Camping is not for Princesses – Part 2

When I told my fellow princess pals that I was going camping many gasped in horror, clutched my arm and said, “you’re so brave!” I tried to be casual about it, but inside I agreed, I really was brave. But was I crazy? What had I gotten myself into? What if my 5 year old gets eaten by a bear? What if the boys need a doctor? Do they have antibiotics out there? But my husband assured me that boys needed this ultimate Canadian experience, and so on I went, bravely amassing the mountain of stuff people need to survive a few nights out of doors.

I cannot believe how much gear you need for to camp! I realize now that getting away from it all actually means taking it all with you. I’m talking sleeping bags (X5), tents, tarps, chairs(X5), bungee cords, propane stove, propane, matches, rope, flashlights(X5), an axe, stuff for s’mores and beer (X alot) – these are the necessities, without which, it’s not called camping. Add to that some stuff to make the experience actually bearable like pillows (X5), outfits made entirely of fleece, toothbrush & paste, blow-up mattresses, iPod & speakers, personal insulated Bodums, Baileys, box of pinot grigio, changes of underwear, a soccer ball and suddenly my SUV hatch won’t close and I need to pop the Thule box on top!

Over the three nights of rain, rain and more rain, I learned to make a good campfire and how to put it out without water. I learned to enjoy the freedom of not putting on makeup everyday – hell, I didn’t even wash my face some days. I learned that my boys are most cooperative with each other when they are building a sandcastle. And I learned that nooky in a tent is more than I can handle.

Maybe next time?

Love Lucie

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Camping is not for Princesses – Part 1

My eyes are crumby and my fleece jacket is pockmarked with burn holes. My hair smells like cedar plank salmon. The air is cold but heavy with morning breath. The orange walls that cocoon me are slick with condensation. Droplets flick onto me as my husband struggles to get comfortable on the leaky air mattress. I am wearing every piece of mismatched fleece clothing I own. I blink a few more times, wondering how I happened to fall asleep inside a pumpkin when it hits me, this Princess is camping!

Being the only female in a house of boys, there are some things I simply don’t do, like taking out the garbage, killing insects, and until yesterday, camping. I simply adore my king size bed, my snore-reducing pillow and my down duvet. But somehow, I got tricked into taking my boys camping this year. They are 5, 7 and 10 years old, and I guess I simply ran out of excuses to deny them, as my husband puts it, the ultimate Canadian experience.

Nature calls suddenly as it does in 40+ year old women and I struggle to sit up and move onto all fours toward the “front door” of the tent, causing my husband to pitch into the center of the mattress in the process. He moans in protest. I unzip the inner tent and then the outer tent, and voila, I pop out head first into the wilderness, fervently hoping that I don’t see a bear at the picnic table. The coast is clear and my bladder nearly bursting, so I do my best Charlie Chaplin impersonation to the bathroom one campsite away.

Making my way back to the campsite, I encounter a few fellow bedraggled campers. Eager to hide the most heinous morning breath (didn’t brush after those s’mores last night, did I?) and spectacular bed hair imaginable, I mumble good morning and scurry back. It’s just after 6AM, an ungodly hour for pleasantries, but those damn Blue Jays are awake and so are we. But thank goodness for my Mom and Dad, they’ve got the fire roaring already!

It has rained all night as the small lake by the foot of our tent will attest and the flat style tarp roof my husband Macgyver’d out of bungees and plastic sheeting served only to collect a good amount of rain before the tree bough gave way, loudly dumping it’s load every 5 minutes or so. But my kids loved it, splashing about as if their Dad had given them their very own waterpark. Thanks again to my Mom and Dad as soon everyone is happily munching on croque monsieurs and I’ve splashed some Baileys into my coffee, and so the world is good again.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

We are at Green Point campground in the Pacific Rim National Reserve, just outside of Tofino, British Columbia. Perched on very edge of the Pacific Ocean, it is a paradise to many – surfers, artists, foodies, whale-watchers and yes, virgin campers.

Where else can you wake up to this?

I think this must be what heaven must look like.

Love Lucie

Getting over the Canucks

OK I admit it. I’ve been hiding in a bit of a funk since the Canucks lost in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. I was just so sure they were going to win. I even had champagne in the fridge and the beginnings of a celebratory post ruminating in my head.

But then they lost. And then there was that embarrassing, horrifying, ugly riot. And I just couldn’t write about that. I had been at Game 7 with my husband where the evening was an utter love fest, for fans and players alike. And although there were no Gary Bettman fans there, the crowd cheered vehemently for the Canucks and gave Tim Thomas and the Bruins a standing ovation. We had no idea that cars were burning outside until we were safely home.

It kind of ruined hockey for me, and for awhile, writing. I had all these great posts in mind, about how being a hockey mom is more Canadian than maple syrup, but I just didn’t care anymore.

But I’m back. I’ve just spent the last three days camping in the rain, hanging around the fire with my boisterous boys, feeding them s’mores and Jiffy pop and I feel great.

Thanks for waiting.
Love Lucie