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Location: Northern California

Read all about the adventures of the Tsao Family during the summer of 2012

Sunday, July 08, 2007


Four people, three days, two nights, one Prius

Boy with stick vs. Tree
Originally uploaded by marytsao
Camping is always an interesting experience. I marvel at how hard I work to get all of the things gathered that we need, only to go on a trip that lasts less than three full days. But of course it's worth it to breathe fresh air; live amongst the California redwoods in a cozy tent; sleep side-by-side with Mike and the kids, everybody in their own sleeping bag; eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner outdoors; and be reminded of how nice it is to return to civilization, a breakfast served to you by a waitress, and a soft couch perfect for a mid-afternoon nap.

It's also great watching the kids having a good time in nature. Hey, they can be without TV for days on end! Actually, on the second day of our trip Thomas requested to sit in his car seat and listen to the Dora CD. I suppose he was having media withdrawal. I'm sure if we had brought a solar powered DVD player they would have been all over it, but we didn't have one (do they even exist?) so the kids were forced to be happy banging sticks against trees, poking at things in the dirt, and treating the tent like a bounce house.

All in all, the trip was a fabulous success. I got everything together to go, and Mike was a genius at getting all of our stuff into our one little Prius, setting up the tent, cooking pancakes on the propane stove, and dismantling our camp to pack up and leave. A fair amount of teamwork is required to venture away from home and its familiar routines, and I felt we worked together nicely during this trip. The kids helped in being old enough to enjoy themselves and in sleeping well during the night. The experience was all together more enjoyable than the camping trip we took two years ago when Thomas was seven months old and decided to cut a tooth and stay up all night crying. Oh my, that was fun. Not.

My favorite part of this trip was when we were snuggled up to sleep on Saturday night. Thomas was next to me and at one point he touched my face, saying, "Your eyes... your nose... your mouth... I love you, Mommy. You're boo-yee-ful!" It was at that point that I understood why some parents co-sleep with their kids long past infancy. Also, that he seemed to know he had behaved badly last time. (Thomas, I forgive you, and I look forward to many more camping trips with you. Love, your boo-yee-ful mommy. )