When we first started doing the (now) annual campout with my family, Matt and I went along with the whole sleep-in-tents thing just like everyone else, despite the campsite being literally up the street from our apartment. Because, after all, how could you do a campout without actually, you know, camping?
So we tried to borrow an air mattress (so we could actually get some sleep), which ended up waking us up every few hours as the air slowly leaked out from some unknown orifice. The morning after, we got ourselves down to the store to get some nice fat foam pads to sleep on (without actually thinking about where we would store them when all was said and done), and we were finally able to get some sleep (like, maybe even 6 or 7 hours if you can believe it).
Then last year, because Raven was still only a couple months old, we decided it would be best for everyone's sleep benefit if we just stayed back at our apartment at night and came back for all the other festivities.
And that might have clinched the deal forever for us (or at least as long as the campout continues to be so conveniently located up the street from us).
So that is why last week, while most of the rest of my family slept in tents up the road, Matt, Raven, and I were all snug in our warm beds, clocking in a full night of sleep while still getting to participate in many of the activities.
Of course, sleeping back at our own apartment means that we do miss out on some of the best bonding times, like the s'mores roasting (which started too late for Raven to participate), the late-night chats and games around the fire, the early-morning hikes to explore the area...
So we might not ALWAYS come back to our place to sleep.
But I've said it before, and I'll say it again--
Sleeping in tents has never been my favorite, so I'm kind of tempted to take advantage of the easy proximity to our apartment for as long as I can.
Even though Matt and I are kind of cop-outs when it comes to the whole sleeping-at-the-campsite thing lately, we still love this new tradition of my family's--it guarantees us at least one adventure during the summer (and one that we don't even have to plan that much and that's almost free), and it's a great bonding time for all the kids, as well as for us adults, too.
I see most members of my family at least once a month, but this campout gives us the chance to more deeply connect beyond just the chatting about what's new lately.
Back to the idea of not actually camping, though---we might just take advantage of it while we can because we know that in a couple years, Raven will absolutely want to spend as much time as possible with all of her cousins, and she probably would not be too happy with the idea of going back home to sleep.
So, I'd say we've just got a summer or two to soak in the luxury of having our king-size bed so close...
What do you think? Are we totally lame for just coming back to our own place to stay?
In other news about this latest campout, have I mentioned lately about how much all the cousins LOVE Raven? I mean, she's basically like their favorite little play buddy ever, and she gets toted along nearly everywhere with my nieces the second they're within sight of her.
It's kind of great really because it means that Raven gets play time, and we get some free babysitting.
Thanks family, for not giving us too hard of a time for being lame and coming back home to sleep, and thanks for being so much fun to hang out with!
Enjoy the rest of these pictures (and sorry that Raven is definitely overrepresented in these--that's the danger of making her mom the unofficial photographer of all family events)...
Until next year, family campout!