Today is the last Friday of May – summer is right around the corner!   Of course you’d think Mother Nature got the wrong memo – she’s been sending us summer weather all week long…hot, humid and sticky.  I don’t mind the heat, it’s the humidity I could do without.  With this being Memorial Day weekend, I’m sure a lot of people plan to do something fun – whether it be doing a cook-out or camping for the weekend.  Which still means a cook-out, because well, you’re camping out.

Growing up, since my parents were very young with four kids and obviously didn’t have a lot of money, instead of going on big vacation trips like other families we knew, we’d spend my dad’s vacation time camping.  We’d spend at least a week-and-a-half camping in the mountains, and a week-and-a-half camping at the ocean.  An easy choice between the two, considering either is only a day drive from the Seattle area.

I have wonderful memories of those camping trips – my dad would always load up our bikes so we could roam freely through whatever campground we landed at for our adventure.  We even have old home movies of us camping very young – my older sister had advanced to a two-wheeler with training wheels while I still had a trike; my dad tied cardboard boxes to the back of our bikes and we’d drag them around picking up dry wood or kindling for a great campfire.  Campfires were (and are) a favorite part of the whole camping experience.  So much fun to cook over, particularly if you’re talking about S’mores.

My dad bought a trailer that he customized but only had two beds in it – the table would convert into a bed for my parents, and us four kids would sleep on the upper bunk cross-ways, all in a row.  When we got too big to fit, we started bringing along an old Army tent from my grandpa that was relegated as the kid-tent.  Which would get hot and musty on the hot summer days when we were camping at the ocean.

My grandparents from both sides would sometimes tag along, as would various aunts and uncles, and family friends.  Fun times.  My maternal grandparents always brought a camper on the back of their pickup truck – if it was too hot or if it happened to be raining, my grandmother would invite me into the camper to play cards with her.  She taught me how to play Hearts and even Gin Rummy – and always let me win.

When we camped in the mountains, we’d divide our time between riding our bikes, hiking, fishing in the river for a fresh fish dinner, or floating down the river on innertubes on particularly hot days.  The river was appropriately named “Bumping River” – my brother even lost his glasses during one exceptionally bumpy ride down that river.  At the ocean, we’d ride our bikes on the beach, jump in the (cold) waves, and fish off a jetty.  It was all so simple and absolutely relaxing.

As we got older, us kids would continue to camp, especially on the long holiday weekends.  Memorial Day weekend was always an adventure – Seattle area?  Of course it tended to rain every Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends.  Pretty much every holiday that we decided we’d be camping.  Murphy’s Law.  But we didn’t let a little rain dampen our enthusiasm, we’d just go for it.  And bring lots of alcohol.  You know, because we were in our 20’s, and we didn’t camp with our parents anymore because that would be lame.

Hubby’s idea of ‘roughing it’ is finding a motel somewhere in the boondocks.  I’m still working on convincing him that camping can be fun, and would be a great experience for Princess Nagger and give her some amazing memories, too.  Besides, with all the cool (read: modern) camping equipment, it doesn’t have to be ‘roughing it’ – I tend to go a little overboard by planning and cooking gourmet meals on a cook stove rather than just hot dogs over the campfire.  Though hot dogs over the campfire are definitely on the menu, too.  And S’mores.  Lots and lots of S’mores.  Hopefully this year he’ll acquiesce and take the plunge into getting back to nature.  We’ll see.

Which brings me to this week’s question(s):

Do you like to camp?  If so, what are your favorite camping places or memories?  If not, is your idea of ‘roughing it’ just like my hubby’s?


Have a great weekend!

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  1. What awesome memories. It’s funny, I sort of enjoyed camping as a kid. I went to girl scout sleep away camp in the Hamptons area of Long Island three summers in a row. As an adult, I fear bugs and wild animals have developed such anxiety, I’d worry about every little thing. Your post makes me wish I could “let go” but I know I’m too diva-like to do so 🙁

  2. Last time I went camping I was 15 (17 years ago)… I’m not the “roughing it” kinda girl… I would rather stay in a comfy hotel!

