The Camping Chronicles, Day 1: The Camping Grill, The Husband & The Boxed Wine


Friday June 24th, 2011.

The husband was working on a final exam for a class he was taking so that left me to  make it to the store for last-minute items and finish the lists of to-dos around the house. We ended up missing our ferry (twice) from the Kitsap Peninsula to Edmonds/Seattle side manly because I wanted a shower. I didn’t know when my next one would be, so I literally took one before walking out the door. I lovingly said goodbye to my Philosophy face wash and skin care line. It didn’t belong in the woods. I also had a hard time passing by my bed with all 10 pillows on it. At that moment I second guessed the whole thing, but convinced myself this was going to be fun. What’s not fun about sleeping on air mattresses in tents….in the woods??

Nick finished in time to play the game of tetris with our stuff in the jeep. My first moment of worry was when I came out to see the progress of loading. I stood on my front porch looking down at the drive way. Nick was doing great. He had just about everything in the jeep and all the large stuff (coolers, water jugs, tent) all strapped down to the shelf trailer (goes on the hitch). As he stood there looking at me feeling very accomplished, I sighed and told him now he needs to re-do it all because he loaded the trailer before closing the back hatch to the jeep. He reaches up and tries to close the hatch…it wouldn’t clear the stuff on the trailer. Rookie mistake that made my very intelligent husband slow down a bit. I giggled once out of sight.

Once that was redone and I did the last walk through of the house, we were off. Nick and I held hands while driving, laughed and got caught up. He had worked a lot before this trip and it was just nice to spend this time with him. The kids were in the back seat laughing and getting excited. We pulled up right as the ferry was being loaded (bonus). While on the ferry, we had sandwiches and made an impromptu picnic in the car. The kids loved it.

The drive to Birch Bay was BEAUTIFUL. I love Washington and it’s landscape. I’m always Ooing and Ahhing over something. The sun was shining, the weather was perfect and the music was playing. I was quickly settling into the idea of camping.

We arrived to the campsite three hours later than what we intended. This camping trip was revolving around a Soccer Tournament for our son’s team and an older team The Husband coaches. There were two to four games a day. So, we were in a bit of a time crunch. Zach was sent with another Coach to the fields to warm up for his first game and Nick and I stayed behind with the other coach’s two smaller boys who were playing with Kay while we set up out tent. Quickly. We put down the tarp and set up the 16×12 ft tent without much confusion. The husband and I were teasing with each other and really having fun. Once it was up, we realized we were taking up a lot of the site which we were sharing with another Coach and his family. They had two normal size tents. Thank goodness and we all fit. We hurried off to the first game, only to go to the wrong soccer complex. At this point, the magic that was felt earlier working side by side with The Husband was quickly dwindling. I assumed he knew where he was going since he had been here last year, but that was not the case. We ended up 15 mins south of where we needed to be and had to back track. We also had two other children that didn’t belong to us and who might be missed. Our son is a guest player for this team (back up Goalie) and doesn’t play every game. I was going to be more than a little upset if he played and we weren’t there. We made it for the second half and I took a deep breath. Everything was fine.

The game was over and it was now around 7pm. I was standing around a team of 13-14 year old boys who just want to get back to their campsites and EAT.  While we are dividing up who goes with who (not all parents are there for this trip and we have to make sure all are taken care of) The Husband walks up to me and says, “Ok, you are taking these people back to camp. Make sure the boys are fed pasta and get to sleep on time”, (kisses me) then tries to walk away… “WAIT!” He turns around in a hurry…..and looks at me like, “What??!!” “Where are you going?” I asked. He then reminded me that his BU16 team still had a late game and I was to help take care of the younger team and get settled. “Whaaat?…..Cook pasta….waaaait….the tent…..unload?……” I tried to explain that we never even unloaded the car and that it was going to be 8pm before we got in and I didn’t have fire wood yet or know how to set up the camp stove and the tent was just sitting there empty….and…and…..and. He just kissed my forehead and smiled. “You got this.” he said. I asked when he would get back to the camp….”Not until 10pm Wifey. I love you.”

I dropped off the other parents/kids and arrived to our site. We only had the tent up. All the food, gear, EVERYTHING was still in the jeep. I went into survival mode and while the magic was now gone, a new game of mumbling curse words under my breath became my only release. I set up camp, and thank God there was another “Dad” to help me set up the camp stove. I couldn’t even get the damn thing open. I sat reading the instructions, “Open grill and connect propane bottle to such and such valve. Make sure to seal test with soap and water….leaks may occur and can be dangerous…..” Great. Just great. He was able to force it open and attach the propane bottle for me. I was more than grateful. The pasta was cooked, but I didn’t make the meat sauce like requested by the husband. “Screw that,” I thought to myself. Boiling water on a tiny camp stove was impressive enough for me. As I finished everything and got the kids settled….the husband was dropped off. He walks over to the fire, sits in his camping chair and opens a beer, jokingly asking where his dinner is. I was –> <– this close to throwing the camping grill at him. But instead, I told him there was some on the grill for him, took my metal coffee cup and filled it from my Boxed Wine (three times). This was my first boxed wine experience and let me tell you that I will never camp without it. It’s credited with saving my marriage, or at least not throwing a camping stove at The Husband. Day 2 will be better. It has to be.

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