Our weekend camping with FOUR other families.... 10 adults, 7 kids (under the age of 3!!) for 4 days was a complete success. We had beyond an awesome time.
I was a little hesitant that the trip would completely bomb.... the other 4 wives had either never camped before or had camped before and hated it and, well, let's just say that the last couple times we've done any sort of family vacation with friends hadn't fared well for those friendships. I'm happy to be able to say we left Holland in great spirits and no one hating camping or each other. At least that we know of. HAHA!
We arrived in Holland on Thursday. The Dawsons and Collins were joining us a day earlier than the other 2 families. As we arrived, the rain (which had been on and off the entire way there) was on break. However, as we got the camper set up it began sprinkling. Hudson and I headed off to WalMart to grocery shop before Jane and Adam arrived. By the time I left WalMart, it was pouring. Not fun.
Jane and Adam had already set up their camper when I got back so we decided to head into Holland to catch a bite to eat at the Holland Brewery. After dinner we browsed around downtown to check out their Street Performers. Every Thursday throughout the summer they have Street Performers. We saw a ventriloquist, dancers, a guy on stilts, guitarists, jugglers, a clown doing tricks and a balloon maker. It was pretty fun for the kids and luckily the rain stayed away.
Donnie and Porter had a blast riding their bikes around the camp. Our sites were in a perfect location in the middle of a loop and a paved path on the other side of Jane's site. So, the boys were able to ride their bikes around and around and around and around and still be within calling distance away. Lukas didn't have his bike, but that didn't bother him... he ran literally for 4 hours straight, keeping up with Porter and Donnie on their bikes. The next morning he was feeling it, though, and could barely stand up to walk. Poor kid! The 3 boys, though, I think had the best time out of everyone. They played ALL day long.... running and riding and playing in the water faucet and just being, well, boys. The fun started as soon as they woke, they'd be out there riding their bikes in their pj's.
Friday afternoon we spent at the beach. The weather was gorgeous, although the water was a chilly 55*. Not unusual, though, for Lake Michigan. We must have looked like a nut house, all of us saggy-boobed, saggy bellied, white cellulite-assed moms in our suits with a slew of maniac toddlers running wild on the beach.
The kids had an absolute blast... Hudson first thing buried his face in the sand. He had sand caked in his eyelashes. The boys ran and ran and buried each other and threw rocks into the lake and built sandcastles. The girls kind of did their own thing.... filling buckets with sand and playing quietly. Roly Noly was attached to his "Mama"...err Daddy's hip.
The bosses (as Porter has dubbed us) had the kids in bed by dusk and sat until the late late evening around the fire laughing and joking and having a great time. I need to remember all the crazy one-liners we laughed about and jot those down for memory's sake.
Before we all left Holland, we stopped back by the beach for a group shot... color coded, of course. We decided next year we'd have to have t-shirts made with "Holland 10" on the front and our last names on the back. Because we're hot like that.
I'm so excited that everything turned out SO well. I'm really impressed with how smoothly things ran with so many little ones! Once we were all up, we'd make breakfast (which was something new for Ryan and I... we usually keep it simple but we found that making breakfast was really easy and fun!). We made scrambled eggs, sausage, pancakes, bacon and even donuts! Then from 10am to about 2pm it was a variation of naptimes. At any given time between those hours, typically someones kid was napping. Which worked out fine as it gave us time to sit around and chat, take showers and get ready, clean up from breakfast etc. Then we'd venture out to do something and head back around dinnertime to cook. After dinner was cleanup, get kids ready and in bed and then "Boss Time" LOL!
I took way too many pictures but I had a great time capturing it all. I can't wait to plan another camping trip and know that we now have 4 other families who are at least somewhat interested in joining us! We're already talking about making this an annual trip which makes me so happy :)