2016's First Adventure

 One thing I've been dying to do since we moved to California is go camping.  We finally set a date and decided that New Years was our big adventure.  Why not start 2016 doing something we've never done as a family before?  Let's just say, I'm dying to own our own camper {one day when it makes sense, you know, and not pay out the booty for storage} and camp around the U.S of A.  I grew up with camping as our main form of family summer vacation and I loved it.  This trip just brought back so many memories from growing up {like our camper almost blowing over in the middle of a crazy storm in the Bad Lands and playing cards with our camping neighbors while our cans of coke cooled in the rivers of Yellowstone National Park -smart dad, smart}.  We got to our spot after the sun had set on New Years Eve, thanks to the epic traffic that is California, only to discover our spot didn't have hook-ups for electricity which we were banking on since it gets quite cold at night and we have a toddler who loves an almost 80 degree room while he snoozes.  We were meeting up with some friends and while the guys got the fire roaring, I bundled Clement in basically everything I had packed for him.  For the first time in our marriage Kellen and I {and Clement wa-wa} managed to stay up past midnight sitting around a fire discussing the prospects and excitements of the coming 2016.  Once we finally snuggled into bed and the campground quieted down enough for Clement to go to sleep, Kellen and I huddled together to keep warm {you wouldn't even believe the amount of blankets we used on and around Clement's pack-n-play to keep that kid warm}.  It took me forever to fall asleep and I even considered grabbing CK and driving the hour south back to our cozy abode.  But next thing I knew, Clement's head was popping up out of his pack-n-play with the first lights of the day.  I have to say, although I got about 2 hours of sleep, I am glad I got to see the sun rise over a mountain on Jan 1, 2016.  For sure not the worse way to start a year.
Since Clement can be crazy loud in the morning, Kellen and I packed him up in the Jeep to go grab coffee and bagels and let the rest of the campground continue to sleep.  I had only driven through San Clemente and was excited to explore the surf town that's pretty 'locals only'.  Once we had some coffee in hand we headed down to the beach.  It was such an unreal clear day and the blue of the water and sky was just so crisp.  I could have sat in that spot all day watching the waves break and the surfers carve.  However, the coffee we had picked up for our friends was getting cold so we headed back to hang out, make egg burritos, the guys went surfing and I took Clement for a trail run along the coast {always so fun to run in new areas, especially with unreal ocean views}, nap and do a little reading.
I've had this obsession with seeing sunsets this fall/winter so naturally, I told Kellen I really wanted to catch this one especially on such a crisp clear day, so we packed CK up and drove the quick drive to a stellar spot with a bit of a hiking trail.  Clement went nuts as trains whizzed by occasionally and he got to explore to his hearts content.  This sunset was a stunner.  One thing I adore about sunsets in California is the cotton candy sky speckled with tall palm trees.  It's the most glaringly different thing from what I've grown up with in the Midwest and experienced even since leaving.  Gets me every time.  After the sky turned dark we headed back to roast our hot dogs wrapped in crescent roll dough over the fire {thanks Buzzfeed camping hacks} for dinner.  So. Good. In case you're wondering.  And s'mores of course.
Once Clement had gone to bed Kell and I sat by a blazing fire, just us.  It was kind of amazing to just be sitting with him with nothing to do but talk and watch a fire roar.  It's been, maybe never, since we've hung out with zero distractions - down to no cell service and not a single soul around to watch or talk to.  It was glorious.  Star gazing and talking about the trips we're looking forward to in the next year, making tentative plans, talking about hopes and dreams and even fears.  And then we crawled into bed at 8 pm, exhausted from the day, and cranked up the space heater {we discovered there was an outlet in the bathroom that we happened to be right next to and used quite a long extension cord to light and heat our camper up}.  We slept so long and hard and good.  Even when CK woke up chattering at his normal time of 6:40 {on the dot} it didn't feel nearly as bad as it normally does. 10 plus hours of sleep will do that to ya.
Again, to keep the rest of the people in the campground asleep, we headed back to San Clemente to a diner we had spotted the day before and ordered up some waffles, eggs and sausage.  And again, we went back down to the water so I could get a solo run in and Kellen explored with CK on the pier.  San Clemente has SUCH a charm to it.  I was ready to move north.  White, Spanish style buildings everywhere - similar to Santa Barbara - with hills diving into the ocean.  There was a trail along the water for walking/running and it was loaded with Lululemon clad people out to burn some calories with stunning views.  We drove through their shopping district and stopped at a surf shop to look for deals and steals.  The whole area was just so cute and local.  Worth checking out if you're in the area.  We felt nice and campy-grubby, having worn the same outfits basically the entire time, so we didn't stay too long.  Plus we had to get the sweet camper some friends let us borrow back to them.  I mean really, how incredible is that vintage camper!?

Packing up a campsite with an energetic, adventuresome toddle is quite a task.  When we were about at our wits end of getting absolutely nothing packed due to keeping him from killing himself or escaping, he spilled his entire container of blueberries on the ground and spent the next 15 minutes eating them off the ground.  I mean, whatever, desperate times call for desperate measures right?   This kid loves his blueberries.  
I'm so thankful to have had this little adventure with my family and cannot wait for many more camping trips {hopefully}.  I know for dead certain that we are not tent-campers.  That whole ground thing...  We called this glamping.  I can glamp any day.  Willingly.  So here's hoping there's more of that in 2016!  Hope you had a great New Years and first week back.  I hope to be a little more consistent around here as I have really missed the creative outlet blogging is for me.  I'm not really one for resolutions but if I was, I would say blogging more consistently again is up there.  So here is my week late start. ;)


  1. I LOVE THIS! Since moving to Maine, camping has been HIGH on my wish list of things to do. We haven't gotten around to it yet on the East Coast but this inspired me to make it happen. Sounds like the perfect little trip to ring in the new year :)

  2. Cute photos :)
    BLOG M&MFASHIONBITES : http://mmfashionbites.blogspot.gr/
    Maria V.

  3. Great time of making memories and you are right the sunsets are amazing! Something you will never forget!

  4. It sounds like you had a great time camping - what a lovely thing to do as a family. Your little boy is so cute and he looks like he is enjoying himself. I'm glad you got to see lots of sunsets and the photos look great. Hope you have many more family camping trips.

    Andrea Wilkins @ Getaway Outdoors

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