Off the grid campout

P8060012  The boys and I took a couple days off the usual routine and went "off the grid" to camp out at Bellows. We had such a great time!!! Here we are with our campsite all set up, unwinding with a little playtime. P8060013  Aerial view. Funny backstory - well, funny now. I have a kidney stone and the day we had planned to go camping I'd gotten the truck all packed and was about to leave when I started to pass the stone. I was floored by the pain - within 30 min I went from discomfort to labor-style pain and couldn't even lift my leg. I went in for some labwork and sure enough it was the stone. P8060014  Well, there's not much one can do while passing a stone but drink, and wait. I took some Motrin and the pain eased up soon after the doctor appt. I came home, grabbed the last gear and a coulple beers (to pass the stone) and off we went! I figure, you can sit at home and wait for a stone, or you can go camping and wait for it. P8060016  Sam brought his Legos along for the campout. We found so many fun things to play with that we really didn't need to bring anything. I have always found that to be true - bring one or two things and you'll find or invent the rest. I brought a ball and a couple books for Ben.
P8060018  Eating graham crackers for a little snack :) P8060021  We found a balloon which came waltzing into our campsite! It was a little saggy on its helium (or air?) so I was able to chase it down for Sam. We kept it stowed in the truck and brought it out to romp from time to time. It made it all the way home without popping, until it started roaming around our yard and found a cactus to pop on. Sam asked where balloon was so I thought about it for a minute, knowing he'd be a little sad. I said balloons actually love to Pop! That's why they're always running away from us, looking for a good POP! Hmmm...he seemed to mull that over. P8060025  Out biking around the grounds at Bellows, on our way to dinner. We decided to skip all the cooking and let Keneke's do it for us. We can feed the three of us for $10 a meal there, so truly it's not worth filling a cooler. I just brought drinks and snacks, and a melon for breakfast. P8060027  But s'more time is a MUST! We brought some wood and found some wood.
P8060030  Balloon is out for s'more time! P8060031  Ben is saying "bbbbbbooooon" and moving his lips all over in the process. This is so much fun to watch! P8060034  Fire time! P8060038  Bowling! Dave had to work swings so he couldn't even come over and visit in the mornings because he was wiped out and feeling under the weather. We missed him but took lots of pictures so he could see what we were up to!
P8060039  These make a good clang when you knock them over. P8060042  Ben really liked this one... P8060046  Uh no he's not drinking any! P8060050  Full moon! The boys crashed around 8pm and then I sneaked Sam back out to look at the stars and the moon. He was so excited to be camping that I heard him whisper "MOM!" to me from the tent. I was missing him anyway and was happy to bring him out to share some quiet time with me. The moon was very pretty over the camping cabins nearby.
P8070054  We all slept great (well, I lie, the boys did - Sam flopped all over me all night even with barriers in place, and I kept waking up doing a centipede check. Saw one crawing across the tent but i know there's no way for it to get in. Still, creepy!) P8070055  Ben never even peeped until about 7am I think. He had the cushiest biggest bed in the whole place! P8070059  Look at this bed hog! I wouldn't trade it for the world, though. How awesome is it to roll over and see your son groggy-eyed in the morning and snuggle? P8070061  Ben showing me BEAR!
P8070067  Watching the flock of white birds swooping in for what I hope is a nice breakfast of centipedes. P8070069  LOVE camping - what a view right out your bedroom window! P8070072  Sunrise. Nothing better than this! I wish you could see the ocean but my shot is blown out by the light. The ocean is just over the horizon. My hair still smells like campfire! yes! P8070076  Ben chasing me down with messy messy hands! We've had a melon for breakfast snack and now we're off to breakfast then playground.
P8070077  First we have to play with balloon! This series of pictures makes Sam look so mature. Doesn't he look much older? P8070079  Got him some new board shorts at the shoppette. He is growing so fast. Wearing size 6/7 in case anyone wants to know :) P8070081  I forgot to pack camp chairs, and underwear for Sam! ooops! But we didn't truly need either. We sat on a toolbox and the cooler for s'more time. Ultralight camping, mom-style! P8070082  Taking balloon on a hike around camp. He was telling balloon not to go too far, stay within sight of the truck.
P8070085  Ben found me many flowers. Love my boys :) Look at the little mouth! P8070086  Walking to breakfast (and mommy's coffee!!!). P8070090  Sam is like come on guys! P8070092  Me and little man - didn't realize I'd caught Sam in background.
P8070094  This was funny - we have a tradition of catching morning smootch on camera while camping but forgot today! So we grabbed a picture but the shutter wasn't fast enough - got the bathroom door instead! So we redid it but in the process of holding the smootch long enough it looks like we're really really smootching here! Ben is going "UGH! HONESTLY!" P8070096  "DACTOR!" Little guy loves tractors. And all things with loud engines. He was in his pig pen napping and heard a helicopter go by - I heard his little voice from outside the tent laughing then going "Dac-tor!" P8070097  The best playground on the planet! P8070102  For our friends who like to camp with us - here is the layout of my new fave sites. Little col so you don't see right into anyone else's spot, yet you have an ocean view and short walk to bathrooms and showers.
P8070104  Through the trees to the ocean and showers. P8070107  Boys laughing at each other. P8070108  Cute little cabins! P8070109  Sacked out after pancake breakfast and play time.
P8070113  The water was awesome. Sam swam and swam and swam. When camping, anything goes. I try not to tweak what they eat, how they sleep, when they play, how long they play. Whatever they want. I say yes to it all. It's time off from all structure. Just have fun. Ben loved getting knocked over by waves, too, but quickly got chilly so I warmed him up and we watched Sam together. P8070114  Hurricane Felicia wasn't making too much fuss over this way yet. Another reason why I figured I should just go while I could! Next week may be a rainout all week with the tropical storm supposedly headed our way. P8070115  About to get knocked over by a roller! We had such a great time. When I packed up, I found that I'd banged in the tent stakes so hard that I couldn't get them back out again! I bent a tool and had to leave three stakes behind in the process. What a brute! But I've camped in high winds before and didn't want to deal with a tent coming loose or the rainfly flapping around all night. I did a darn good job this time, that's for sure! P8070110