Months in advance, I booked and paid for a family camping trip on the coast of California for myself, my husband, and our four children, ages 7-14. A month before we were to leave our SUV broke down, needing more than $1,000 in repairs.
I broke the news to the kids that we couldn’t afford the trip after paying for the repairs and couldn’t get us all there in our smaller car, so we wouldn’t be going. They refused to accept the situation and shocked us by rallying together to come up with a plan. I had some stuff stored in the garage for yard sale so they went through the whole house cleaning all our closets, etc., and had a huge yard sale.
They raised over $500 for our trip. I was so proud on them! It was cutting it close with the budget, but we had to take them at this point. So we loaded up and went!
On the way there, my son’s stupid 14 year old girlfriend was threatening to break up with him because she was mad that he was leaving town. So he sat pouting the entire ride. Then the brakes on our “newly fixed” car overheated. We pulled off the road and there was nothing around, so we could do nothing but wait for them to cool off.
Well, I had to go to the bathroom. Bad. We had no other cover around, so my husband opened both of the passenger side doors and I squatted down between them. Of course a car came by right as I was doing my business. It wasn’t until they yelled and whistled that I realized I was squatting too low, and they could see EVERYTHING. Lovely.
We finally get there and open our tent to find mice had chewed holes all over it, so my husband patched it with the only thing he had, neon green zebra striped duct tape. All our neighbors had beautiful, high end looking tents. Our site looked like the ghetto! Then we decided to walk to the beach. That was when we found out that the beach was a several mile hike in high winds over sand dunes. The kids were all whining and one was crying from getting sand in her eye. It was not the relaxing beach vacation we were looking for, to say the least. I was pissed!
We finally went to bed. About midnight, someone pulled into the site next to us. The husband got out and started screaming at his wife and kicking dents into their car in front of their crying kids. I walked to bathroom and quickly alerted security. Well, they got the campsite number wrong and the security crew drove up our campsite and started yelling at MY husband, who was all confused. He finally pointed to the next camp site and they went over there. They spoke to them and everything quieted down and we went to sleep….only to be woken up by the (late to arrive) police about 2 am. Their drama basically kept us up all night!
It was miserable the rest of the weekend as well. We packed up and headed home finally. We took one of my husband’s famous “shortcuts’ and I got carsick from the winding roads. At one point the kids spotted a lost dog which they guilted us into chasing through the woods to try to save. We never did catch him, but I got several cuts trying to.
Then we almost ran out of gas and were sweating it for MILES. When we finally arrived at the gas station ON FUMES, my husband checked our bank account. Turns out we had an unexpected expense hit our checking account early and we didn’t have enough money to get gas to get home! We said a prayer and my husband swiped. Thank God it let him fill the tank! So we arrived home filthy, exhausted, stressed out, and with an overdrawn bank account. Haven’t been camping since!