Saturday, July 23, 2011

Back to the Desert

We got home from our vacation two days ago.  I love Idyllwild!  It was my first time camping there, and that place is a hidden treasure.  Well, not hidden from the thousands of tourists who I'm sure visit the area each year, but hidden from me up until last Saturday.  In July the temperatures are from the low- to mid-80s.  It's gorgeous.  I'll try to give the "short" version of our camping trip (HA), or else this entry will end up being a mile long.  I have lots of pictures too, but they're on my other computer, so I'll try to add them to this post later.

On Saturday we arrived to the campground.  Our campsite backed right up into the forest and had these huge rock structures.  The kids spent that first day climbing the rocks and using them as their castle/fortress.  We also went swimming, explored the campground, and played Boggle and Yahtzee.  Unfortunately, Clint has officially added Boggle to the list of games he will no longer play with me.

Sunday we decided to have a picnic at Lake Fulmor.  Again, it was so beautiful.  After our picnic, we went to the town of Idyllwild where they were having their annual Lemon Lily Festival.  We cruised all of the little mom and pop shops, treating ourselves to some frozen yogurt and a few souvenirs.  At one point we passed this tiny realstate office, and right in the front there were two baby raccoons hanging out on top of a cage.  The owner said I could pet them.  They were so sweet and soft.  One of the babies took my hand between his paws and cuddled with it, refusing to let go.  Apparently the owner rescues various animals and releases them into the wild once they are old enough.  Anyway, despite the hours we spent at the festival, I never did figure out what a lemon lily is.

Monday we spent the day at Soak City in Palm Springs.  It was incredibly fun, although the 108 degree weather forced us to stay in the water pretty much every minute.  We spent most of the day in the wave pool, which is my absolute favorite.  I love hopping on the inner tubes and letting the waves crash me all over the place.  When we weren't in the wave pool, we were in the lazy river.  Or the water playground, where the water was freezing.  But in light of the scorching heat, it felt really good.

Tuesday we had a "day at camp."  We relaxed, read books, and swam at the pool all day.  A family had moved into the campsite right next to ours on Monday night, and they had two kids close to Trin's and Elijah's age.  So the four kids played together all day while Clint and I sat around like lazy slugs.  It was awesome.  That night, we roasted marshmallows with a bunch of people who were camping with their church.  Being out in the middle of the woods at night, talking and laughing with people you barely was really something.  Around midnight that night, once we were asleep in our camper, Clint was awakened by loud noises outside.  It turned out to be a huge raccoon ransacking our ice chest.  He actually lifted the lid to dig through the contents.  Luckily we had moved our food back into the camper's fridge, so there was nothing in it but trash.  He did find a Caprison though.  He laid it on the picnic table and squeezed it with his paw, lapping up all the juice that squirted out.  Smart little critter.  Those suckers don't even need opposable thumbs.  Even though I'm sure it's not recommended, Clint and I left scraps out for the raccoon the next night, hoping he'd come back.  He never did, but the squirrels enjoyed the scraps.

Wednesday we went into town one last time to visit a local coffee shop and go to this little hole-in-the wall cafe for lunch.  When we came back, we decided to go hiking on some of the nature trails.  While we were hiking, Clint and Elijah saw a big red snake right before it slithered quickly under a rock.  I wanted to lift the rock so I could see the snake too (yes, I realize I have zero sense), but logic kicked in at the last second and I decided I better not.  After our nature hike, we went swimming.  That night we got together with the same folks from the night before and made s'mores around a campfire.  We all hung out until around 10:00, and then we headed back to our camp to put the kids to bed.

Thursday we ate breakfast, broke down camp, and headed home.  I can't describe how dis-spiriting it felt to leave that beautiful forest behind, only to enter the brown, dry furnace that is our desert.

The funniest moment of the trip was when Clint got attacked by a big ferocious beast.  He left the RV one night to take the trash to the dumpster, and I suddenly heard him shouting and making a commotion outside.  I peeked outside of the RV, and he was swatting around his face like a madman.  The trash bag in his hand had busted as a result of all his flailing, with trash strewn haphazardly all over the ground.  He also broke his key chain.  It turns out the source of this spectacle was a June bug.  Clint freaked out when the little fella (okay, he was sort of big) flew right up into his face.  It was just so funny, this big guy, almost a black-belt, being taken down by a June bug.  Oh, be right back....

Okay, I'm back.  I had to take a quick break from typing because Clint left to pick up Trin from her friend's house, but he left Metheusal, one of his WoW characters, logged in.  So of course I had to sneak in there and strip him of all his armor.  Clint just got back home to discover Metheusal sitting around in boxers.  Heehee.  That's what he gets for not logging out.

