Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Memorial Day Camping

We had been talking back and forth about different things to do for Memorial day weekend. I wanted to go to the beach but the chances of huge crowds made it so L. didn't want to do that. I had the idea of finding some famous waterfalls that were supposed to be close where we lived so I tried finding them on the Internet but came across a website for a private campground and desided to tell L. about it as a joke. As it turned out L. jumped at the idea of going camping and since it was a private campground it hopefully wouldn't be as crowded as a state or national park might be on Memorial Day weekend. In preperation I cooked Bananna bread and Zuchinni & blueberry bread to keep them from going bad and to give us something to eat besides MRE's.
I decided to look up all the private campgrounds/resorts in area to find best one instead of just the one that I happened onto. I noticed that the few websites for resorts I did find all had the same symbol on their websites as part of an association. I just went to the association website because I for some reason it was impossible to find close campgrounds through Google. L.'s only requirement was a Juccuzzi. The place I ended up choosing was because it was the only one that had a lake, waterfall, and pool table but also had to pool and Juccuzzi like the other ones. (I know really roughing it.) The clincher was when I called to make a reservation we were able to reserve a campsite right next to the restrooms for L. We chose to go on Sunday and Monday because there was no rain forcasted. It would have been nice to make it a three day weekend but neither of us wanted to deal with Saturday Thunderstoms while camping so instead we basically had two weekends together. Friday and Saturday were spent doing errands and chores which allowed for a Sunday and Monday of pure relaxation. Since the campground offered so much and we were not planning on doing anything besides relaxing it was weird being able to pack so light.
Sunday morning we got out the door by 8:00 but of course we had to stop at Cracker Barrel, which for some reason has become an east coast traveling tradition as much as Waffle House is in the South.We got there earlier than we expected, and we had to go through a security gate and check in at the front office first. Since it was the first weekend of the season they were training new people at the front desk so it took forever to get the people processed while in there. It was kind of funny that since we were under 40, and it was our first time there the price for camping and day use of the resort was only $42. I guess they are trying hard to keep it a family resort and not just for senior citizens. Since it was out first time to the campground we were given a tour of the grounds. The place was huge at 450 acres so the camp representative just unceremoniously left us at our car while he went to get a golf cart. The tour showed us around and how some people had built vacation homes here so it felt a little like a time-share sales pitch at the same time. But everyone waved at us as we went by almost like everyone was purposely being over friendly for us to join the cult. But after the tour was over everyone was still just as friendly so I guess people that own or rent homes there for the season at a resort really are relaxed and therefore friendly and not just putting on an act. I was kind of disappointed to find out that the "waterfall" was pretty much a trickle but their website showed a video of people playing under a one foot thick flow of water. Oh well I guess brochures are always better.
We figured out our campsite was different than the one then we had said so we were not shown were it was on the tour. After starting to drive our car up a trail that was only supposed to be for golf carts we found the correct camp site by total luck and mistake. We moved our car to the parking lot (which also happened to be right next to our campsite - it really was the perfect camp site, close to everything but hidden in the middle of trees.) we set up our tent and unpacked the car and headed directly to the pool. After an hour or so of lounging in the pool just commenting on all the different body types. we headed back to camp to eat lunch (which ended up being muffins and fruit since we both had a big breakfast) and relax. A guy from a nearby campsite commented on the fact that we had a "University of Oregon" sticker on our car and it ended up he had lived in Portland. After lunch we headed back to the pool and met the same guy and his wife. We ended talking for a while and had quite a few things in common. From there L. and I decided to take our own tour of the place so we went for a swim in the lake out to a small floating platform. (which was still cold but warm enough that it was bearable.) Walked over to the small trickle of a waterfall (so much for playing it that this weekend.) then headed back to our tent for dinner. MRE's are the best thing for camping and we still had some left so all the more reason to use them up. It was L.'s first time of eating the full MRE (as opposed to just the main course which is what we had done up until this point) so I showed her the ritual of heating up the main course while opening all the "surprise presents" of side dishes. With the sun going down we headed back to the pool.
The pool was heated but it was still pretty early in the season so we alternated between the pool and Jacuzzi to keep warm. We met up again with the same couple and talked back and forth. The best part was that there was a kids dance in going on so there were no kids in the pool. (In fact it was just us it was just us and the other couple with maybe one or two other people alternating). Some other people had complained about how crowded the pool had been earlier which we laughed about since neither of us thought that 25 people in a 40 ft x 50 ft pool was crowded. When the kids dance let out we decided to abandon the pool and head back to our camp to relax. (But we still spent 8 hours in the pool.)
When camping you rise with the sun. L. has the un-natural ability to then fall back asleep, unfortunately I don't so I relaxed and meditated for a while then decided that I had to meditate out on the floating platform. I gently told L. where I was headed and out. By the time that I was done putting on sunscreen L. surprised me by deciding to show up at the lake ready for a day of lounging around. After helping her with sunscreen I swam out to the floating platform. Now I gotta say, I don't think that I have had much happier, perfect moments than the one where I was able to just sit on this floating wooden platform in the middle of the lake and meditate while feeling the sun shine on me and wind flow around me. L. says I was only there for a few minutes but to me it felt like hours to half the day before swimming back to the shore. We decided to have breakfast at resort snack stand instead of having MRE's and met up again with the same couple and talked over breakfast. We talked about the list of things that we wanted to try out before leaving and started by playing pool. For how long it has been since the last time I played I was surprised that I made so many of the shots I was planning (as opposed to them just going in after bouncing around enough.) I just wanted to go for a hike while there but the mosquitos thinking we were outside of the campground quickly made us go back to just walking on the road but at least being on the trail made it so that we didn't know which golf cart road we were on so we had fun finding our way back to where we knew where we were. We tried to play tennis but could not find any spare rackets and shuffle board didn't really impress either of us so we decided to go out on the lake on a paddle boat. Now, as much as I like our kayaks packing them to a place is a pain, so the fact that we could just untie the paddle boat from the dock and peddle away made it all the more fun even if it was slow and almost impossible to steer. We decided to eat lunch there to give us some more time there since neither of us were looking forward to the drive home and we were enjoying our stay so much. After lunch we couldn't help but go for one last swim in the pool.
We drove around the traffic so all tension was gone out of my body when we got home. I was to relaxed to unpack the car so we just left it until the next morning. The funny thing about the trip is that we did not plan on talking about our marriage but being so stress free and relaxed just naturally made it easier to check up on things that need to be talked about from time to time. I realized while meditating on the floating platform was that I needed to work harder (who doesn't) and amazingly L. decided that she is all up for doing more of the crazy types of things I suggest we do. So with the vacation being so stress free and there being so many friendly people this ended up being one of our best vacations ever.