Camping. . . at the Super 8

– Posted in: Complaining, Family, First World Problems, Holidays, Mawage, Personal Insanity, Road Trip, Tenzin, The Great Outdoors, Things To Do with Kids, This Is Supposed to be Fun, Travel, Vacation, Worst Mom Randomness

Today, while everyone was writing sentimental posts and acrostic poems about dads, I was hoping to baby Jebus that my husband wouldn’t remember it was Father’s Day.

Not that he really would’ve remembered. Tenzin and I are sort of famous for not making a big deal out of holidays anyway. Truth be told, I wasn’t all that jazzed about the kids being all ticked off that we didn’t celebrate. Because today, we weren’t going to do anything except pack to go on our giant, camping road trip.

See, we just bought a tent trailer. A tent trailer from hell. As it turns out, I’ve spent the last week becoming Tammy the Toolwoman Taylor so we can get this damn thing up and running. Tenzin had a long stretch of work, so I had to figure out, fix, and tweak various aspects of a water tank, three freaky drains, a hot water heater, a propane system, two stove attachments, a refrigerator, two hitch locks, a portable septic tank, trailer hitch lights, and an electrical system that runs on two different voltages.

Keep in mind that I don’t do this kind of thing. My idea of buying a tent trailer was, “Cool, now I get to go out and buy some cute camping dishes and maybe a couple of folding chairs.” I had absolutely no desire to fill my brain with this stuff. Nor was I terribly interested in climbing under a dirty trailer, moving icky hoses around, and futzing with hissing propane. The whole idea behind getting this trailer was the idea of “camping made easier.”

So far, the camping has not been made easier. In fact, last night, my knee started hurting, and today, I’m hobbling around like the guy who had his feet broken in Misery. I’ve somehow managed to mess up both sides by walking all weird. I should’ve taken a video of myself crawling up the stairs because I looked so ridiculous (only that would’ve required an extra hand).

Anyway, I couldn’t help pack today, so our usual tortoise-like, “get out of town” speed was cut in half, and we didn’t leave until 6 o’clock. It was excruciating. We brought so much stuff that the Ingalls’ family is rolling over in their graves. Then we locked ourselves out of the house. And then I thought I lost Tenzin’s driver’s license and almost had a heart attack (which, to be fair, at least Caroline Ingalls didn’t have to worry about crap like that).

Our supposed drive time to Burney Falls was three hours. Of course that got delayed by a stop for dinner, groceries, and Tenzin falling asleep and having to pull over. By 8 o’clock, we realized how screwed we were and made plans to stay at the Super 8 in Susanville (Tenzin suggested we try dropping in at the Eagle Lake Campground, but I pretty much said — in non-verbal, “we’ve been married for 15 years” speak — if there wasn’t a spot and we had to drive half-an-hour back to Susanville, I’d have a nervous breakdown).

So that’s where we are. The kids are happy. They’re plugged into the free WiFi, so they have a reprieve from their camping “Minecraft moratorium” for one more day. And they got to swim in a freezing cold pool with their dad. Elfie had to wear her clothes because she forgot her bathing suit. That’s what happens when your mom is laid up and doesn’t check your packing.

So Happy Father’s Day, Honey. I’m sorry you didn’t get an acrostic poem or a sentimental post about how much I love you and how great you are with the kids. I hope you enjoyed busting your ass all day to get the family ready for a 10-day road trip that will most likely kill us both. I hope you had fun swimming with the kids since we both know I sure as hell wasn’t going in that pool with them. And I hope the wine in the Super 8, paper coffee cup went well with the Hershey’s chocolate bar that we were going to make into s’mores.

At the very least, this one will be a year you’ll never forget.

family hanging out at Super 8

We told the kids this would be the best room they’d ever stay in. And they believed the hype.

Yellow dog licking peanut butter jar

Jasper was happy. He got to lick a peanut butter jar.

Dad and kids drying off after swimming in freezing cold pool

Everybody dried off with hand towels. Love Super 8. But the woman running the place was nice enough to keep the pool open late as long as the kids weren’t crazy loud.


Wanna find out how the rest of it went? Sure you do…

8 Comments… add one

Cheryl S. June 17, 2013, 7:55 am

Yeah, wow. No thanks. No thanks camping. No thanks trailer. No thanks hoses and hissing and yuck. And most definitely, no thanks pain. I hear a spa calling your name.

Mary Styler June 17, 2013, 8:19 am

OMG, that is just hilarious. I’m laughing my head off and reminded of our ENDLESS road trips growing up. No cell phones then…or video games…had to play road games and get busy work books. Happy Father’s Day K..Tenzin!

Rachel June 17, 2013, 8:51 pm

Oh your post is so familiar. If you have a sec to hop over to getrealmama- u will see how we wre living parallel lives! Hope you heal quickly!

vanita June 19, 2013, 6:39 pm

girl you would not catch me camping if my life depended on it. also, you go woman! you kick butt if you can get all that stuff hooked up. i would have sat in a corner and cried.
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Andrea June 20, 2013, 7:57 am

You are a rockstar for attempting all that Camping Trailer Maintenance on your own. I would have sold it on Craigslist for five dollars before my husband came home from work. But hey, at least you got to make memories at the Super 8!
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Beverly June 21, 2013, 9:09 am

You are certifiably funny.

AlwaysARedhead June 18, 2014, 12:31 pm

When the kids were very young we always took them car camping. Park the car, set up your tent or tent trailer. Then when they were a little older (13, 11, 9) we took them to the backcountry of Algonquin Provincial Park. They had to carry their own backpack, so were allowed 1 toy, and 1 book. They had a fabulous time and have never looked back. They prefer the wild to car camping or hotels. Myself, I could live out in the forest year around, though I would like wifi occasionally.
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Tammy Soong June 18, 2014, 4:37 pm

Someday, you’re going to have to help me learn the joys of backcountry. At the moment, it sort of scares me.
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