Sleeping Bags Were on Sale...
So I bought five and borrowed a tent. I made a mad dash to the grocery store and bought things that don't belong on a health blog plus nuts and apples and veggies. Drove to my kids day camp, pulled them out a little early, and off we were- solo-mom (hubby was traveling for work) and a carload of kiddies. Time for an adventure!
How'd it go? Amazing! That whole spontaneous thing was great, and it didn't give me time to overthink anything. Just do, do, do until we got to our campsite. We pitched our tent at Dor Habonim- check it out next time you need a gorgeous place to spend an overnight or two. After my kids set up our campsite...so simple compared to some other tents around us, they went to play in the waves until the sunset.
The group who pitched a tent to our right sure knew how to camp. We were left wondering if we needed to use ALL of the pieces that came with the tent. Those other guys had glass dishes and pretty colored lights. We didn't even have matches or a flashlight.
No worries! Why? Because before we left Jerusalem, my kids and I decided that complaining was not an option. So we borrowed a lighter from some helpful Israelis, got some help starting our BBQ from some other nice Israelis, and then settled in for a "comfy" (read- squishy six-person tent should have been for four) rest on the shore of the Mediterranean.
The next morning was gorgeous. And I would know because I saw ALL of it. We woke up at 5:30 am just as the sun was rising and the waves were inviting us to come for a swim. After a day at the beach, we packed up our campsite, we continued on with our adventures.
Our next vaca spot was a lovely yurt (go google that one!) in Pardes Chana. More on that another time...So how to pull off the whole spontaneous cross-country (it's a tiny country!) trip, with a carful of kiddies?
Top Five Recommendations:
1. No complaining. About anything. Not about the sand or the bugs or the long walk to the bathroom. Besides, those things aren't worth complaining about even if you aren't camping.
2. Pack lots of fruit and nuts. The kids will eat them nonstop when they are exerting all their energy erecting tents and swimming.
3. Everybody is responsible for three things and three actions. Just break down what needs to be done and delegate. The kids will be so thrilled to be camping they won't even care if they get the job of schlepping all the stuff to and from the car.
4. The better quality campgrounds (cleaner and quieter), are the ones that you have to pay entry to stay in. Check out here for ideas.
5. Do NOT forget coffee if this is part of your super-essential daily routine. The routine will not change even if you are waking up to a gorgeous sunrise and hiking along the beach. You will need coffee. The coffee stand at the beach does not open until the ridiculous hour of 8 am. Your kids will wake up the first second a bird chirps or the person in the tent five feet away from you sneezes. 5:30 am to 8 am is a loooooong time to wait for coffee. If this happens to you, I give you permission to break the no complaining rule.
Good luck with your super-fun complaint-free family or friend adventure. This was our first time camping, and we can't wait to go again. As long as someone remembers the coffee.