Around this time last weekend I was returning from a camping trip with my church. Altogether I think there were about 55-60 of us at this campground. Fortunately, my family had a campsite all to our selves. Which isn't saying much when "all to ourselves" includes my wife and 5 children, as well as my nephew who came with us. So yeah... 8 of us road tripping up to Lake Casitas, which is about an hour and a half away from my house. Remember that time. You'll need to think back on it later.
Anyway, when this trip was being organized by my church, they picked a date in July which was around the same time we went last year. But with some scheduling conflicts, the date was pushed back to August. This wouldn't have been so bad except for the fact that the new weekend that was chosen was the exact same weekend a good friend of mine was getting married and we'd already RSVP'd to the wedding! So we were in a pickle. And this, my friends, is when it gets crazy.
We had to figure out a way to still go on the camping trip but also make it to my friends wedding. So how did we manage this scheduling issue? Well, the original plan was that we'd arrive on Thursday afternoon and stay until Sunday. But the wedding was that Saturday at 4pm, which meant driving there and driving back. Complicating matters was the fact that the campground closes at 10 pm. So if we weren't back by that time, we'd be locked out of the campground until the morning! Yeah, crazy.
So that Saturday morning, we distributed most of our children to friends. Well, we actually left the older boys and my nephew to fend for themselves (they're 15, 17 and 19 years old. We knew they could handle it. Plus, if they needed anything while we were gone, there were plenty of people around that they knew). Our 5yo Aaron was put in the care of one close friend who was also there, while our 3yo Arielle was left in the care of another dear friend. We took Avery, who's now 15 months old, with us and trekked the nearly 2 hours (in traffic) back home. Here's a timelime to give you some perspective:
- 12:00 pm - Leave the campgrounds and drive back home.
- 2:15 pm - We make it back home with plans to meet my wife's parents who would watch Avery while we were at the wedding.
- 2:45 pm - Her parents arrive and we finish showering, changing out of our grungy, dirt-covered, camping clothes into nice clean formal wear.
- 4:00 pm - We get to the church which was an old Episcopal church built from stone which was very stuffy and very hot. My friend rented an A/C unit to cool down the place, but it was just no match for the heat that day.
- 4:30 pm - The wedding starts late because there were issues with parking due to road construction just outside the church.
- 5:45 pm - We make it to the reception location.
- 6:30 pm - The bridal party enters and dinner is served.
- 7:40 pm - We manage to finish dinner, but had to leave in order to get back home and pick up Avery before driving back to camp.
- 8:00 pm - We make it back home, grab Avery, say our thank yous and I love yous to our parents.
- 8:05 pm - My wife says "I'll drive and I'll get us there in time!" Impressed with her determination, we hit the road.
- 8:20 pm - We have to stop briefly to get gas because the car is on empty. Doh!
- 8:27 pm - Back on the road for the 1.5 hour trip BACK to the campground.
- 8:30 pm - There's traffic on the 405 (no big shock there) because of an accident and we're not even 5 minutes into the journey!
- 8:34 pm - By some miracle, the accident is swiftly moved off the road and we're back up to traveling (slightly above? ) the speed limit. My wife is pure focus and adrenaline.
- 9:55 pm - We make it back to the campground with 5 minutes to spare!
My wife and I looked at each other as we pulled into our campsite and said, "Did we really just pull that off?!?" and laughed. We see situations like this as life's little adventures. It's part of what makes being together so much fun. Okay... photos!
Our home away from home.
Me staking the "Bachelor Tent" for my older boys and nephew.
Our screened "kitchen" where we cooked and ate meals.
No description necessary. Ugh... 4 days.
There was a water park on the campgrounds too! This was good since it averaged 105 degrees the entire time we were there.
The kids loved, loved, LOVED it!
My two older sons and my nephew at the water park.
My youngest son Avery catching a snooze in the shade.
Warm nights and fire pits were the norm.
As were strange, large insects. :-/
Sunday morning gathering before we all packed up to leave.