I don't know if you know this or not, but my husband is an outdoors man at heart. Now mind you, he isn't the kind of outdoors man you might be thinking...he isn't into hunting or roughing it out in raw nature, but he does enjoy hiking, camping,and occasionally fishing. And he really loves the mountains! (This is also what makes him such a great farmer...he likes being outdoors watching the wild life around him as he works a field and he adores planting things and watching them grow.)
Anyway, I bring all this up because in his heart, I know my husband has always been a little disappointed that I'm not more of an outdoors kind of person. I really don't like bugs and the other creatures that loom around outside...especially at dark! We have talked occasionally about camping but we have VERY different opinions as to what that consists of...Marion thinks it involves sleeping on the ground, possibly a fire, and being in the good ol' outdoors (with possibly a hike involved)....Melanie thinks it involves a camper or RV with some type of bathroom facility, air conditioning capabilities, and going on a road trip to relax.
With all that being said, I realized last year that I love my husband more than I love the indoors, and therefore decided I was going to at some point buy the stuff to take him camping! It didn't work out last fall like I thought (I was after all pregnant) but this spring I had the opportunity to get some camping equipment on sale and told Marion we'd go camping for Father's Day! I think he doubted me on this, but following is proof that I at least made an attempt:
I really would have liked to have gone out to one of the pastures, cooked out supper on our propane camping stove, maybe had a bon fire for roasting marshmallows, and made it more outdoorsy...but we have a 3 month old and this was our very FIRST true tent camping experience. So, we did it in the back yard! Maybe we can be more adventurous on our second attempt (we do have to practice as we are hoping to camp out at the lake when we go to a friends reunion in August).
So, here is the tent...it supposedly sleeps 8 with a screened in porchy area:
My one concession for camping in a tent was that I was NOT sleeping on the ground. So I got a battery operated blow up mattress for Marion and I. Marion had to admit, it was A LOT better! (in the following picture, Ethan was not overly happy...he was ready for Mommy to pay some attention to him!)
Here the kids are starting to settle down. Jonny actually ended up sleeping over by us instead of by Nathan, and I think in the future we will need to rethink how we sleep everyone but overall it went very well.
Here is Daddy reading us all a bed time story. (We are in the process of reading Farmer Boy from the Little House on the Prairie series.)
Here is Ethan all tucked away in a corner of the tent. We put him on the opposite side of the bed from the kids for safety reasons. He did really well and slept all night with only a little fussing at 5 in the morning. The next time, I might take our oblong clothes basket and put him in that, I think I might sleep better having a 'bed' for him.
We did end up having to zip up all the windows and the wind blew pretty hard around 1 am. I also heard some thunder at that time but no one else was awake to hear it. Throughout the course of the night I heard coyotes, an owl, and various other birds. There was also a very strong skunk odor, but fortunately we didn't ever see the skunk. The dog and cats were very interested in what we were doing, but they all pretty much kept their distance. (Marion actually found Spottie in the pickup this morning as apparently the thunder scared her and she managed to jump through the window somehow.)
The next time you see Marion, you'll have to ask him how he liked camping, but overall, I think he was very pleased with our first attempt!