S’mores and wood carving and drinkies by the campfire (aka: why camping rocks)

Posted by on Sep 3, 2012 in Ramblings... | 0 comments

A couple weeks back Sweetie and I decided it was time for a mini vacay.  In all honesty, we’ve hardly been ANYWHERE on vacation pretty much since our honeymoon almost four years ago (during which we took the “go big or go home” route and spent a couple weeks enjoying Paris and London) (Paris FRANCE and London ENGLAND, that is – not Paris and London Ontario.)  (Such places do exist here in Southwestern Ontario, so that all seemed worth clarifying.)  (But I digress…)

Sweetie is a bit of a purist when it comes to camping.  If he had things his way, we’d be out in the middle of some crown forest, foraging for berries and squatting in the bushes (ok, the foraging for berries part might be a bit of a stretch, since Sweetie’s a bit of a carnivore and he enjoys his campfire burgers and dogs, but the squatting in the bushes part?  That part is probably [sadly] true.)  I, on the other hand, rather enjoy running water and indoor plumbing (and not the pit-toilet kind – nosireebob – I need toilets that actually FLUSH thankyouverymuch) so a long time ago we reached a compromise – tent camping without the luxury of electricity or running water at the campsite, but in close proximity to real washrooms.  It’s as “roughing it” as I get, and, well, it works for us.  :)

Mornings at our campsite tend to look like this…

Instant coffee while camping with small campstove

…yep.  I’m a princess.  And I don’t do anything in the morning without coffee first.  Even if it’s instant.  And, truthfully, this Nescafe instant stuff was kinda tasty!  That contraption under the pot of water is Sweetie’s snazzy campstove.  It’s tiny, and it runs off of methanol, I think.  He’s a camping gadget guy – no Coleman stove for my dude.  Nope.  He’s all about small efficient little contraptions like this (you know, in case he’s ever backpacking out into the middle of some random forest – I’m sure he could cook a lot of berries on that there little stove.)

On this particular camping trip, Sweetie decided it might be a good time to take up carving. He read an article on the site The Art of Manliness on how a first good whittling project is to carve an egg.  Here is the beginnings of Sweetie’s egg…

Whittling and carving while camping

I don’t have an official “end” photo, because, well, things got a little bloody toward the end.  True story.  But an egg-shape did indeed materialize eventually!

And, just to backtrack a little, I suppose I should clarify that Sweetie tends to pick up random hobbies from time to time.  So carving?  Yep.  That’s my Sweetie.  That said, in all fairness, Sweetie’s dad is a very accomplished wood carver, so I’m guessing a bit of Sweetie’s desire to learn to carve comes from that.  But I also think Sweetie just likes to learn new things.  New… um… random… things…  Definitely not a bad quality!  And it’s what makes Sweetie the interesting person he is.

(The other benefit to Sweetie’s whittling-attempt?  Those shavings make AWESOME fire starters.)

We also spent some time at the beach while camping. Being obedient little campers, in compliance with this sign we did not bring our martinis down to the beach.

Funny beach sign - no martinis allowed on the beach

I’m not really a lay-in-the-sun-for-multiple-hours kinda girl (and my pastiness is definite proof of that) but I rather enjoy just wandering around the beach and looking at things.  The colours in the rocks along the waterline totally reminded me of the teals and grays and greiges in my house…

Pretty rocks on the beach by the waterline

…pretty eh?

And I even managed to get Sweetie in a greencard (I think this may be the only picture of him on this site – consider this proof that he really does exist!)

See?  My Sweetie is cute, non?  :)

Post-beach drinkies followed, of course (since we were discouraged from bringing our swanky martini-glasses down to the sand.)  Sweetie had beer…

Labatt blue in the sun while camping

…and I had wine (in my pretty blue camping cup, of course.)

Trees reflecting in my glass of wine

(See the trees reflecting in my wine?  I worked hard on this pic.  :)

Sweetie resumed his whittling (it was around this point when things turned a bit gruesome) and I got caught up on my reading…

Ikea catalogue - good reading while camping

Yup.  That’s right.  Some people go camping with a good well-loved novel.  Me?  I bring the new IKEA catalogue and the most recent issue of Chatelaine.  Potato, po-tah-toh.  :)

When it got dark, Sweetie made a fantastic roaring fire – he rather rocks at the log-cabin approach.

Log cabin approach to campfire building

And once we had a good bed of coals going, we made grilled-cheese pie irons for supper.  Yum.  And then, for desert, we had s’mores.  But creative s’mores (since we’d both forgotten to seek out appropriate marshmallow roasting sticks pre-darkness.)  The invention of “pie iron s’mores” resulted (and didn’t go too badly, truth be told!)

Pie iron s'mores

(Sweetie testing for marshmallow doneness.)

And a couple of drinks later, it was time for bed.

And that’s the tale of our quick little two-night camping trip!  The next morning was pack-up and get-out day (so that someone else could use our fantastic little campsite the next night.)  This camping trip didn’t seem nearly long enough, but we’re hoping to fit in some September camping maybe (if the weather stays nice enough into the fall.)  Fingers crossed!  I’m totally not a nature-girl (there were rather thorough spider-checks in the tent before bedtime), but there’s seriously nothing nicer than a couple days spent entirely outdoors.

(Um, with running water and real plumbing, of course.)


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