Honestly, I can't be-lieve your flatmate's tale, between the jaw and the surgery and the firing, the last of which is COMPLETELY unJUST. But as you said, I did go camping and the tale must be recounted accordingly. I did feel rather unwieldy in the planning this go-around, and learned the following lesson: writing/printing out/downloading an app for a checklist/what-have-you is all well and good, but is ultimately WORTHLESS without, um, actually checking said checklist. J.Lo uncomprehendingly said in response to things like: the flashlights! where are they! I thought you had a checklist. Well, I did. Doesn't mean I read it...
So we forgot, in no particular order: flashlights, dog leashes, sugar for coffee, milk, spatula, extra ziplocs, and I feel like something else...? Or several something elses? Flashlights for the kids and sugar for coffee were procured on a Walmart run by friends, who didn't want to feel like they were cheating, but none of us were going to tell the Camping Police. We've never brought a spatula and J.Lo complains about it everytime, so the tradition continues. Dog leashes we never forget and rarely use, stared straight at before leaving and said, "Is there anything we need here on these shelves?" followed by I dunno? don't think so. And within half an hour of arrival, the park ranger said: leashes. all times. Because why not make things interesting. We did however have two new bundles of rope that each magically came with a clip on the end, so voila with the knife --> insta-leashes. Bender let strange children walk her around, it was amazing. K.Lo networked 6-year-old girl style and scored time in a sweet camper, a trip the nature center for a snake feeding, and free dinner. Also that's where she hid during the storm, but we'll get to that in a minute.
The weather: blarg. Hot and humid and thundery. So the pool/water playground visit was cut short on Saturday from sky noise alone. But Sunday contained a window of sun and we were there 3 hours. Which I didn't mind, as the pool was lovely-cold, and there were two slides for grownups, too. Weeee! It's been years. The blue moon was fab, and I didn't even have to get lost to see it closer. The dynamic between our four groups worked well enough, with a general divide between old and new camping buddies, but it wasn't too awkward, I feel? We were all pretty chill hanging out wherever and cooking whatever and not discussing the fact that the screened-in awning, while great in theory, was way too stifling. Ahem. And we did convene for games occasionally as well, though I maxed out on Saturday learning three new, somewhat complicated games and on the last one I hit the wall. I don't play card games that involve bidding and turning tricks or whatever. Mainly because they make no sense. But Farkle on the other hand was good times, and the Western role-playing game might be fun after a few more run-throughs. All I know is that I was supposed to be shooting people in order to protect the Sheriff, and I'm apparently way too much of a pacifist for that. I thought standing silent guard was good enough.
Sleeping conditions: not so bad. J.Lo had procured a cot to accommodate his Robo-Back, and our air mattresses were a bit more substantial this time with the help of an electric inflating device, as opposed to a crappy battery-operated one. The first night my neck was all inexplicably cricked and the second night was not as horrible. Then came the third night, or late afternoon preceding, in which it rained, a lot. And very quickly all of our sleeping things were soaked and it was pretty clear the party was over. It came down to faulty rain-fly seams, which apparently there is a fix for? Some sealing product or somesuch. But we didn't know that at the time and it would have been too late anyway, so we broke down camp, shoved all the wet and gritty parts and pieces along with the children and wet dog-creatures into the car and headed home. On dark, wet, twisty roads that gave me another crick in my neck and a moderate but steady panic attack for the course of the journey. Because I just have zero depth perception at night, and that sucks.
All our camp gear and accompanying laundry is now in varying stages of being dried out, cleaned up, brushed/hosed off, and packed away. The tent won't dry until it stops RAINING and being disgusto-HUMID, but that's out of our hands really. Glad to be home. And for 2/3 of the time, it was camping. And I like camping. This park was new-to-us and had a great layout for the sites, more secluded as compared to the last two parks. There were turning leaves (bafflingly - isn't it too hot, generally?) and acorn collections and a lotus flower scooped up on a kayak trip. And some curls that have been on a long hiatus but couldn't help return.