(image via weheartit)
When I was a little kid I would ask my dad if we could go camping. He would say sure and then add the stipulation that there had to be a Holiday Inn sign in front of the tent. Such a joker. So in other words... No. More like hell no. I remember my mom taking me camping once. Before we left I found a piece of carboard and attempted to copy the Holiday Inn logo onto my carboard in markers. I was so excited and quickly dissapointed when we sent up our tent in a row of 50 other campers. There was no cozy camp fire. Only park designated bbq pits, port-a-potties, and a million other campers crammed into one space. It was cold at night and the ground was hard. I remember rolling around trying to find a comfortable spot more than actually sleeping. It was a dissapointing experience to say the least. Around 19 I had moved in with Rachel and attained a rather large and awesome new group or friends. They started taking me camping with them in the mountains. I fished out the tiny tent my mom and I once camped in and my sleeping bag from elementary school and followed along. It was liberating and amazing. It was everything I had been dreaming of since I was a kid. Warm fires, lots of laughing, good food, and absolutely NO port-a-potties. The next year we started talking about a 5 day camping trip but we weren't sure where to go. Strangley there is a giant lake with white sandy beaches only 3 hours away from here....in Nebraska. Yes Nebraska. If you never have been there let me tell you it sucks just as much as you think it would. Good corn though. That year 5 of us piled into Rachel's minivan and went. I still remember a friend showing up right as we were about to leave him with an apple, a blanket and no shoes. Thats all he had. He proceeded to by to 40s and drink them by the time we were there. He also had no food so he bought 2 cans pork and beans at a gas station and no can opener. The first morning there we found him by the beach in the hot sun with the blanket over him. The best part was there were a lot of big trucks and campers driving up and down that beach. He was a gem that guy. My friends and I are all about traditions. No matter how busy we are we still manage to make too a few key events every year. This 5 day camping trip has been one of them. It looks a lot different now. People have come and gone. There are lots of little kiddos running around now, we have much better camping equipment then we used to and we all seem to go to bed a little bit earlier than we used to. But it was definately the experience I was looking for as a kid. And although there is a bathroom in the parking lot far far away from us there is absolutely NO port-a-potties.
So I leave today for my 8th time going to to same amazing camping spot we go to every year (The only year I took off was the year we were married) I will see you next week!