I married a man who loves the outdoors. Good thing I am a lady who loves the outdoors, too! So naturally we were chomping at the bit to take Jack camping. We had talked about doing something big like Yosemite or Big Basin, but weren’t sure how to go about it with a baby. One day when Jack was 6-months-old, I mentioned to Michael one Wednesday night I really wanted to drink beer by a roaring fire. He said okay, make it happen that weekend! So after a quick search I found all the popular places in the Bay Area were booked solid until the winter. I eventually found a small private campground outside Point Reyes that had tent only drive-up spaces up. Booked it for one night to give camping with a baby a try.
We left bright and early Saturday morning, hoping to spend most of the day at the beach. But we hit tons of traffic as soon as we approached San Francisco.
What should have been a 2 hour drive turned into 4 hours. But we got to the campsite around 2 PM, so the day wasn’t totally wasted. We set-up camp, had a late lunch, and headed out to the beach.
Oh, it was glorious. Jack’s first real time at the beach. He played in the sand, we strolled down the beach as a family, and he touched the ocean for the first time.
It was warm, but not hot. A slight breeze bringing in the sweet smells of the ocean. It was perfect…minus the fact that later I found out I was bitten by a tiny spider and ended up getting a terrible infection.
Then we headed back to camp and I started to make dinner. Then we found out the office closes at 5 PM and no other place in the area sells firewood! I drove all around the area looking, not even branches on the side of the road to pick up! Luckily there was a very nice couple next to us who brought an insane amount of extra stuff, including firewood. They generously gave us some. After dinner, we sat around our small fire (not the roaring one I imagined) and I nursed Jack to sleep on my nursing pillow. We chatted and sipped our beers until the stars came out.
Then we moved to the tent. I had this idea to have Jack sleep in a box with a side cut open next to us, like a co-sleeper. Yeah, he wasn’t having any of that. He wanted want to be snuggled in mama’s arms. I went to put him down between us and I realized something horrible…we forgot pillows and warm blankets! So I quickly wrapped Jack in an extra sleep sack to keep him warm. And settled him down onto my sleeping pad, giving him most of the space. Michael I made makeshift pillows and blankets out of the clothes, wraps, and towels we brought. It ended up being a very cold night for Michael and I. We got hardly any sleep. Also, I was so concerned with keeping Jack warm, but not smothering him with blankets that I could not sleep. Jack kept having night terrors and screaming every time I relaxed, too. So when the sun came up at like 6:30 AM, we all just got up.
After breakfast, we packed up and drove off to explore the rest of Point Reyes. We checked out the historic ranches and the light house.
On the way out, we stopped at the park and walked the earthquake trail. It was so much fun, despite being tired (and at this point my spider bite started to swell).
After that we headed back…and hit the Bay Area traffic again almost immediately. It took 4 hours to get home again (plus a stop at In and Out for dinner).
So what did I learn from that trip? A LOT!
Check out my next post of how our next camping trip to Yosemite a few months later was a major hit from using what we learned on our test-run.