This past weekend my entire family went on our annual camping trip. Yes, there were a few members missing but I believe we still had about 25 people there. All in one cabin. Yep, I’m going to say that again. ALL. IN. ONE. CABIN!!!! Haha, you can already imagine the fun, can’t you? But seriously, my family is fun. I wonder if most people can say that? I always tend to get sort of lost in my own little bubble and feel like I’m so normal, but the more I look around, the more I see that I’m the different one. So maybe everyone doesn’t vacation annually with their entire family in one cabin. I guess it’s their loss. Because it truly is a very fun time for all of us.
You see, I grew up camping. Since before I can even remember, my family (including aunts, uncles, grandparents & cousins) has always spent the summertime camping in the White Mountains. Now when we were young, we camped in tents. You know, the type of camping where you can’t take showers and you pee behind a bush. Although, thank goodness my Dad has always been a camping freak and therefore always had the latest inventions…like porta-potties! LOL! I still am not good at the “pee behind a bush thing”. Definitely spoiled. So anyways, growing up…we spent most camping trips at the same campsite. No, I don’t mean at the same location in the White Mountains…I mean at the exact same campsite at that exact same location in the White Mountains. Dad – Camping Freak…remember?!!! I remember us getting there one time and someone was in our spot…yeah, that didn’t go over well. My Dad stalked those people until they left…then we moved camp into OUR spot. Haha, bet those people have never been camping since.
But now, we are all older…and things like showers seem so much more important. Although, I will be the first to admit…I didn’t shower on this last trip. I’m still a believer in the “if you’re camping, you get dirty” thing. But, really with all those people, a cabin is really easier. Especially for feeding all of us. And boy, do we eat well. This year there was an entire table (and several buckets) dedicated to just the snack foods. I think I ate my weight in gummy bears! And Saturday morning breakfast…Egg McMuffins. Yep, and I am the Queen of making the round eggs for them. Maybe I could get a job at McDonalds? Wait…I think my niece suggested that. Thanks a lot Michelle!! LOL! Anyways, I digress, camping with my family is an experience that I will treasure for the rest of my life. This year I think was our 13th or 14th year. So my youngest has grown up doing this trip. This year, we had 3 of the 5 great grandkids with us. If you ask me, my parents are the most amazing people around…getting their whole family together like that every year…just so we can all make fun of each other!
So of course, there are certain traditions that we do every year…like The Great Boodini, the biggest fish competition, the Sam Ting joke (yeah, its not really funny, but all my life I’ve never been able to say “same thing” without saying “Sam Ting”) and this year we started a new tradition…Minute to Win It games. Of course, there’s also the Abandoned Cabin walk. Yep, its just what it sounds like. We all go for a walk through all of the abandoned cabins and we talk about ghosts and finding dead bodies…and most times there is at least one “scary moment” when someone screams! Yeah, it sounds dumb…but it wouldn’t be a family camping trip without it.
So, The Great Boodini. That started so long ago. There are 4 girls in my family…yes I know, my poor Father…and amongst us we have 11 kids (my baby is the youngest of them at 13 now). Those 11 now have 5 kids amongst them. Geez, everytime I think about that I feel so old. Every camping trip, my Father would do magic tricks for the 11 kids. And every year he got better and spent more money on tricks. Eventually he became, The Great Boodini, and the box of tricks was made and I believe the kids even made him a cape and hat. Then, those 11 kids started to become teenagers…and those darn boys…they started to learn The Great Boodini’s tricks. And that pissed The Great Boodini off…so he went into retirement. LOL! But now, last year, he had a reappearance…and now he has a whole new audience to play too. And the little ones, they loved it! And The Great Boodini has learned to ignore the heckling from the crowd of obnoxious older kids (and their parents, LOL). Or maybe he’s just losing his hearing? Whatever, he is a true professional…and I look forward to more years of him!
So this year, we decided to add a night of Minute to Win It games to our schedule. My youngest looked up a bunch of games, made all the notes, bought all the supplies and ran the whole shebang! And it was a blast. We seperated into 2 teams…the Bad Asses and the Tight Asses (yep, I keep saying, my family is crazy). All I have to say is…it was HYSTERICAL. Yep…my family finds amusement in the silliest of things…mostly making fun of each other….so a night of stupid games where you’re putting panty hose over your head, yeah that is classic shit for us! Ahhh, the memories. And years of embarrassing stories to follow!
I guess it’s hard to explain my family. I mean, to me I think we are just hilarious. From my Dad’s stupid jokes to our ability to make fun of each other on a non-stop basis…the rule growing up was, “whoever is not here is who we talk about”. But, since just about everyone is there at camping…we just make fun of my Dad. I mean, he really is an easy target. And if you can’t laugh at each other, who can you laugh at. Every year, of course, the guys spend most of their time fishing…while us girls sit up at the cabin and make fun of the guys. Hey, whoever’s not there, remember?!! But last year, my Dad brought up this singing fish. You know, that really annoying fish plaque that moves and sings. Yeah, funny…as long as you don’t have to listen to it for days on end. And so began a new tradition of whoever caught the largest fish had to take the fish plaque home (it has been, for some reason unbeknownst to me, named Frankie) and it must be displayed in the winner’s house for every one to see. Yep, and believe me, it is a rule that is enforced. My poor nephew won last year and I think he had just moved into his first apartment by himself. If that’s not a great way to turn women off, I don’t know what is. Sorry Christopher! LOL! So this year, not only was Frankie prominently displayed at the cabin all weekend but the winner also received a little poem my Dad wrote (yep, get the idea, he’s goofy) and for the rest of the year…the winner’s vote counts for 2 votes at any family decisions. Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up. My family really is that funny. Apparently we make family decisions…because I’ll tell you, that seemed to be an important part of winning. So, those boys set out to catch the largest fish…longing for Frankie (and the double vote power) and by Saturday afternoon, one of my nephews was in the lead with a 15 inch trout. And then Saturday evening came along…and along comes…GIRL POWER!!!! My nephew’s girlfriend (yep she’s family now) on her first shot at it, comes back with a 15 1/4 inch winner! Yah…we girls now have more power in the family decisions. Watch out boys! Next year we might just make you all watch Steel Magnolias!
I didn’t set out to write this long of a post. I guess it shows that when it comes to my family, I just can’t say enough. Some of my greatest memories of growing up are from camping…and I am so happy that my girls will be able to say the same thing when they are older. And hopefully we will still be getting together in the White Mountains every summer…for a weekend of laughter, bad jokes and a lifetime of embarrassing stories about each other!