June 16th, 2010
Speaking of summer camp, the family and I are going camping this weekend. For me, it’ll be the first time since I was a kid, not counting that “camping trip” (where the “” denotes “make-out” trip) to San Filipe with an SDSU frat when I was 18. One whole week sleeping on the sandy beaches of the Sea of Cortez, eating the same XL pizza out of my friend’s hatchback, and drinking water out of left-over Coco Loco shells. Good camper times, good camper times. I’m thinking this coming weekend ain’t gonna be like that. More like a crowded above-ground pool, s’mores, and trail mix out of a Chevy Suburban.
One thing I will NOT miss about that San Filipe trip?
Pooping on a scorpion in the middle of the night.
Pretty sure THIS campground has bathrooms. Gross and mildewy for sure, but still. Better than a sand potty scorpion nest.
So because neither I, nor my husband, have been camping for years going on epochs, we had nothing. NOTHING. NOTHING even resembling camp gear.
Well…there was the sleeping bag. The one resting in the eaves of the garage, wrapped in a shredded Hefty bag, tied with dirty old twine. The Rock pulled it down amid a cloud of dust and upon unfurling it, told me I could use it, to which I helpfully replied as a spider emerged from the top of the sleeping bag, HELL NO I WON’T.
My refusal to sleep in Hotel for Arachnids prompted The Rock to go on a camping implements shopping trip. He’d already perused the newspaper ads and circled this and that, which I subsequently Googled for reviews, and so we were prepared. Except let me just say here that as I was looking at the clipped ads, I said stuff like, “Hey! Get a load of those camp chairs! They’ve got cup holders! Can we get them? Can we?” to which The Rock replied, “We are on a budget. We cannot afford to get everything. We can sit on our beach chairs.” And then I countered with, “But did you see those Queen air mattresses on sale? They look so squishy and campy.” Upon which The Rock said, “We can sleep on our leaky Aerobed! We don’t need no new stinkin’ air mattresses.”
It was riiiight about then that I noticed The Rock had put a big red circle around a cool-ass sleeping bag with an arrow pointing to a “ME” as in “HE” as in “THE ROCK” as in “NOT ME” as in “NOT FOR SAN DIEGO MOMMA.” So I say, “What’s with the sleeping bag? You get a new one and I get the spider cocoon?” And he said “But I’m tall! I need a sleeping bag for tall people!”
Then off he went.
Well about an hour into the shopping trip, I get a panicked phone call. Seems the Sports Authority advertised a 6-person tent for a great price, but when The Rock arrived at the store he discovered the tent advertised was not the tent for sale. At which point he screamed “BAIT AND SWITCH!” and waited for the manager to put the snafu right with some kind of make-good deal on another tent. So while he’s waiting, The Rock calls me from the back of the store’s tent display, reading off names of tents that I am supposed to Google and find out whether the tent sucks or not. Then I hear a hasty “I’ll call you back” and the line goes dead.
About an hour later there’s a crash in the garage and soon after, The Rock enters our home with 937 pieces of camp gear. You know, frivolous things like TWO NEW CAMP CHAIRS WITH CUP HOLDERS, TWO QUEEN AIR MATTRESSES, TWO SLEEPING BAGS FOR TALL PEOPLE, A STOVE, and 89 LANTERNS, including one YOU WEAR ON YOUR HEAD. And also? Where once we planned to buy this tent?
We now are the proud owners of this tent:
And that’s just the first floor.
It’s for nine people, has an overhead LIGHTING SYSTEM and possibly a three-car garage.
So I think the moral of this rambling story is bigger is better.
Or wait. Did I get that moral mixed up with the one from my San Filipe trip.
I forget. The tent currently living in my family room is blocking the sun and the resultant lack of Vitamin D is starving my brain of its coherent-sentence-making memory cells.