I am NOT a camper ….Day 3

DId you know it rains in southern Florida almost every day? Generally there’s a small shower that passes through on it’s way to more important places. This all well and good as the rain does bring down the temperature and the humidity – at least for a while. What we experienced yesterday was nothing like those nice gentle showers. Ever since we crossed into the state, every afternoon rain shower was more akin to a monsoon with pelting, hurting rain than a gentle shower. Yesterday’s afternoon shower was the worst yet and it decided to stick around for awhile.

We spent the better part of the day just hanging out at the beach. Our friends rented two 2 person kayaks for the day to help with the entertainment with the kids. Everything was just so peaceful and quiet, I actually fell asleep on the beach. True to form, when I woke up, I was alone. Not a soul in sight. Not my family, not anyone else’s. My snoring had achieved the next level – Clear-the-Beach. I now have
Clear-the-House as the next achievement goal.  

As it turns out, everyone had decided to go to the local pub on the campsite. The camp’s pool is conveniently located next to the pub. Oh yes, there is alcohol involved in any good camping trip – or at least that’s what I’m told. The pub is an open air pub that is covered by a huge permanent tent structure. It’s filled with the typical tiki decorations (why do people insist on making any beach area look like the South Pacific?), pool table, old stand up arcade games, and drunks (or at least people on their well on their way to being drunk.)

It was good that I woke up and walked to the pub, because that’s when the monsoon hit. OMG just doesn’t seem to cover the amount of rain that came down. OMG-Please-Help-Us is closer. Once it got started, you couldn’t see more than 10 ft ahead of you. At this point, you can easily tell the locals from the tourists. The tourists were running around, herding small children and animals to the safety of shelters. The locals on the other hand, and for no reasons that I could make sense of, were calm. Incredibly calm. I even saw a shirtless local boy no older than 6 running out in the rain and jumping on his bike to ride around.

After a couple of hours the monsoon had grown tired of us and moved down to Key West to mess with their day. Going back to the campsite, the damage seem to be minimal as we quickly learned to button things up and store items away in previous smaller rain showers. What we didn’t realize to a little later was the amount of rain that ended up getting through the ultra-high tech tents we had erected for the kids to stay in. We had a four man and a ten man tent that I thought could be used in any cold, snow covered mountain with howling winds. Not quite. Everything was wet – fortunately, not anyone’s electronic stuff. We spent the rest of the day taking the wet towels, sleeping bags, clothes to the camp laundry and removing the water from the tents. Joy.

However, the Pratts, once again, made everything better. Everyone chipped in on the clean up and no one complained. (Which if you know teenagers, you would expect a lot of complaining.) The Pratts cooked up a great dinner of steak and burgers with some salad, and because we weren’t able to get any firewood, cold S’mores for dessert. Most of the kids took off after dinner for the pool (like they needed more water) and some of us hung out at the beach just chilling.

In the end, I guess that’s what camping’s all about, just relaxing and enjoying each other’s company. To be disconnected from the world and just deal with what’s around you. If I was at a resort, I’d probably be bored by this point, but here, even with the work involved in getting a camp site put together and maintained, camping seems to be enjoyable and not nearly as boring as there is always something to fix/clean up/prepare/etc.

-JT

Leave a Comment