Saturday, September 17, 2011

c is for camping

I started this post a while ago, and forgot to finish it! So here it is now....

This past Labor Day weekend, Josh, Lily and I went camping at Nehalem Bay. I absolutely LOVE this area. It's about 30 minutes south of Canon Beach, and 5 minutes (at the most) south of Manzanita. What's great about Nehalem Bay is that it's a stones throw from the beach. Literally, we walked from our campsite to the other side of our loop, over a dune and BOOM...beautiful beach. Our church reserves the entire "F" loop on Labor Day weekend, and we have "Family Camp." Basically, tons of people from church bring their families camping, the kids run around and ride bikes together, we have potlucks, campfire, "church" on Sunday morning, and relax/chat/have fun with each other. It really is an awesome weekend.

Josh took Friday off, so we were able to leave around 2 from Vancouver and make it to the beach/camping around 4. I've been to Family Camp the last 2 years, and we've arrived in the dark because we waited for Josh to get off work and left pretty late. But, seeing as how it's miserable trying to set up a tent in the dark, we opted for the daylight set up this year. I have to say that also the last 2 years, the weather has been, well, let's just say less than ideal. Year 1: severe wind, pouring rain, freezing, leaky tents, stuff blowing over. Year 2: Rainy, cold and windy, but not as bad. I'll talk about Year 3's weather soon. Hint: Significantly better.

On Friday night, our good friends Jonny and Dana (and their puppy Sam) stayed with us on our site. We had so much fun, especially since their puppy might just be the cutest I've ever seen. (You can actually vote for him here: On Saturday we all went to the beach, and do you know how hot it was? 88 degrees! Ok, seriously, when has it been 88 degrees on the Oregon Coast on Labor Day weekend? In the 26 years of my life, I don't believe I've ever experienced that. It was ridiculously beautiful. We even played in the frigid waters of the Pacific, and it.felt.good. Sunday was nice as well, but fog started rolling in during the late afternoon. Still, I didn't have to bundle up and sit under a tent all day. Although, if we did, our tent was big enough to hold half the campground. Three common phrases were used regarding our tent by almost every passer-by: 1) "Wow, that's a huge tent." 2) "That tent is gigantic" and 3) "That's the biggest tent I've ever seen." Stay tuned for a post about finding and buying said tent. And Monday, when we left, it was also really warm and sunny. Great weather for packing up!

On Sunday night, we sat with another of our good friends, Levi, and his family at his sister's campsite. They had a big fire going, and we all gathered around, enjoying our last evening. Levi brought over his guitar, and he and his dad sang folk songs together. It was so relaxing, and I really appreciated listening to them and their amazing voices. It was seriously one of my favorite moments of family camp ever.

Do you know what else I love about Family Camp? On Saturday and Sunday nights we do potlucks with a group of campsites around us. The last 2 years, I didn't really understand what to bring to potlucks, and made some poor decisions (ex: "beef stroganoff" from a package with mystery meat.) But this year, I have to give myself a pat on the back. I brought slow-cooker spaghetti and for dessert peanut butter chocolate bars one night. The other night, Josh and I cooked smoked sausage with green beans, potatoes and onions over the fire and brought some super rich double chocolately Oreo bars. I might add it was all pretty tasty. Look at me, I can cook (a little). After a year of marriage, I'm finally getting the hang of some different meals.

I can't wait til next year's Family Camp. Each year seems to get better than the last.

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