For our 3-day Veteran’s Day weekend, we took the girls camping at Falling Waters State Park, over in Chipley. This was Emerson’s third camping trip, but Addison’s first! We spent the majority of Friday packing and loading everything up, and finally got on the road around 3pm. Thanks to Jeff’s dad Dave (aka PopPop) for loaning us his truck for the weekend!
Gonna go ahead and drop my fun TikTok video here, that spans the whole weekend, and then we’ll get to the photo dump, with a little commentary scattered in…
We got to camp and got everything put up right before it got dark, which is at 4:45pm over there. Then we got started on some hot dogs and chili for dinner. After 10 years of camping together, multiple times a year (in the past, pre-kids), we would always just cook over the campfire. But we decided kinda out of no where at Walmart on Friday we would finally buy a little camp stove, which turned out to be perfect timing, because the whole park was under a fire-ban due to lack of water, meaning we weren’t even allowed to build campfires all weekend. So we got lucky with our camp stove, so that we still had a way to cook a couple of meals.
We ended up all going to sleep at like 9pm together, and then woke up bright and early at 6am on Saturday. Jeff got the plates washed and dried from the night before, while I cooked up little sausage, egg & cheese English muffin sandwiches. Then he took them to visit a puppy across the “road” from our tent.
I saw a TikTok hack saying to put your pre-scrambled eggs in a plastic bottle, to save room in the cooler, and you don’t have to worry about them breaking, or dirtying a bowl at camp mixing them, and I loved that idea. And it worked out perfectly.
I also had the idea to put pre-made iced coffee into rinsed out coffee creamer bottles, to set down in the cooler. And that idea worked out perfectly as well.
Took a tiny hike to see this giant sink hole, that was actually kinda creepy walking down the walkways/stairways to get down to it, and then looking down 100+ feet into the earth. This is usually a waterfall actually, but due the extremely dry weather lately (thus, the fire-ban), it was all dried up and there wasn’t any water falling…
Found a playground to spend an hour or so letting the girls play after the hike.
We tried to go visit a tiny little library, but they were closed for Veteran’s Day. Addie Pie had fallen asleep in the car though, so we just kinda kept on driving and let her rest. We ended up finding cute little things to explore in downtown Chipley, and enjoyed wandering around the tiny town.
Then we went back to camp for sandwiches and chips and some rest time. I read my book, and the girls watched “Luca” on Disney+ on Jeff’s phone.
It started raining lightly while we were resting, but it lightened up enough to get the girls out on their scooters for a while. Then we drove to the other side of the park to visit to the lake, and went for another little walk/hike around the park. We ended up getting caught in the rain again on our way back, but the girls just thought it was fun, and it wasn’t raining too hard anyways.
Once we made it back to the tent, it was raining harder, and almost completely full dark. We briefly discussed trying to cook on the camp stove again since we had the pop-up tent over the picnic table. But it was raining hard enough that it was still wet everywhere under there, and it just wasn’t worth it. So we found an open restaurant on the outskirts of Chipley, and ended up at a really great place called Crescent City Cafe that served cajun/creole style food, like in New Orleans. And this red beans & rice was actually better than the red beans & rice we had in a Nola a few weeks ago!
Then we found this most adorable and sweetest little kitten out front. We asked the folks at the counter, and they said it was their kitty. She let the girls pet all over her on the ground, then I picked her up, and she was just so cuddly and sweet. We fell in love with her, and she might have ended up in the truck with us, if we don’t know she belonged to the restaurant people.
Back at the campsite, it was still raining, so we pretty much just went straight to bed again. We had two queen air mattresses, and Addie slept with me, and Emmie slept with me. I actually stayed up an extra hour or two reading with a goose-neck flashlight around my shoulders, until about 10pm. It got pretty chilly last night, down into the 50’s, so we had the girls bundled up really well in sweatshirts and sleeping bags with extra blankets, and Jeff made sure he kept covering up Addie since she’s always so wiggly.
We were awake around 7am today, but kinda just laid around in the tent cuddling and snacking until about 8am. Then we finally ate some poptarts for a “real” breakfast, before we finally started packing up all the stuff and the tents and everything. Camping is certainly a lot of work, but we had a great weekend, despite all the work and the rain and the cold night. Addie slept most of the way back home, and Emmie played on her Kindle most of the way back home.
Since everything was wet from yesterday’s rain, once we got the truck unloaded, we spread everything out all over the front yard to dry out in the sun. We also started a couple loads of all the laundry and blankets, since everything was kinda damp. We left the stuff out there in the yard for a couple of hours partially staked down, partially weighted down, while we actually napped. We got it all folded back up and packed away late this afternoon. We had pulled the girls’ car seats out of the truck to put back in my car, but we left them in the driveway for a while. And then because of all the crumbs and who-knows-what-all, they were covered in ants, and Jeff spent 30 minutes vacuuming all the ants out of their seats.
Then we finally made our way over to Nana & PopPop’s house, to switch Dave’s truck out for Jeff’s car, and pick up Pretzel. Nana also treated us to homemade chicken noodle soup with chicken salad sandwiches for the grownups and grilled cheese for the kids. Then we did their bath at their house, before heading home for bedtime.
Jeff and I still had some post-camping chores to take care of, so we’re taking turns doing that stuff, and taking showers, and writing this post. So now I’ve gotta go finish that stuff, and it’s my turn finally to shower and get clean.