If you follow me on Twitter, you may know we left for a camping trip this past Friday. I love camping because it is so removed from my normal life, in that it never matters what time it is. You eat when you are hungry, you hike, you ride bikes, you go to the beach, you read books, all just whenever the mood takes you. The kids love it, and I love spending some concentrated time with them.

The weekend started out okay, weather-wise. Saturday, we spent most of the day at the beach. It almost didn’t seem hot enough to be swimming to me, only in the mid-80s. The sun was potent, though, and despite being careful about the sunscreen, we all got burnt. Even the boy, who almost never burns, had blisters on one cheek, his nose, and the top of one ear. My friend and her daughter burned, too, although not as badly.

So, we decided no beach. T-shirts don’t protect an already red face. The kids and I went to the marina for breakfast, then we came back to find it was already starting to get really hot. We had talked about going to see a civil war enactment nearby, then heading to Walmart for some forgotten supplies. I wanted a hat, for instance, because the top of my head was quite burnt. The kids were not excited about the reenactment, and as it got hotter and hotter, my friend and I lost our enthusiasm, too, so we ended up just making a 35 mile or so drive to Walmart. In an air-conditioned car! To an air-conditioned store! We did stop to see a covered bridge historic site on the way back, so it wasn’t all Walmart, but I have to admit, that was an accident, ;). We spent much of that evening in my friend’s air-conditioned camper, only venturing out to cook a quick dinner.

Yesterday, the heat index was around 110 degrees. We thought about spending the day at the beach, but my kids and I still needed some sunburn recovery time, so we headed out to Hannibal instead. Hannibal is Mark Twain’s boyhood home, if you didn’t know, and if you had ever been to Hannibal, you would definitely know. Moat of the things they have there for tourists are Mark Twain related, although we did see a cool mansion built by a lumber baron this time. We also went to the rock shop near the Mark Twain cave, because we love that place. We didn’t do the cave this time, because it is expensive, and we’ve seen it before–this is our 4th time camping in this area. Across from from the cave is a small amusement park type thing, although that makes it sound bigger than it is. There were some bumper boats in a tiny lake (see kids enjoying that above), a miniature golf course, some stores, a mini-arcade, a birthday party place, a platform for small kids, a restaurant and a new adventure where you go through a scene from Tom Sawyer avoiding lasers. I am not describing that well, since I didn’t do it, but the kids said it was kind of like spy stuff, trying to get through without tripping alarms. They liked it. There was a wine shop with wine slushes, and my friend and I liked that. The people there were super nice, too. I hope they get a lot more business than we saw at other times.

Today we are going to try the beach again. I got even stronger sunscreen at Walmart (70+ vs. the 50 SPF I had before), so I am hoping for the best, sunburn-wise. I am bringing a book and a canvas chair to sit in the water and relax. This is what vacation is for–relaxing, spending time with kids and our friends, maybe reading a trashy novel. I am glad we came, despite the heat.

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