We just returned from a vacation to visit the out-laws in Alberta - vacation included camping (car camping in a tent for us, trailers for most of the rest of the family) and then some stampeding in Calgary. We've done long trips with the little guy before, but this was the first long car trip now that he is a full fledged toddler.
- Your heart can stop for just an instant when you see an Elk standing on the shoulder at dusk. And then it pumps twice as hard once it starts again.
- MUST always bring bro-in-law who owns a coffee roastery camping. He made the most heavenly coffee everyday. I'm not a coffee drinker, but I couldn't wait for the coffee to be ready everyday. He tried out different beans on us each day, and on the darker roast days I did add a bit of bailey's. But there is nothing like a great bean, ground right, brewed right and sipped under in a lawn chair outside your tent. (coffee company is Fratello if you want to try it out).
- Good idea to bring a generator just in case the battery in your trailer runs out. Or to grind coffee everyday.
- You can eat very well when camping... can anyone say eggs benny for breakfast.
- The environmental thinking campers who brought their own plates do more dishes than the red neck Albertans who use paper.
- The girls can ROCK at poker. Out of 12 players, last 2 standing were women. Last one standing = ME!!!!!!
- The toddler will pick the 'best' possible day to launch his first escape out of his sleep tent and then the pack n'play.
- You can never bring enough toys.
- The bath water in the large rubbermaid bin can be used for a foot bath after the kids have had their bath.
- Always keep at least one toy hidden for the return trip home - no matter how bored your child gets it will always be worse 6 hours into a 12 hour drive home. Keep it hidden.
- You can do cloth diapers while camping. Just be sure to launder at the camp or town laundromat during a quiet period (and remember your laundry line, thankfully for me my father-in-law had some extra rope).
- No matter how cold it is at the camp site it is always HOT HOT HOT at Dinosaur Provincial Park.
- Rockets are still fun at any age. So are remote controlled planes - unless you crash it into a tree.
- It is possible for a 22 month (who hasn't pooped in 2 days) to clog a low flow toilet. So much for water conservation when you have to flush it a thousand times and plunge.
- Your 22 month old CAN stay focused for 2 hours at the Calgary Stampede Parade.
- Omi does in fact make the best muffins.
- If you plan your driving around your toddler's normal sleep times, he will sleep when he damn well pleases. So plan your drive home around your own schedule. Toddler still does what he wants, but we got a great lunch in Field, BC at Truffle Pigs.
- No matter how long you've been driving, the craziest hour driving with a toddler is the hour before dinner.
- I forgot how cool and scary those Alberta thunder/hail storms could be.
But the best lesson of all is that you can survive a vacation with your in-laws, and actually have a little bit of fun (and yes my in-laws do read my blog and yes I still kiss-up).