I hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day (or Labour Day for my Canadian friends and family) weekend. We actually extended the long weekend back out a week and took a trip up to Canada to see my family. It was the first time that I had been back in over a year. I’ll post more about that trip later in the week, but we actually spent the first part of the weekend driving from northwest Ontario back to Indiana. On Friday we drove about 12 hours to Madison, Wisconsin and spent the night there. Dave happens to have a friend that lives right by the hotel where we were staying that night, and she happened to be having people over to watch the Wisconsin-LSU game on the night we were in town, so we headed over and managed to catch the last half of the game. Well, we chatted through most of the third quarter and then saw Wisconsin lose their lead in the fourth quarter. We took off from Madison on Saturday morning and headed for Dave’s parents’ land near Remington, Indiana (aka “The Pond”). We only made one quick stop at a Costco in Illinois to pick up some alcohol for the camp out before crossing back into Indiana where all alcohol sales are illegal on Sundays.
Because of the traffic in Chicago we didn’t arrive at The Pond until 4pm, but everyone else got there around 3pm. After saying “hi” to everyone and relaxing for a bit we decided to set up our new tent. As I mentioned last week, we bought a new tent for this camp out because our friend had borrowed our tent and we were already considering upgrading to something a little larger than our old tent. I was really happy with our decision to buy the Coleman Montana 8. It did take us a little longer than our old smaller tent, but I think part of that was just because we were trying to figure out how everything went together for the very first time. I was really happy about the size of the tent, especially that we can stand up inside and that it is has much better ventilation. The “door” feature (versus a flap) is also a really nice touch.
Dinner consisted primarily of a shrimp boil, with corn on the cob, red potatoes, and sausage. Given that we were travelling before the camp out, I really couldn’t bring a whole lot of food. I did, however, bring a few bags of Old Dutch chips, in flavors that are only available in Canada: Salt ‘n’ Vinegar, Ketchup, and All Dressed. As a side note, one of my electives in pharmacy school was a nutrition class. Of course it focused primarily on nutritional supplements (and their delivery options) and calorie requirements for hospitalized patients, but food of all kind was fair game for discussion. Somehow it came up that we have unique potato chip flavors in Canada. So, when my parents came to visit I asked them to bring some bags of ketchup chips and all dressed chips so I could share them with the class. My American friends seemed to much prefer the all dressed variety to the ketchup, which was interesting because I much prefer the ketchup chips! Anyway, we certainly weren’t short on side dish options at the camp out. There were baked beans, pasta salad, a “regular” salad, garlic bread, veggies with dip (my favorite!), and hot dogs for the kids, etc. etc. etc. We’re never short on food for family gatherings.
The whole afternoon and evening was filled with a lot of talking and catching up with each other. After all, we hadn’t seen each other since the 4th of July! Four of the five cousins were in attendance, as were two of the three aunts, and most of the significant others. Overall there were eleven adults, three kids, and two dogs (if I’ve counted correctly, but I don’t think I forgot anyone!). Having it at The Pond really makes things easier, because it’s a bit difficult to fit all those people into a house at the same time, especially for meals. The kids and dogs get to run around and have a ton of fun (and exhaust themselves).
I was the first of the “younger” generation (not the old folks but not the kids) to go to bed, and Dave followed right after me. I was a little sad that I couldn’t stay awake to enjoy the festivities into the wee hours of the night, but after early mornings to hit the road and long hours in the car I was exhausted. I slept pretty well (I always do, but you never know when you’re camping…) and in the morning I woke up to the “older” generation preparing breakfast. Thankfully Dave’s aunt and uncle are coffee drinkers (unlike Dave and his parents) and they had thoughtfully brought out an urn of hot coffee for us! I was thinking that I would have to drive into town to grab a cup at McDonald’s before I could be a functional human being again, so having hot coffee right by the campfire was definitely a plus. My mother-in-law made us scrambled eggs, bacon, and she had brought along biscuits so the gravy was warmed over the hot coals as well. Personally I love the biscuits, but the thought of putting gravy on them is kind of gross. Everyone else loves the gravy….I’m just an oddball. There was fresh fruit, too.
Dave had the tent all packed up before I could finish my coffee (although I did help fold up the rain cover before breakfast), so we were all ready to head out after eating. I took the car and headed back to my in-laws’ house a bit before everyone else so I could grab a shower and freshen up before hitting the road. I was also starting to notice that I was covered (no exaggeration) in insect bites, which was interesting because I had only noticed flies and whatnot around the food, but I hadn’t seemed to be bothered by many insects of the biting variety. Turns out they noticed me….a lot. Apparently my feet are very tasty, and some mosquitoes seem to have managed to bite through my yoga pants (read: my rear end is covered in mosquito bites). I was pretty anxious to hit the road and get home, not only because we hadn’t been home in over a week but because my tube of 1% hydrocortisone cream was at home. I’ve practically been bathing myself in it ever since (plus I’m taking an oral anti-histamine and using ice packs on the bites when the itching gets really bad). It’s times like this when I’m really appreciative of my pharmaceutical knowledge, for my own sake! Dave counted over 16 bites just on one foot last night, and upon further inspection this morning I think he might have missed a couple. It’s taking the term “eaten alive” to a whole new level.
All in all the camp out was a great success. It was a little on the hot side the first day, and it was definitely humid, but it was quite comfortable for breakfast the next morning and we missed all of the predicted rain! Another family holiday is in the books. Next up….Thanksgiving!
Until later, Ashlen