The Final Straw That Just Might Prove I’m Crazy: Camping For 8 Days With The Kids (But No Jason)

Tomorrow we are leaving on our big week-long camping trip with my parents, sans Jason. Unfortunately, his work schedule is crazy right now, and there was no way he could get the time off. Why I thought taking all 3 kids to Kings Canyon National Park without him for an entire week was a good idea is beyond me.

I am hoping to just pawn the kids off on my parents (just kidding Mom!). No, I am really hoping that they’ll be so busy playing with all of their cousins all day that they will wear themselves out, sleep like little angels, and leave me time to read the 5 books I’m taking on my Kindle! I also hope to get some good hikes in (with and without them).

My family goes on this trip to the Sequoias every year in July, and it’s something that my mom’s family has been doing every year since she was a a girl.

We will roast marshmallows and make smores.

We will go play in the VERY cold river.

We will sleep in a tent (my parents have a motorhome, but the kids want to sleep in the tent).

We will sing songs around the campfire. My uncles will whip out their guitars and we’ll all sing classic rock songs that will forever remind me of my uncles and growing up. (Sidenote: Ethan wants to tell scary stories but I can guarantee you for my sanity and need for sleep that that won’t happen…ain’t no way I’ll be up all night with him when he’s terrified of headless people and animals coming for him).

We will play badminton, horseshoes, bocce ball, Yahtzee, poker and anything else we can come up with to keep us all busy.

The guys will take the boys fishing.

We will have contests to see who can find the biggest pinecones.

We will go on bear hunts. When we were kids, this consisted of piling into the back of trucks and quietly making our way through the forest with the headlights off  looking for bears and other animals. These days, everybody just buckles up and rolls down the windows, but we still do everything else the same. Yes, we will see bears. Maybe not on the bear hunt, but they always seem to be around.

There may even be night hikes. This is something I haven’t done but my sisters said they did it last year. They round up all the kids and take them on a “night hike”. While in the middle of the forest, everybody turns off their flashlights. They told me it was both terrifying and fun at the same time. I’ve seen The Blair Witch Project, and I’m not quite sure if I’m up to this challenge.

The kids (all 20+ of them) will all fight and make up and fight and make up. And then fight some more.

The kids will be so filthy that we will give up on trying to keep them clean.

Oh and did I mention the weather forecast is in the triple digits the entire week? In the middle of a canyon with no air conditioning. Sounds awesome, doesn’t it?

This will be the longest that I’ve been away from Jason ever. In 12 years, the longest we’ve been apart was four days, so we are both nervous about the it. And this will be the longest the kids have been away from Daddy or home. We’ll go to the little store every day and call him, and I’ll be taking pictures and videos, but it is still going to be hard for all of us.

In the meantime, just send good vibes my way that the kids are being good and that I don’t go running into the woods screaming and pulling out my hair never to be seen again. And I’m only half kidding!

Oh and today over at, I am talking about why I made my my decision to work and blog less. I think many of you will relate to it!

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  1. It sounds like a good time except for the bears. How can you do all that random hiking without fear of being eaten by a bear?!
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  2. I think that it sounds like a really great trip! Except for the bears... that part is kind of scary. Have a great time! Jackie recently posted..It’s All in the Pillow Giveaway!My Profile
  3. Good luck, Natalie -- the camping trip actually sounds like a blast. When I first read the title, I was thinking "dear god, she's gone off the deep end," as you're violating the cardinal rule about a trip away from home (never allow yourself to be outnumbered). But, it sounds like you have reinforcements well in-hand. Come to think of it, I believe 8 days is the longest that I've ever been away from the kids. I left vacation, last year, on Thursday, left for my week-long bicycle ride, and then came back late the next Saturday night. That's somewhere between 8 and 10 days, I think . . . math gets fuzzy when you're dealing with "middle of the night" travel. Have a blast, take pictures, don't worry about keeping the kids clean, remember to bring some wine, and report back when all is done :-) John recently posted..Where I talk about my upcoming vacationMy Profile
  4. It sounds like it is going to be a wonderful adventure; like the stuff of memories! (Although I don't know if I'd want to do the night hike, either.) Co-Pilot Mom recently posted..Change of PlansMy Profile
  5. I hope you have a wonderful trip filled with great weather! JDaniel4's Mom recently posted..Read.Explore.Learn.- Imagination #readforgoodMy Profile
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