Chapter 76- Governor Dodge State Park and more (Travel Edition)

IMG_4941

You see the time on that clock?  It’s 6:45PM.  And that’s what time we finally left Milwaukee for the two hour drive to Governor Dodge State Park for a few nights of tent camping.  Just 6 hours and 45 minutes late.

IMG_4939

Because my husband is a genius, and because the above picture is of Little A passed out before we even left Milwaukee County, he suggested we stay in a hotel that night and ease our way into camping.  The kids were beyond excited once we arrived at some crappy Super 8, because “MOM!!! There’s a tiny coffee maker!!!!  And little soap and a tiny fridge and a COFFEE MAKER!  You want coffee?  Here you go.  Papa, you want coffee?”

DSC02623 DSC02626 IMG_4949

I’d read recently some great ideas and tips on traveling with kids, and had visions of neatly packaged snacks and toys and car games.  But instead, we piled in the car with blankies and water bottles.  That’s pretty much it.  So when it came to bedtime, Theo happened to have Harry Potter in his bag (of all the books he was going to read while on vacation…yeah right) and that was their bedtime story.

camp

The next morning, we headed to our site at the park and set up camp.  Little T, Little A and J got one tent, while the rest of us got the other.

camp5 camp6 camp2 camp1

Accommodations were great, mosquitos were minimal, and shade was a plenty.

camp12 camp8 camp9

Our Eno hammock (highly recommend that to anyone in the market for one.  Just make sure to get the double so you can fit a million kids into it) fit nicely between some trees, and we all took turns relaxing (or roughhousing) in it.

camp10 camp21

My oldest went on a hike and brought me back a special rock and a clover.  It was pretty much the sweetest.

camp13

I was sort of dreading sleeping in tents.  Not because I’d be uncomfortable, but because kids would be out of their element and potentially NOT sleep.  But for the most part, people slept when they should have.

camp11 camp14

Bagheera joined me on a few of the trips I took back up to the ranger station to do things like get firewood and inquire about ice.  He’s the best dog ever and I could go on and on about him, but that’s really all you need to know.

camp15 camp16 camp20

This peaceful moment was brought to you by a few mugs of wine and my husband who took the kids on a car ride (all were either approaching or already in meltdown mode).   He was gone for much longer than I anticipated, and everything was packed in the car with him (except said wine and mug), so I got a little weird.  I’d spent enough time in the hammock, stoked the fire, threw some rocks, and found the only logical next step to take pictures of myself jumping off things.  So here you go.

camp17 camp19 camp18 camp22

The next day, Uncle Wow (Will) and Auntie Brave (Rae) joined us and we went to the lake to swim, play games, and eat ice cream.

camp23 camp24 camp25 camp26 camp38

Little T picked up my camera to take some photos of us playing a game.  I have no idea what it’s called but it involves a frisbee and a drink in your hand.  I’ll just let her pictures explain.

camp36 camp27 camp40 camp35 camp39 camp41 camp37 camp28

We hung out at the beach and Little A proved she’s fearless.  She’ll be swimming soon, while her twin preferred to play in the “sandbox”.

camp29 camp31

Back at the campsite Uncle Wow broke out a huge red balloon and my kids had a blast with it for 5 minutes until they popped it.

camp32 camp33 camp30 camp34 camp42

At the end of the camping trip, we packed up and kept heading west to the Driftless area to visit some family for a few days.

camp48 camp54

Here are some wildflowers Little T picked for me.  She’s such a sweetheart.

camp44

We camped out at the cabin that Theo built back when we moved back to WI from Seattle.  It’s a beautiful place up on a hill, surrounded by trails and flowers and ferns galore.  We’re excited to spend more time there, and make some memories for our kids.

camp43

Oh, and not only can my husband make things like cabins, he makes a mean pudgie pie grilled cheese sandwich and cup of coffee for breakfast.

camp46

The above picture is of Theo taking the big three to the Sound of Music hill, and treating them to some chocolate.  I have a feeling that Hershey’s bar was accompanied by some words of love and adoration.

camp47 camp50

Back at my sister in law’s house, we gathered with more family for some cousin time.  And let me tell you, that motorcycle pictured is a hit!

camp51 camp52 camp53 camp55

Our old neighbors and dear friends stopped by the cabin to eat some corn and try and keep kids out of trouble.  We were pretty successful at both endeavors (minus some mystery slivers).

camp56 camp57 camp58 camp59 camp60

It was a great week.  Not all parts were super relaxing or easy, but it was great to spend time outside and see some people we love.

We’re now home trying to recover from a few cases of croup and ear infections.  But hey, at least it happened now instead of while camping!

A. Storm

Write us your thoughts about this post. Be kind & Play nice.
  1. Dad says:

    Amber…what a fantastic account of your family vacation!!!! My best youngest daughter does it again!!! Love you, Dad

    Reply

Leave a reply.