Okay, back to camping.  This is so unoriginal and cliche, but the one thing I love about camping is how you can take a step back from the pressures of life; from technology, from computers and blogging and facebook, and just enjoy the simple little things.  I loved waking up every morning to the cool air, sipping my hot tea amongst the pine trees while watching the squirrels play.  And it was those little moments that stood out.  Walking to the showers at night, or laughing around a campfire, or freaking out when Clint growled outside the camper, pretending to be a bear.  Maybe I'm only saying this because I'll never be able to afford a trip to say, Paris, but I would never trade the experiences of camping for any glamorous destination.  I guess I'm just not a fancy, hotel-dwellin' girl.  Luxury does very little for me.  Experiences do.


  1. It sounds like you had a really nice time! I so wish I could find joy in camping. Matt and I are neither one campers, though we've been invited on several occasions by some friends of ours. We always consider it, look at one another, and then say "Nah!" I don't tolerate heat well since I was a little girl and Matt doesn't either. The man runs the AC in the winter... so even 80 degree weather wouldn't be ideal for him. And we're moving to the desert, that should be interesting. But, I'm so jealous of people who can enjoy camping and nature!! :)

    Oh, and there are so many games Matt won't play with me. Pretty much comes down to whether or not he can win with any consistency. If he can't, we don't play it. Although, he gave up Star Wars Trivial Pursuit after I beat him, which is sort of a bummer since I love that game. Fortunately, there're very few games he can't win at. He's good at absolutely everything (except bowling), so you'd think he'd give me a win every once in a while. lol

  2. Even though I say I love camping, I'm pretty sure that's a fraudulent statement given that we had running water, modern-day plumbing, and even the occasional movie to watch at night. My version of camping would surely be scoffed at by 'real' campers. Oh yeah, we even had AC, which we ran 24/7 (Clint's a lot like Matt when it comes to heat). Staying in an RV is awesome because you can enjoy nature in doses that YOU choose. Like for me, as soon as I had a plume of mosquitoes hovering around my head in the evenings, I would escape into the RV. I remember when I was younger, I used to love actual tent-camping, but somewhere along the way I out-grew it. I don't hate roughin' it exactly, and would probably still go with the right people, but it's just a LOT of work. In my mind a vacation shouldn't be such a chore; it should be relaxing. So I'll take an RV over a tent any day of the week.

    It's good to know that I'm not the only one whose spouse keeps banning games! But to be fair, I refuse to play Othello or Scrabble with him. I'm not sure why Scrabble is so bad on us. I have this vague memory from when we were first married, living in our first apartment. During a game of Scrabble, the tiles wound up thrown into the air and scattered across the room, and our board ended up broken in half. I think we were both really bad sports (to say the least, lol). I should probably give the game another chance now that we're more "grown up," but I'm not sure I want to risk it. It's funny that Matt is so successful with almost every game you two play, yet he doesn't want to play the measly few that you actually stand a chance of winning. Men are so competitive. :)

  3. When I was a little girl, we went camping in the redwoods but I'm pretty sure mom and dad still had their tent-trailer. We also went to Oak Glen a lot, but it's a camping resort, so we stayed in fifth-wheel campers that were owned by the resort. There was swimming, movies in the clubhouse, pool tables, two swimming pools, mini golf, playgrounds, it was a lot of fun. We had plumbing, A/C, all the comforts. It was really fun. I don't know that I've ever slept in a tent. If so, I don't recall it. I can't imagine what that must be like. I'm more a home-body, tech within reach kinda gal and the older I get, the worse it gets!

    Scrabble is one of my favorite games! I also enjoy Othello, but we've not played in a really long time. There are really few board and card games I don't enjoy. Matt's exactly the opposite, he doesn't enjoy board games at all. So, when we play them, it's at my behest and not because he really wants to. Scrabble is though on us too, though, because he tries to play words that are NOT words, like "Cribseals" and "bluetiemire" just so he can get the triple word score tiles and score 100 on one word. He's not really into the spirit of the game, which upsets me because it's my favorite. So, we don't play very often. :)

  4. Yeah, you'd definitely hate tent camping. :) When I was a kid I used to do resort camping at least twice a year with my grandparents, mostly to Mountain Lakes Resort. My grandparents had a huge motorhome, but we we weren't allowed to be inside during the day, so Shan and I would spend our time at the pools, playgrounds, rec room, nature trails, etc. They even did dances on the weekends, and had so many crazy-fun activities. I have so many memories of that place and I've been dying to try it out as an adult and take my own kids there, but I keep hearing that the place has gone downhill.

    Clint is a lot like you in that he likes his technology within reach. He said for next year, he'll be willing to stay in Idyllwild for two weeks, as long as he has internet. They do have WiFi there for a nominal fee, but still...not sure how I feel about that one.

    Oh yeah, and ALL men play bogus words in Scrabble. That's why it's a must to be armed with a dictionary before beginning play. ;-)


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