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One move to America, one surprise pregnancy and a lot of fun later.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Camping up a storm

Ok I am beginning to get a major complex when it comes to us going away on holiday.  Let's just say I am not going anywhere for a very long time!

So we organised a lovely camping trip in the state park in Assateague Island.  Look back to my blog from July 2010 and we went to the National park on Assateague Island just before we had Hannah.  Lovely campsites right on the beach and the state park had more facilities like a toilet/shower block.

After more than 10 years of camping around Scotland with our little 2 man Vango Storm tent we knew that we needed a larger family tent.  As the weather here does not have the same unpredictability that we have in Scotland we thought that a "fair" weather family tent would suffice.  So we found a two room reasonable size pop up tent from Coleman
Coleman Instant 14- by 10- Foot 8- Person Two Room Tenthttp://www.amazon.com/Coleman-Instant-Foot-Person-Room/dp/B003QUT9OE/ref=cm_cr-mr-title

We knew it was a fair weather tent but it had everything else that we wanted for our trip. particularly the two separate rooms as Hannah just sleeps a lot better when we are not in her room disturbing her!

So a lovely Friday came and myself, Hannah and Vicki set off on the road to set up camp and start our trip.  The drive across the Bay bridge was lovely and with a stop for lunch at Harris Crab House it was a pleasant journey.  We knew that there was a bad weather warning for later in the day so we wanted to get there and get set up before the rain started.  How bad could the weather get anyway!!!  So we got all set up with our old Vango tent for Vicki and  the new pop up tent for us - and it did pop up and was very easy to do on my own.  All set up we drove over to Ocean City for an ice cream and a walk along the boardwalk.  Again look at my previous blogs and you will know that Ocean city is like the trailer trash version of Blackpool (for those in the UK) but very entertaining for people watching.  Suddenly the wind got up and we decided to head back to camp only to find that I had lost the carpark ticket.  Now we had been there less than an hour which would have cost a couple of bucks but a lost ticket could cost nearer $60.  Great start to our weekend but luckily, we encountered a nice man on the booth and he only charged us $5 after we plead our case to him.

We arrived back to the campsite and shortly after Jarlath arrived after driving in later straight from work.

Then the rain started before we could arrange dinner.  How bad could it get, I ask again! So we took shelter in the tent and managed to get Hannah to eat some dinner (albeit mainly nibbles rather than anything substantial), drink her bottle of milk and go to sleep.  So there we were, the three of us sitting in the tent having a drink and waiting for the rain to stop.

Then the wind got up.  So to cut a long story short we were pretty much stuck in the tent all night.   With a tornado warning in effect around us.  The rain was pelting down and the wind was lashing at the tent.  For a fair weather tent it did a pretty good job of trying to hold up as it was about 6 hours of torrential rain before it gave in and started to leak.  So what to do, well we decided to ignore it and go to bed.  Vicki went off to her storm proof tent (now nicknamed Noahs Ark as it was the only one on the whole campsite that stayed firm and dry) and Jarlath and I settled down for the night - or so we thought.

At this point I must make a comment about the power of the mind (helped along by several glasses of wine I am sure).  I decided that I was going to ignore the weather and try and get some sleep.  It was only several hours later that I woke up with Jarlath lifting the tent off me as it had collapsed in my corner.  I even managed to consciously ignore the fact that I was lying in a puddle of water soaked to the skin through my sleeping bag.  I managed to ignore the fact that Jarlath was up with Hannah for a couple of hours as the storm had woken her up.  I didn't quite manage to ignore Jarlath storming in and out the tent in his soaked through boxer shorts as he tried to redo the guys lines.  The funny thing was  (and lucky) that Hannah's side of the tent was completely in tact without any leaks, it was only my side that collapsed.   I remember thinking that if I switch my mind off it will all be ok in the morning rather than be miserable at the time!  It kinda worked.

So morning came with a rather grumpy Jarlath - his first words were I am going home - and a rather sodden tent.  We emerged to a campground that was practically devastated.  Various people had abandoned during the night to go to hotels and lots of tents were completely flooded and in various stages of collapse.  So I guess we fared not to bad.

We went on to have a lovely Saturday on the beach and campfire on Saturday night followed by an uneventful drive home on Sunday.

We were on Loop D site 21
 http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/images/assateague_camp_map.jpg


Some photos:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.4137323993133.175216.1284607751&type=1

I lied when I said never again as we are going camping again in a couple of weeks with my friend Alla and her family.  Someone better tell her what she is getting herself into going away with the Keatings!

Keep smiling.  Xx

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