We just got back from our annual trip to Door County, a nice four hour drive from Milwaukee, just enough north to feel like you're "up north" but not so much of a drive you have to deal with really crabby car-bound kids. Brendan has been camping here with his family since he was a babe, and we have gladly turned it into our own family tradition, going the weekend after Memorial Day. Last year was pretty easy, Otis was a baby and couldn't move, he was nursing so easily quieted. I wondered how this year would go.
Turns out, fantastic! We actually had the days wrong, were supposed to go Sat-Mon, not Fri-Sun, so our campsite was booked, but luckily the one next to it was open. We set up camp and the kids were loving being out in the dirt and fresh air. Otis especially seemed to enjoy himself. He hates the car, so he was extremely pleased to be let free.
The sites we get are right on the bay, so there is a small trail to the water, and the rocks! The kids spent ages just throwing rocks in the water and Otis liked to take one rock, toddle up the trail to put the rock on the picnic table, then toddle back down to get another rock. He did this for an hour at least! I got to read and listen to the birds and they got to play. Pure bliss.
Nights were okay. Interesting to say the least. Otis fell asleep on a walk in the Ergo, Ingrid said she was tired and curled up and passed out. Brendan and I were amazed (I was also nervous, because there is NO WAY things could go that easily!!) We sat by the fire and talked and enjoyed ourselves, then went into the tent to go to bed. Which is when the shit hit the fan. Otis woke up and could not be soothed. I rocked him, he cried. I walked around with him, he cried. Finally Brendan put him in the car and drove around until he slept. I had to do the same thing with him when he woke up again at 2am. Whatever, it worked.
Night two was far better, Ingrid went promptly to sleep at 7, Otis was a bear and wouldn't fall asleep, so Brendan took another car ride with him. Luckily the park has beautiful roads and lots of lookout points on bluffs and cliffs, so at least the drive is pretty. He slept soundly, woke up once but was easily soothed. Good night. Then...the next morning, in the early dawn, I wake up to hear "mamamamamama" but I look over to find...an empty bed where Otis should be. Where did he go???? I look and see the tent is unzipped, he was outside and couldn't figure out how to get back in! What the what? No idea how he did that, but thankfully he didn't wander off.
We are hoping next year is our golden year for camping--no more babies, just kids who will get really tired and easily go to bed and fall asleep and stay asleep!!
It was a great trip this year, we had fun being outside, taking bike rides, eating at the White Gull Inn, and getting dirty. REALLY dirty. It was soooo cold though! And I was pretty unorganized, totally forgot to bring long sleeves for Ingrid so we had to go thrifting and find a sweatshirt for her! And a blanket for me, as I froze the first night in just my sleeping bag, even though I had pj pants, jeans, tank top, tshirt, long sleeve, sweatshirt, and coat on. It was cold. Even so, we're pretty excited to do it again soon!