Friday, July 25, 2014

notes on travel: camping at lake richardson in tahoe.

tahoe is one of my favorite places on the planet. i never went to tahoe as a child, so all of my experiences there have been as an adult with tony by my side. it sort of feels like, our special place (we even honeymooned in tahoe!).

needless to say, we were very excited to plan a little family get away to one of our favorite spots. we had high expectations and looked forward to camping with just the four of us. it wasn't all that we thought it might be. easton was an absolute pill. he never let up. he acted like a different kid inside of my kid's body. maybe there was three or four stretches of 20 minutes or so of happiness- but that was about it. the rest of his wake time rotated between tantrums, freak-outs (usually over dirt in his shoe), whining, and defiance.

i def learned a few things about camping with children, and most of the trip actually went perfectly (except for the easton hurricane). here are a few tips from me to you about camping with TWO little ones.

1. be prepared:
we packed most everything the morning of. we got it all done (and in pretty good time) but i think that the scrambling around all morning put easton off, and contributed to his record breaking bad behavior. i get a little bit of travel anxiety, which i'm sure i've passed down to him. one thing that always keeps me calm before traveling is having all my t's crossed and i's dotted in advance.

2. bring more clothes than you think necessary:
 i got peed on twice. that's two outfits that became unusable for sailor and two outfits unusable for me. i needed just a bit more.

3. keep meals simple:
i cooked mac and cheese the first night with salad, and the second night;  trader joe's frozen asparagus risotto with sautéed veggies on the side. i didn't want to bother with things that needed a lot of cooking, or worse, lot's of condiments. we brought bread for pb and j's for lunch, cereal for breakfast, and fruit and berries to snack on.

4. bring a surprise toy/game:
 i brought a big puzzle for easton, which was a total surprise. i bought it the day we left and tucked it away until we arrived at our campsite. it was one of the only things that we were able to do as a family that didn't cause whining.

5. bring a pac n' play (even if the baby won't sleep in it):
 it was so helpful to be able to put sailor in a safe place for an extended period of time while i tended to easton, cooked dinner, set up, and broke down camp.

6. know when to throw in the towel:
in the middle of the night on night two sailor peed on me, himself, my sleeping bag, and sleep mat. while i was stripping down in the middle of the freezing tent, i said, "that it. i can't take anymore. we're going home tomorrow." we'll try the camping thing next month. everything can't be perfect the first, or even second time around. this was a great start, but it needed to end.

easton was napping, so tony was all smiles!

 (doesn't this picture look fake?? the background is so beautiful that it looks like a painting.)

camp richardson is right on the lake. we spent some time on the beach and rented a paddle boat to cruise around the lake. it was really fun, and one of the rare times that easton truly enjoyed himself. sailor even fell asleep in his little life vest as i was paddling.

there is a really delicious ice cream shop on the camp richardson property. there are lines outside of it at all time of day and night. i got the most amazing cherry vanilla ice cream ever. truly, it was the best ice cream i've had. (doesn't sailor-boy look jealous of my cone!?!?)

by the grace of God i brought a play hammer for easton. he "helped" tony hammer in the steaks while they set up the tent. that was pretty fun! he was really proud of himself.

we ended the trip with a stop at fairy land in sacramento. that was a really good idea. easton had a great time there, and it was really refreshing to see him play be excited after three days of discomfort. we will give the camping thing a try again next month!

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