Camp 2011

Memorial Day weekend was the occasion for another annual gathering of the Barber-Birch-Singer clans for camping at Clifty Falls. Here’s a 360 degree view of our island of campsites:

This event is now attended by three generations of campers, so labels like parents and children no longer have the precision they once did. To address this we named the different groups: the grandpas (aliases: Pa, Gramps and Grandaddy) are the Silverbacks, the grandmas (aliases: Dia, Gramma and Gabby) are the Pearls, the next generation are the Young Bucks, followed by the children. The weather was perfect if you don’t count the severe storms and tornado warnings that the Silverbacks endured on Wednesday night. The days were warm and sunny while the nights were cool. We left after the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday before it got really hot at night.

We have a system for getting to Clifty Falls: leave Thursday night around Everett’s bedtime, stay at a La Quinta in Indianapolis and then drive the remaining two hours on Friday morning. Some of you may recall that we have had mixed success sleeping in the same room with E. However, this was the first time he slept in bed with us and did not perform his human tornado imitation, so everyone was able to get some rest. Similarly, we did not bring the pack and play for the tent, and instead he slept in a sleeping bag on a thermarest for the first time. It worked out great, and could only have been better if he went to bed earlier and got up later, but we had no illusions that this was going to happen with such long daylight hours or so many children and activities. As always, Gabby and Grandaddy’s morning sleep routine is significantly curtailed when E is around. As soon as he woke up he would go into their tent for playtime. We couldn’t see exactly what they were up to but the screams of laughter indicated that everyone was having a good time. Everett and Grandaddy were able to slip away on a hike and find some wild turkeys thanks to E’s turkey call.

Everett seemed to have a fantastic time. There were many other children to play with, and he seemed to have no difficulty joining in the group even though most of them are older. He was admitted into the Kid’s Clubhouse, which is a pretty big deal. One of the highlights of the trip was a large mud puddle at the playground. I have been to Clifty three times and every time there has been standing water under the tire swing. However, this year it was filled with hundreds of tadpoles who provided hours of entertainment. Other highlights: the piñata, which all the children took a whack at, including Everett. Bubbles were once again a popular activity. Chris brought the giant bubble maker and some special homemade bubble solution. He also showed the children that if you wet your hands with the bubble solution you can catch them without popping them. Lastly, we celebrated Everett’s birthday a few days early with some cupcakes. Photos of the trip are here.

We note that after we buckled E into his carseat to leave the park on Sunday he was asleep within two minutes. And we suspect that this level of activity and exhaustion will continue for the next week or so while Everett is at Camp Gramapa in Cincinnati.

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