I have JUST experienced a 3 day camping trip with my children :).
We ventured to Big Basin, in the Santa Cruz mountains. The redwood trees are awe-inspiring. This place is magical, and amazing.
On the other hand, I have not been tent camping since I was 18 and trekked to Italy with a pup tent and a burner. My friends, who are campers, were nice enough to coddle me and take care of all the neccesseties. I just drove, including up 13 miles of hair pin turns in a huge diesel. To those of you that were honking at me when I was tensely trying to keep that monster from going over the edge, I am now showing you the finger, since I do not have any impressionable children sitting behind me.
My kids had a wonderful time. They were like a group of bandits, kids of all ages running around, exploring and playing together all day. No bickering!! My son was in and out of every tree in our vicinity, I swear he was marking territory :).
There is nothing like tree magic.
I had some rare moments to breathe. Breathe in the fresh, scented air of the forest. Feel the serene energy that comes from the trees….
It was nice in the day, but cold, cold, cold when the sun was gone! We slept with thick sweats on, and lots of blankets. We also had a fire pit going around the clock, I ate more melted marshmellows than my daughter (can beat my son with that one!), and I spent some super cool time with my kids hugging trees. We made raccoon friends. They came so close at night during dinner, we could have touched them! One went in our car and stole bread (little bugger, we closed all doors after that!).
The last night was a bit hectic. We heard wild cats growling and groveling fairly close to the camp. Then one of our neighbors said they saw the HUGE cats, and that they were going into a HOTEL for the night!! That was our cue! My friend and I decided it was time pack up and go. Thanks to the help of the only man in our group, we chuggered out of there at 11:30pm and headed home.