Now, if sleeping in a tent sounds crazy, consider these highlights of the week:
My 5-yr.-old woke at 3AM to go to the bathroom one night (yes, there are nice bathrooms at the Wagon Trail Campgrounds), and just as I was about to put the pillow over my head, I heard him exclaim to my husband, “Look at those stars!” Some city folks never see a sky like that in a lifetime.
With a baby to watch and food to prepare, everybody helped at the campgrounds. My kids even put up their own tent by themselves.
We ate like kings! Pancakes for breakfast, grilled meat, veggies and fish every night, local farm stand produce all day, and of course, roasted marshmallows. And since my kids just hopped on their bikes or headed to the playground after meals, I actually had time to sit and eat these meals.
We spent most of our time splashing around in various beaches and taking turns on our boat. Every day was so relaxed that we had lots of quality time together as a family and alone with each kid. There’s nothing like singing, splashing and giggling with one kid at a time out on a kayak.
I ran through gorgeous trails, and our family biked 10 miles through Peninsula State Park. Sure, there was some whining along the way, but it wasn’t anything a snack couldn’t subdue. And there’s not much that builds confidence and independence more than knowing you conquered 10 miles when you’re 7.Thanks to some special equipment, like our bike trailer and a borrowed hiking pack, Granola Baby had a blast and was able to tag along on all our fun.
Best part of all was that all of our fun came at little cost. Subtract food, and the whole vacation cost around $300. But consider that I would have spent close to that on babysitting and cleaning help at home, and the vacation was practically free.