Shared Joy is Twice the Joy, Shared Pain is Half the Pain

Russian River Camping Trip

Sometimes, you make these great plans, like writing three blog posts a week. And then you do fun things, like go camping in gorgeous places like the Russian River:

DSC_0081 We went camping with three other families; seventeen people and a dog in four cars and two campsites. Let’s just say it was quite a fun weekend. I’m pretty sure nobody did anything except cook, eat, read, and lounge on the beach. Which, if I had to say, makes for quite a good weekend. Perhaps a bit awkward when you play Cards Against Humanity with your parents, and certainly frustrating when you realize Jet Puffed has changed their marshmallow formula.

We decided it is a formula, not a recipe, because marshmallows are basically created courtesy of a chemical formula, not an actual recipe. Nonetheless, we’re all in agreement that they changed their recipe for the worse. The marshmallow middles melt too fast, making them fall off your roasting stick to be lost into the fire! Plus, apparently, they don’t make as tasty of taffy (I didn’t even know that was a thing…). Regardless, we’re not giving up on marshmallows or s’mores any time soon.

When I think about camping, obviously s’mores and tents and sleeping bags come to mind. But if I’m going to be really honest, I think that the best part of camping is being able to spend distraction-free time with family and friends. We get to sit around a fire without any distractions, except the books and the dog and the booze, of course. We get to talk about anything and everything, from the definition of burn (there are a lot of technical definitions, Noah, which is probably why we couldn’t come up with one all-encompassing one), to the current international lawsuits faced by Google and Genentech; in our less sophisticated moments, our discussions ranged from the best way to train dogs to the hideous maternity outfits Kim Kardashian wore.

DSC_0078Gorgeous and happy upon arrival, we quickly became more exhausted, more dirty, and significantly more sunburned. But then there’s that one frustrating mother who used to be a model, and looks like this in the middle of her sentence. (Literally, the middle of her sentence. She stopped, looked at me, and then continued talking all in about two seconds. And she looks like this!)

And, unsurprisingly, the kids stayed adorable all the way throughout the weekend, climbing trees, playing in the water, feeding the ducks.

DSC_0088

DSC_0079We can’t forget the fantastic food (it’s not all about s’mores, people!). We had the most gourmet food you could ever ask for on a camping trip. Smoked salmon and trout, perfectly cooked asparagus, corn, and potatoes, pancakes with berries and bagels with lox, all followed by some s’mores and some grapefruit cocktails.
And, of course, seeing as this was a trip with a half dozen pre-teen and teenage boys, there had to be some crazy fire. We talked for quite a while about Ray Bradbury and Fahrenheit 451, but that was the day before we burned this box (it had been the wood box); I don’t think anyone noticed the connection until I started going back through my pictures this morning. The fire did smell a bit like foreign spices, and we were literally singed and driven back by the flames (just ask the hairs above my left ear!)

DSC_0094And a camping trip can’t be completed until someone plays a prank. This one was great – one of those things you always see in the movies and never in real life. Michael tied Dad’s shoes together while he was doing something in his tent, so he couldn’t go anywhere. Dad’s a Boy Scout, though, so his knife was in his pocket, easily accessed. Even though he got out of jumping around and falling over, the prank was quite successful!

Here’s to a bit of summer fun, great friends, and an all-around good time! Looking forward to some more camping this summer (next week, as a matter of fact!), and some more time with these party people!

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