nearly an hour. My hips hurt from the ground, my toes are in a puddle of water, it’s hotter and muggier than ever before, and my nose is stuffy. And in frustration of not being able to go back to sleep, I start to panic. I wake The Mister up and I’m crying at this point. “I can’t do it. I’m miserable,” I babble. I tell him of my ailments and he is so worried and concerned. He says, it isn’t really raining right now, let’s take the cover off to help us cool down. So he slips on some shoes and goes outside to uncover our tent. The air feels amazing. Then he goes to the porta potty to get me some toilet paper to blow my nose. And finally, being the saint that he is, he stacks up all of the blankets and even gives me his pillow for extra cushion to sleep. He really does so much for me. I’m very lucky!
2:00 AM – Before I can get back to sleep, it starts raining again, prompting The Mister to put the cover back on the tent. And with my legs curled out of the water puddles I finally drift back off to sleep. The Mister, however, once he is up, he’s up! So he stayed up playing on his phone and reading until nearly 5AM!
8:30 AM – I wake up. The birds are chirping and there is no rain, but everything is damp. My toes are back in a puddle of water and the inside of the tent is covered in condensation. The Mister sleeps so peacefully, and he deserves it, so I grab my phone and roll over to entertain myself, for about the next hour or so.
9:45 AM – With aching backs and every other muscle and our clothes from yesterday still on, we emerge from the tent to eat cereal at the picnic table. I load up on some bug spray again, but it is already too late. Three or four more bites have popped up. The Mister is groggy as all get out! But we are going to have a good day!
11:00 AM – We are back at the main camp to see the Bison feeding! But just kidding, I messed up the time (it’s at 1PM) so we decide to go check out the rest of the animals we didn’t see last night.
11:35 AM – On our walk to the Hazel’s Hill of Flowers, I break down. The Mister is still dragging and tired. I am scared to do another night like last night. And to be honest, so is he. But I also don’t want to give up like this. It is only our first camping trip and I don’t want this to be a bad memory or an omen of camping trips to come! But after crying it out and right before we get to the hill of flowers, The Mister calms me down.
12:00 PM – After meditating about the earth and nature and gazing out onto a field that just entrapped me in awe, I sat next to The Mister on a bench and laid my head on his shoulder. “I think I want to go home,” I whisper. He kisses me on the forehead and we leave holding hands to go pack up our campsite and end our adventure.