August 14, 2007

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We don't have much camping equipment – just two tents, an ice chest, and a bunch of flashlights which are always missing batteries. We've never gotten around to buying sleeping bags for everyone in the family: we take along sheets and blankets off our beds at home. We still have the camp stove we borrowed from my parents a few years ago and never returned, so I bring that along with six bowls, six spoons, and six cups from our kitchen cupboards. I always mean to be prepared and make a list and be organized, but it seems that we are always packing in some kind of heat wave, and I am too hot to be bothered, so we end up just tossing stuff into the car until it's full and then leaving.

We're usually the most ill-prepared family at any campgrounds. I'll walk by other sites and see families with ice chests full of food and drink, with niceties like tablecloths and citronella candles, with chairs and screen rooms, with elaborate meals they've made over the fire. Our site always looks a bit bare in comparison.

The one preparation we do usually make is a trip to the bookstore to make sure every family member has a few books to bring on the family vacation. When it comes to ensuring harmony, books are far more important than sleeping bags or bug spray. When we hit a rainy day, and we're crammed into a car or tent, and we start driving each other crazy, it's important for each person to be able retreat and find space between the pages of a good book.

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My daughter reading on a cool, overcast day at the beach.

13 comments:

Yankee T said...

excellent photo, as always. By the way, I loved your ceiling fan photo on the "real peoples houses" site. You crack me up.

Pilgrim/Heretic said...

One of my favorite memories of summer camping is when we'd stop on the way out of town so my mother and I could get armloads of books at the local library.

JustMe said...

you are so right. books are something you can never forget!

Nels said...

What are some of they books they are reading? I'm a geek. I find that interesting.

jo(e) said...

Nels: What were the kids reading? Let's see. Both younger boys were reading E.E. Knight's Dragon Champion and Christopher Paolini's Eragon. Later in the week, With-a-Why was reading Watership Down by Richard Adams. Boy in Black was re-reading The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide by Douglas Adams.

My daughter read the last two Harry Potter books (unlike the rest of us, she doesn't read them the day they come out). This was a great relief to the rest of us, who were FINALLY allowed to talk about the last book and how utterly lame it was. She also read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe. I think the Wolfe book is the one she's reading in the picture.

zhoen said...

Book as privacy, exactly.

Busymomma66 said...

I'm with your daughter--I just read the last two books also. Would love to hear your thoughts on the ending!!

Did you stay at the big state campground or at a private?

From the looks of the beach you weren't at the touristy, overcrowded, crazy beach.

When my kids were smaller we'd go to Ocean State as well and one night we'd go into a town for dinner and ice cream and a ride or two (or 3 or 4) on the flying horses.

jo(e) said...

Busymomma66: I was very disappointed with the last Harry Potter book. And I especially disliked the epilogue, which had nothing in it that added to the book in anyway.

We were at Burlingame, the big campground. It wasn't crowded at all. And most of the beach shots are from Ninigret, the small beach across the street from the campground.

Busymomma66 said...

Burlingame was always our "last hurrah" before school and we'd take the kids there for a long weekend in the dog days of August. We'd spend 1 day in Misquamicut (for people watching) and one day at East Beach, and always 1 night at Watch Hill. It's so pretty there.

landismom said...

Books are one of the most important part of any vacation, for me. I'll always give up packing an extra pair of shoes, to make sure I have room for enough to read!

Tie-Dye Brother-in-law said...

I remember the extended family going there when Beautiful Smart Wonderful Daughter was in diapers. I brought along a blender, ice, and peaches, and plugged the blender in at the rest room to make frozen daquaris for all the drinkers.

I thought I was terribly clever, until the next night when Blond Brother-in-law went in to get more ice and fruit, and I wound up having to make daquaris every night for the whole week.

kate5kiwis said...

no jokes about HP, we're finally allowed to talk about it too, everyone except D17 thinks that we'd like to know what happened in the interim nineteen years, he just makes sarky comments about various wedding ceremonies. so i lol at your next post about Travelling With Teenagers...
we *love* eragon here, have your lads seen the movie now??
oh, and HHGTTG.. i never actually *read* the book, only know the quotes about the answer to life the universe and everything, cos that was the number on my childhood letterbox.
lol about your Packing Technique... we alwasys go camping with friends so that we can borrow their can opener that i've forgotten and they can borrow our Large Pot that i remembered...
lol too about the daiquiris tie-dye-B-I-L, hubby found a FROZEN kit that ya mix and shake before leaving town, then you just need to make the trip EVERY DAY to the dairy (corner store 25 miles away) to replenish the ICE in the chilly bin (ice box).
sheesh i do go on.

Jennifer said...

Well, of course, you can usually makeshift dishes but you need books.
Your comment also reminds me of the most important Christmas present in our family: the huge box of library books. Not that we didn't have oceans of books the rest of the year (usually from the library), but that box (stocked up before and get off-limits in the preceding days) always got raided at some point during the holiday...