Friday, June 20, 2014

One Hot Mess, Vol. 7: Into the Woods

I hope you guys are learning to not rely on me. I'm trying to become a more organized person. In life and in blogging. I've been mostly busy with the end of the school year hustle coupled with a sudden desire to be a minimalist (I see you, Haley...) and I've been going through every little area of our house. I feel like I cannot stop until it's totally complete and the yard sale/donation pile-monster on our porch is fully satiated. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is if you can't find me here, you can find me with my face in a desk drawer or something. But more on that another day.... because I STILL NEED TO TELL YOU ABOUT OUR CAMPING TRIP.

Two weekends ago we went on a trip to the Sequoias with my parents for my dad's 60th. My mom was in charge of booking our camping/rental situation. She sent me the link to the place she decided on and, I admit, I was a bit hesitant. She had rented an rv on someone's property which generally would not be appealing to me but the owner had river access and was just outside of the national park and there was space for us to pitch a tent. We really had hoped to camp so I felt good knowing we would still get that, while being with my parents, while giving them the added comfort of sleeping not on the floor. The pictures in the ad all looked fine. Pretty little river spot, remote location, no view of the main house... Plus, they were treating us so, no complaining.

The beauty of advertising.

When we pulled up (to what was really a lovely little home), we realized that what we had rented was a driveway. A driveway covered in sharp, sharp gravel. The rv was parked about 15 feet from the (occupied) house and the only spot to "camp" was the wide end of the drive way which was a solid 7 feet from the house. With people inside of it. Could this be any weirder? As we were falling asleep that night, scattered amongst our children sprawled on the floor of our tent, I heard Kirby sniveling in the darkness. I whispered "What?" and he started silent-laughing so hard tears were rolling down his cheeks. "We.......are...... sleeping in a tent... in someone's driveway... (tears, doubling over, laughter, etc)" We were camping in a driveway. And we had to pay money for it. Are you getting an accurate mental picture? Oh, you're not? Let me help you.

So many good things. Sharp rocks under your sleeping bag, the awkwardness of someone else's pets repeatedly trying to sneak into your tent, hobbling ow!ow!ow!ow! over gravel in the middle of the night to use my parents luxury rv restroom bc you aren't even awarded the luxury of peeing outside. You cannot do that in someone's driveway. You seriously cannot.

Is was all very posh.

But the bessssst best best was the following morning when the rv/driveway owner came out to ask when we would be clearing out. Turns out we had booked only one night, not two. Turns out the fee for our vacay rental heaven was for only one night, not two. Turns out my dad was not excited about paying $400 to rent someone's pet filled, rocky driveway. Yes, that is actually how much it was going to cost. So, in the spirit of adventure, we packed up and drove into the park, crossing our fingers for somewhere to stay. It was all very no-room-in-the-innish. (Without it really being like that.)

We ended up finding a great, real, camp site, in the middle of giant redwoods, that cost $18.
We all felt much more chill about that.

1. My kids are really flexible and adventurous. I love that about them.
2. We can be flexible and adventurous. And those are good things.
3. Things usually always work out.
4. Have you ever been to this magical place? This is a photo of 6'3 Kirby INSIDE a fallen tree with our kids. Say what?!

 How about you???


  1. Well, this is a great story. I would have thrown a fit at that fee...I mean, seriously. Glad it worked out. Great pics.

    1. I know! Part of what made it so humorous was how bold one has to be to charge $200/night for a driveway. It's kind of impressive.

  2. I grew up camping in much less impressive settings, but those are still my fondest childhood memories. Even the time that our dog got skunked the same weekend that all the water in the state park was turned off. My dad's memories of that week are probably less fond...

  3. That's the best. We have done a couple vrbo rentals that were similar where you get there and you Score for the $18 site though! Total happy ending.
    PS. I love Mary in that second to last photo (it is Mary, right?). I've seen that superhero strike-a-pose from her before. The best

  4. Oh man. That's... I don't even know. I'm glad you found an $18 a night place though for the next night. Also try airbnb some time. We've had great luck with it.

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  6. Oh my goodness, best. story. ever. The thought of your husband laughing that hard in the tent that night almost made me burst out laughing, but the kids are napping so.... I kept it internal. So hilarious.

    And that tree is NUTS!

  7. I spent a few minutes making sure my brain still worked.
    Copy of the email I got from airbnb!

    Hey Tina,
    I have you checking in Fri, June 6th, at 4PM and checking out Sun, June 8th, at 11AM. Confirmation Code: 2AY2KJ.

    Still relieved we took off! Much better a bazillion.

  8. You had my husband and I rolling! Sounds very much like something that would happen to us. Just file it away for one of those memory lane talks in the future when you need a good laugh!


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