Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Camping ... Relay style

This past weekend we had our first camping trip. Chuck had the Relay for Life this weekend and it meant we would be there Friday-Sunday. We bought a new tent and its nice and large. It comfortably fit the queen-size air mattress we bought, Charlie's cot, all our clothes, Charlie's toys, and even a heater on Saturday night and still there was room to move around. It also has a small attached screen porch area that we really liked.

Friday it started misting and drizzling in the afternoon. With all the time it takes to get the stage area and gear up and running, we didn't get to the tent until about 5:30. Luckily it sets up pretty quickly. We didn't have an official campsite, we were just set up behind the stage ... the advantage being we got to have electricity fed from the stage to our area :-)

Since the Relay wasn't to start until Saturday morning, everyone was to be off the fairgrounds by 7:00 Fri night ... that is everyone but us. We had permission to stay overnight. We went out for pizza at the local shop to warm up from being in the rain all day and returned to an eerily empty fairgrounds. All the gates were suppose to be locked, but they latched but didn't lock the service gate so we could come and go as needed.By 9:00 I had Charlie bundled up in 2 pairs of PJ's and snuggled up on his cot under 2 heavy fleece blankets. He went to sleep pretty quickly, fresh air (even damp) does wonders. Chuck and I sat out in the screened porch area and just listened to the rain. That night it rained pretty constant and the wind was whipping pretty good, too. The temp dropped to the low forties IT WAS SO COLD but surprisingly we survived.

I got up to start the day around 5:00 and got the coffee going. Did I mention we had electricity, yeah! We started the fire pit, enjoyed coffee and bagels (cooked on the grill) and then the rest of the staff and crew started arriving. The sun came out and it ended up being a great, although windy, first day of Relay.

For the 2nd night, someone brought us a portable heater to keep plugged in in the tent. It made such a difference that Charlie didn't feel the need to stayed curled up in a ball under his blanket. Somewhere around 3:30 am he decided to climb onto the bed with us. So sweet, yes, but that meant Mom, me, got pushed nearly off the air mattress and barely had any quilt covering her. Also, since Charlie was dressed, again, in double "feetie" PJ's, he had no interest in being under any blankets so he kept kicking off what was barely covering him and consequently me.

This year was Charlie's 3rd Relay, even though he's not quite 2 1/2. Everybody there knows him and marvels at how much he grows when they see him ... which is only about twice a year. He really enjoyed himself this year. He spent time walking the track, getting pony rides, dancing the "electric slide" and even took the Sunday morning kick box - cardio class LOL. Of course the latter 2 were his attempts at such, but they were good. He loved sitting in the "jeep" aka staff golf cart when ever he got a chance and everyone was lovin' giving him just that chance.

One very memorable moment happen quite quietly. During set up on Friday afternoon, Charlie was playing with the drum set that was stashed, until needed, in the side area of the stage. He was contently tapping the drums and the cymbals here and there. All of a sudden it seemed he got a little quiet (easy to notice when a 2 yr old stops hitting drums and cymbals). I look over at him and call to Chuck to take a look. There was Charlie standing close to the end of one of the cymbal stands, which to him must have looked like a "Charlie-size" microphone on a mike stand, singing into it like a pro. It was the cutest thing! He was completely in his own world, singing without a care. Its a picture I will never forget.

The rest of Relay went great and officially wrapped up at 11:00 am with a total fund-raising amount of + $740,000!! We didn't get to leave until about 4:00 when everything was taken down and loaded back onto the truck. It was a long, tiring weekend but also, as always, a "feel good" weekend.

Sending a shout out to and her June Write Away contest.


Scribbit said...

A different way of camping :)

Congrats on the contributions gathered, that's certainly wonderful.

Daisy said...

sounds like a great time for Charlie -- and a successful fundraiser, too. Maybe your little one will become a famous musician!