    Already following on GFC as Mrs. Marine! Thanks for hosting the Linky! Don’t forget to stop by my blog and participate in “Stalk Hop Friday”! Now with 6 ways to Link-Up!

  3. My idea of roughing it is the Mariott or Hilton! Ha!!
    Though I have gone camping, it is just not by bag of tea!!
    Spending time in a cottage by the beach…well we are talking heaven now!!

  4. Love, love, love camping! Your hubby doesn’t know what he’s missing.
    When our boys were younger, we used to go camping all the time (it was the only holiday that fit within our budget) Youngest son’s first camping trip was at 9 weeks old and people were horrified that I would take a baby camping who was so young. No difference to me.
    We’d camp by the river, a fire with marshmallows was a must and fishing and swimming during the days. The most awesome ‘quality’ family time.

  5. I’m afraid I’m not a camping kind of girl. I’ve only been camping once and we definitely were “roughing it” …sleeping on the ground in a small tent and waking up with dew dripping in on us. Maybe if we had a better set-up I would enjoy it a little more.

  6. My grandmother took me and my sibs camping every summer, just to give my parents a break, and we always had a blast, too. These days, though, my idea of “roughing it” is a hotel with no room service.

  7. Hi! I found you at Smart & Trendy Moms Social Parade Friday follow. Have a great weekend!

    My husband, kids and I hate camping so I have nothing to say about that. We’re Mariott kind of people!

  8. We are big campers. For the longest time we had a trailer or fifth-wheel trailer. Now, we do the tent thing but only in the fall and spring. It is too hot and humid in the summer.

    The Bumping River was cold, cold, cold! We tubed down the Green River a couple of times a year but then it was in our own backyard. Where did you camp at the ocean?

  9. Your hubby and I are on the same wavelength. I’m all for an actual bed and bathroom, that is about enough roughing it for this city girl! 🙂

    Have a great holiday weekend – thanks for joining us for Friendly Friday again!

  10. We love camping. It’s been a while since we’ve been camping due to being pregnant and having a baby, but we have a trip planned this November. I can’t wait.

    I think camping is something that every kid needs to experience at least once. Maybe you and your hubby could comprise and rent a cabin in the woods? It’s not roughing it but it’s close enough.

  11. I am a girly girl so our condo is about as much roughing as it gets. Although the kids want to try camping this year…we will see! 🙂

  12. I’ve not being camping before. I would love to go sometime. Real camping. laying on the ground roughing it kinda deal. No RV.

    Talk about humidity. If you come here to LA, you’d faint. It’s sticky icky here!

    Enjoy your weekend!

  13. My parents took my brother and I camping on weekends a lot, but we had a travel trailer. Then when I was about 12 yrs. old, the bought a cabin on a lake so that’s where we’d go on weekends. When I was 14, they built on to the cabin and made a 4 bedroom house and we moved there from the big city. Yeah, big difference from just on weekends to full time, although I LOVED living on the lake!! I’ve never really camped in a tent. Now that I’m grown, I’d love to try a tent, but still would love to camp in a travel trailer, or better yet, rent a cabin.

  14. I’m dying to go camping again – luckily Mr. Big likes all the outdoorsy stuff so I am looking forward to it…there is a place called Peace River where you go to a central spot then they drive you up hill and then you have to canoe back down to the camp site with all your gear and then they pick you up at the end of your stay…can you say rugged? I can’t wait till we get to do it!!

  15. Hi, I’m “following” you from twitter since there’s a blank space under Friends. We’re having the same thing at Blogger, so I’d like it if you’d try to “like” my Facebook page (not sure that’s working either since I just put it up, but thought we could give it a try 🙂

    Mary @ Redo 101

  16. Thank you for not asking what I’m doing this weekend……….

    I camped as a kid but, as I’ve aged…I’ve found there is no place like my own bed, cable, and indoor plumbing.

    Have a great weekend!

  17. I mostly camped with my father. Usually, we would just drive off a forest service road and set up camp. We never had running water or a flat place to set up our tent. Sometimes, if we were lazy, we’d just sleep in sleeping bag in the flat bed of his truck. It is strange for me to see people in gigantic mobile homes with satellite TV and refrigerators. Not in my world. Luckily, I married a man with the same camping style!

