la Ketch

my life story

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Three years and camping

Three years in LA. Wow, three years. In some ways it's flown by and in other ways it seems like we've been here longer. I love the summer and we are in full swing. Lots of fun things happening this summer.

We took our first family camping trip with Nathan, Lolly, Lex and Clara. It was great to go with these friends because they are super fun and laid back and our kids know each other well and also, they have camping experience. Still, camping with small children is a lot of work and there's a lot of stuff. It was also challenging to have 4 adults to 4 children under 5 years old. At one point Lolly had to go to a rehearsal and Deron had to get some work done and Nathan and I took all four kids to the beach. I couldn't help but think, "people must assume that these are all our children and they must think I'm fucking crazy."

I've been pretty obsessed with camping this year, mostly finding the right spot and acquiring the right stuff. It's such a delicate balance. You want to be prepared for anything and yet you want to pack as lightly as possible. It's a very tricky thing to nail, which is why you really, like most things, just have to practice it. You get better each time at packing and unpacking, shopping for what food works best, etc. So even though it is extra challenging now, with the kids being so young, I'm glad we're starting now, so that by the time they do get a little older, we'll be pros. We'll have the stuff. We'll know the score. And also, the boys will be used to it and not shocked by all of it.

I think you are either a camper or you aren't. You have to really want to do it or you are going to be miserable. I mean why do we do it? Especially now when campsites can be so expensive and all of the gear you have to buy can really add up, a lot of times it's the same price to stay in a hotel, sometimes cheaper. You have to really be sure before you get all of the stuff, that you are going to use it enough to give you a good return on your investment. I think a lot of people think, "We need to go camping!" and they get all the stuff and then they go and the whole family is miserable and then they never go again. Which is understandable, why would you keep going if you're miserable?
I found myself asking the question, "why do we do this?" A lot.

2 Things I forgot about camping.

1. The other people. If you're camping in a popular spot in the middle of summer, there are going to be a lot of other people. What kind of people does camping attract? Well it's all kinds to a certain degree but it's mostly middle and lower-middle class people who are generally borderline white trash. I include myself in this group my friends. These are my people. But when you are right up next to a group of folks who kind of resemble the cast of the Jersey Shore, like we were and you have two kids that are really little who go to bed at 8:30pm like we do, all you can only stop and think to yourself, "this is going to be a long night." And it was. It was.

2. The dirt. It's everywhere. You can't escape it. If you don't just give into it and let it become a part of you and everything, you might as well forget it. You need to pack light and your clothing will be absolutely filthy and you will look and smell like you just woke up at all times, go with it or perish.

All in all we had a good time. It was super exhausting but I feel like that might be the hardest trip. It will only get easier as the kids get older and we get more experienced. My sister and love camping because we grew up doing it. My dad was a big outdoors man, back packer, fisherman and he took us camping all over California growing up. He and my mom went backpacking on their honeymoon. He made her go camping with him when I was 3 months old. Can you imagine? I can not. I would have told him to take a flying leap. But my mom loved him so much. She just wanted to be with him and go where he was going so we went. When my dad died, my mom was like, "we're staying at the Hilton." And now that my sister and I have kids, all we want to do is camp. So funny.

It's so nice to be back in California where there are just so many places to go camping. Three years. So much to do.