I WENT CAMPING BEFORE 40
Sharing this moment with you all is cool and worth celebrating. I ACCOMPLISHED one of my #40before40 goals--GO CAMPING. Some may wonder why would someone who is all about fashion and lifestyle really want to camp outdoors with bugs and animals, no electricity, and all of the outdoorsy things. I would say that's the perfect reason to want to go camping. Time spent in the outdoors for me has always been the perfect way to rejuvenate the body, mind and soul. Getting away from the city, not having WIFI and unwinding in nature's cradle was one of the best things I could have done for myself.
We arrived at our campsite right at check in time which was 4:00 pm. As we drove winding roads through the forest, literally we camped in Shelby Forest Meeman State Park, I was really surprised by the number of campers and RVs. Many of the campsites were full of people with string lights hanging from trees, siting out in lawn chairs, preparing dinner and relaxing.
There is this beautiful thing about nature--things happen as they were designed and humans have no control. Waking up in a forest underneath 100 year old trees helps you put into perspective the minute role you play in nature. The sun rose at around 6am and I woke up with from God turning on the lights, naturally. As it stepped out of the tent, I was greeted by the face of a raccoon who was partaking in breakfast at our table.
Well, it was pretty clear we had to cook breakfast with what the raccoon decided to leave us but we all were still pretty satisfied and exited about the day ahead. Shelby Forest has so many activities available during the weekend and we wanted to make sure we took advantage. The kids set up the schedule for the day with a canoe voyage through the swamp, archery lessons, and fishing.
Here is the thing--- I am terrified of water. Yet, I knew this #40before40 challenge would not only allow the opportunity to experience new things but it also made me face fears even in baby steps. As they pulled the canoes off the truck and I had stood near that big body of water, my heart dropped to my feet. I wanted to tiptoe back to the truck and wait for them to come back. I couldn't though! I felt a sense of support directly from God I promise. I looked up into the sky took a few deep breaths and said to myself--YOU GOTTA GO! I didn't just go but I paddled through the swamp.
Hurrying to get prepared before the sunset, we set up the tent, blew up our air mattresses (glamping, a tad), and let the kids hunt for sticks and logs for the campfire. The first night is pretty busy setting up the camp quarters and making dinner. I think we all were so excited and looked forward to what the night would bring. We survived our first night with kids and sat around the campfire eating carne asada and hot dogs.
We spent the rest of the last night at Meeman Park just relaxing by the lake and visiting the nature center. Daniel taught the kids how to bait the fishing rod and fish. While I sat in the truck shielding myself from bugs. Listen, don't put any shea butter on your skin if you go camping. Flies and every insect imaginable loves shea butter.
We really enjoyed each other and our first camping trip was successful. No one was eaten by bears and we all survived. I loved being outside but I looked forward to going home. Our breakdown was much faster than our installation, thanks to me getting everyone up and moving.
THING I CAN SHARE NOW THAT I HAVE GONE CAMPING
- Thankfully, there are water & electrical hookups and bathhouses with restrooms.
- Pack extra food and store in animal proof containers.
- If you have kids who get bored with certain foods restaurants are close by--save yoruself the stress. Go grab a pizza.
- BUG SPRAY, BUG SPRAY BUG SPRAY MULTIPLE TIMES A DAY