  18. Ha! We just got back from a big camping trip with my friends. 4 families, kids n all. So much fun!
    Following from the hop!

  19. It sounds like you had some great adventures on those camping trips.
    My parents’ idea of camping was a motel but as soon as I was old enough I started backpacking and camping. I loved tent camping.
    I loved the out of doors so much I got involved in camping professionally and directed girl scout camps in Georgia and Alaska.
    One of my favorite camping experiences was on the tundra south of Barrow, AK with a group as a camp counselor. We had a blast, even though we saw a few snow flakes in July.
    My hubby’s idea of camping is our motorhome, I can’t talk him into tent camping.

  20. How neat to have both sets of grandparents come along to join in the fun. You most have some wonderful memories. We went camping one time that I can remember (the kids and I). I was a Single working Mom with a job for each kid. One weekend though this gentleman I was dating gave me his camper to use, and just the kids and I went to Indiana Beach. It was a great time. My four kids, and one grandson. I was 39 the year we went, and I took my niece, and my cousin’s little boy too. We had so much fun, and we even built a campfire. Man, I wish I had more time to do that more often with them. It was a blast.

  21. Love this topic!

    I used to go camping with my family in a pop-up tent camper when I was a kid. It was so fun! We used to go to campgrounds around my home state (Wisconsin) with a bunch of other families.

    In my 20s, I began tent/car camping. This means I pack my car with everything I can possibly use while tent camping. I have mostly stayed in state parks, but I try to get access to a flush toilet and a shower. I am not good at really roughing it.

    At one state park, we had to set up camp in the dark, and I ended up getting poison ivy all over both of my feet due to wearing flip-flops. Ugh. I made it through the whole weekend though! 😉

  22. We camped a lot as kids and teens. I didn’t mind it so much, but I don’t have a lot of great memories of that time in general because my family life was so crappy. SO fast forward to last month, when I camped for the first time as an adult, with my Daisy Girl Scout troop. I was SOOOO nervous! I’m definitely a hotel girl, but I wouldn’t call the hotels I’m used to “roughing it,” lol. Anyway, I see the value in camping and want to do it lots more now. I plan to do it a bunch with my family and my troop girls now!

  23. I’m not huge on camping. It’s okay for a night at a time. But being in a hotel is almost never “roughing it”.

  24. That sounds like sheer fun. Sadly, I have no good memories of my childhood. It was a miserable one. Hopefully, I’m building fun ones like yours for my own kids.

    I hate camping. I’m always cold, so camping in the UK is not something I could possibly enjoy here. We have ‘weather’ not climate. It could turn cold and rainy and stay that way for the entire summer.

    Maybe one day we could retire to Mexico and I could enjoy camping then…

  25. Hello… it’s been so long! and what a day to check back on your blog… we happen to be going “camping” next week. My hubs can’t stand all the natural stuff either, I think I have found a great compromise.. we’re renting a little cabin at a camp ground in TN. It’s a little rustic but has a kitchen, tv and a/c for him… a picnic table, charcoal grill and fire ring for me. And there are plenty of outdoorsy type activities as well as being close to the TN Aquarium and Riverboat tours for the whole family! Fun fun fun… I hope… I’ll let you know how it turns out!! xx

  26. 1) Camping is one of my favorite things to do. I don’t know if I can handle the total roughing it.
    2) We go with the air mattress, but we definitely don’t do motels. 🙂 It’s nice to have the kids’ full attention!

  27. I have never gone camping… nor do I have any desire to… Unless you count the beach, I am not an outdoors kind of girl

  28. My husband has been trying to get us camping for a months now. I don’t mind…much. But we currently lack the equipment and somehow other expenses are always popping up. My oldest on the other hand is anti-outdoors. She’s also anti-nature and anti-sweating. Camping in South Florida during summer seems like an unpleasant endeavor. Maybe fall conditions would be a little more favorable. You’ve almost sold me. Sounds like you have some great memories.
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