Monday, July 23, 2012

The Great Outdoors 2012

You may remember my camping trip from last summer... or then again you may not. Why would you, after all?

Let me refresh your memory:  
Rachael and I.

Rachael and I had such a fun time last year, we decided we should take another camping trip this year. We looked at our calendars in April, and there was one [literally, one] weekend that worked. So we booked that weekend and reserved it in our planners. And three months later, we made it happen.

This year we picked another Iowa lake, but it again was one we had never been to. We went to Lake Aquabi, on the south side of Indianola, Iowa. It was somewhere in the middle and it has a cool name. Why wouldn't we choose it?!

When we both arrived, we had a quick bologna sandwich [the one time of year we're allowed to eat bologna sandwiches with potato chips inside... haha] and then set up camp. We picked the perfect campsite and put up our tent. [Sidenote: they call it pitching a tent. It's way more work than simply 'pitching' it. Just for the record.] Once the hard work was done, it was time to relax. And oh my-- what a great way to relax! The hardest decision we had to make?  Where we would like to sit to read our books. It was glorious!

The rest of the weekend was spent soaking up the sun, reading books, debating the background of our weird neighbors, floating on our neon-colored floaties in the lake, and catching up on life. Even giggling like the third-graders we used to be. It was perfect.  

A few friends came to visit us again this year. The first night our friend Jayne, her hubby Dio, and their little guy Jameson came to visit us-- just like last year! And a friend of Rachael's from Iowa State joined us for dinner the second night. It was great to have some company. Poor Rachael would have gotten tired of me if we hadn't!

A couple months before our trip we had gotten a great online deal for kayak rental, so of course we cashed that in. Rachael was really hesitant, as she had never kayaked before and was a little intimidated. But in being true to her New Year's resolution of trying things she is afraid of, she hopped right in.  It was such a fun and relaxing hour!  

Rachael in her kayak

Me kayaking

There was a hot air balloon that was floating by on two different occasions. So fun!

However, our trip wasn't without trials and tribulations. The first night after our campfire, we sealed up all our food and other goods and headed for bed. About 3am, I heard some rustling from our picnic table. I didn't know if it was our crazy neighbors or animals at first [and of course i'm terrified of the dark], so I just listened. But after a while I looked out and saw a couple raccoons! Ahh! So I woke Rachael up and we assessed the situation with my Dad's trusty lantern (yep, the same one from last year!). By the time we got to the picnic table the raccoons were all gone, but they had done some damage! They stole [literally stole -- not even wrappers left!] a bunch of our food. Little jerks! 
The following  night we learned that we should put all of our food in the car (even if it was sealed), so we did... and then in the morning there were little paw prints all over my car. The stupid little raccoons had smelled the food and climbed all over my car in an attempt to get the food. Ugh! Next year we're doing something different. As my Uncle Larry said-- it's a good thing we weren't in bear country!

What a fantastic second annual camping trip we had. Stay tuned for the third annual installment next summer!

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