Camping

Audrey and I went camping last weekend. It was the kind of camping I prefer – the kind in a camper with beds and a flush toilet and air conditioning.

We camp with our friends at their camper in North East Missouri. It is a four-hour drive according to google. According to a certain 3-year-old it takes 5 and a half hours. We stopped four times on the way down. But sometimes you need to stop and take a hike through a butterfly garden or play at a park. Hike is probably not the right word, as it is more of a flutter. Audrey is very interested in fluttering like a butterfly, so she runs around flapping her arms, saying “flutter, flutter, flutter.”

When we got to the camper we unpacked our stuff and headed out to do our traditional first night of camping dinner: pizza. 20180727_1832419192974046420378167.jpg

On Saturday it was a little chilly for July. It was too cold for the water park or the beach, so we explored playgrounds. We visited 3 before nap time. It is the first time I can remember Audrey falling right to sleep in the camper.

For dinner we decided to head to the Hootenanny – a restaurant that specializes in pie. I had a wrap for dinner that was delicious, but the pie was what stood out. I went with a slice of butterfinger pie.

After dinner we headed to another park. We then headed back to the camper, totally exhausted.20180728_1827422743126505580072048.jpg

Our drive home was faster than our drive down to Missouri. By that point Audrey had figured out that she wasn’t going to get a bag of M&Ms every time we stopped. We had been on the road for about three hours when we got to Oskaloosa. When we are on a road trip and it is clear that the kids need to get out and play I just drive around a small town off the highway until we find a park. They are usually easy to find. In Oskaloosa I found the best road trip park we have ever found. It was huge! There was a new playground, and old wooden playground, and an old playground with a rocket slide. It was so big I might be heading there next year for a special picnic day.

This week we are staying in Des Moines, which I’m looking forward to. I love to travel, but four nights out-of-town last week wore me out.

I hope you had a fun weekend too.

Camping Recap

As I mentioned yesterday, camping wore me out. Part of that is the lack of sleep. The other part is we spent the entire time on the go. It was such an enjoyable weekend.

The drive down to North East Missouri (in the same area as Mark Twain State Park) took about 4 hours. It went remarkably well. I borrowed my sister’s portable DVD player, so the kids were able to watch Mickey Mouse and Olivia in the car. We stopped at a park about three hours into the drive. Getting them out of the car to play helped all of our moods.

When we got to the campground we unpacked the car and then walked up to the camp store to order pizza.  It was a great way to get the kids familiar with each other again, and a great way to get us out of cooking.

This is the first time the boys have spent much time together. They immediately hit it off and played well together all weekend. It was so much fun to watch.

After dinner we headed back to the camper. The girls and Bryan went for a ride on the golf cart (Kirsten’s husband was there dropping it off and drove them around) while Kirsten and I go the beds ready. Elliot was not up for a ride yet. He liked exploring the golf cart, but he was scared of riding on it.

After the golf cart ride we tried to get the kids to bed. It did not go well. That was the case all weekend. As they get older it will get better. That’s what I’m telling myself.

In the morning we had breakfast at the camper before we loaded up the golf cart and heading out to play.

The first stop is the modern playground. It is a big cube for climbing, with a slide and swing in it. The kids loved exploring it. Eventually it got busy and we headed to a different playground.

The second stop was an older playground, also at the campground. We were the only people there, which the kids (and their mothers) enjoyed. The kids played hard until it started to rain.20180512_0953321026274787.jpg

The campground has a place for kids 1-5 that is basically an indoor area to explore. Sadly most of the toys were broken and it hadn’t been cleaned for what looked like a decade. That being said, it was free and kept the kids busy.  20180512_1021082060642474.jpg

After all of that it was only 11. We decided to have lunch and try for naps. Lunch went well. Naps didn’t. The boys got out of their pack and plays after about 30 minutes and walked out to the living room. We decided to throw in the towel and explore some more.

We headed to the Mark Twain Lake visitors center. It was full of things to do. We checked out a few scenic overlooks. We took a hike. We looked around the visitors center. They had a table with crayons and coloring books for the kids. The employee on duty even handed me a bag with 4 packs of sidewalk chalk and two workbooks for the older girls. He mentioned they will be added a playground next year, so we will be back.

The nice guy at the visitors center then told us the best park to visit at the state park. It was a great park and it is very close to the campsite. There is also a beach close to the park, so hopefully we will try that out later this summer. The kids were so entertained at this park Kirsten and I were able to sit on a bench and actually talk! It was a miracle.

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That night getting the kids to sleep was horrible. At one point I went in to check on the boys because they were being very loud. They had crawled into bed together and were very proud of themselves.

20180512_190013579921131.jpgOn Sunday we got up, attempted to go get pancakes and found the restaurant closed, and drove home. All in all, it was a crazy way to spend Mother’s Day weekend, but it sure was fun.

 

 

Camp Snacks

Tomorrow I’m packing up the kids and driving four hours to camp with my friend Kirsten and her two kids. We will have four kids under four in a camper. We are clearly insane.

Because I imagine it is going to be a crazy weekend I wanted to get some of the work done before we left. I also wanted to make sure we had some healthyish items. I threw together a few things that I think the kids will like to eat. As an added bonus Kirsten and I will like them too. 20180510_195417436169163.jpg

I’m still on my hummus high, so I made some more sun-dried tomato and basil hummus. I sliced up some bell peppers to use for dipping sticks. I am also bringing crackers for the hummus.

For quick snacks and an on the go breakfast I made some peanut butter energy bites. These are basically no bake cookies, so I think the kids will love them.

I am on the e-mail list for volunteer recipe testers for Cooks Illustrated, and just this week they sent out a recipe to test for raw fruit and nut bars. I thought they looked good so we are trying them out this weekend. They have dates, dried cherries, almonds, and cinnamon. They are basically the homemade Lara bars I’ve been making for years, but with smaller bits of almond. I think the kids will like the texture of these better.

Do you have any make ahead snacks you like to take on trips?