This weekend we took the kids camping for the first time (pictures here). It was mostly a success, despite some small bedtime drama. Neither of the kiddos had napped well and by dinner time they were both falling apart at the seams. We’ve been so consistently trained over the past 3 1/2 years to notice the signs of extreme tiredness and to instinctively react. So, as our little munchkins started to melt down bit by bit, we sped up dinner, quickly ate smores, brushed teeth, put on jammies and read stories as quickly as possible. It wasn’t until we were at the very end of the modified camping bedtime ritual that we even bothered to look at our watches, and then we saw that it was only 6:45pm. A 6:45 bedtime may work fine when the kids are at home, exhausted, have done their normal bedtime ritual, are in their own beds with the black out curtains drawn but let me be the first to tell you…it DOES. NOT. WORK. when you’re camping on the one of the longest days of the year. We almost came back home, but managed to tough it out and we were so glad we did. The weather was perfect and we played for a long time in the stream at the campground, throwing rocks and enjoying the water. The kids loved watching the fire, playing hide and seek in the redwoods and digging in the dirt. They both refused to wear shoes the whole time and were covered in dirt from head to toe. On our way home we visited the goat farm, went on a little hike and played at a really fun beach. After their first experience, I think that the kids are convinced camping is fun. Now I just have to work on convincing Sam!