Saturday, October 11, 2014

Camping: Fort De Soto, Tierra Verde, FL

Yesterday we returned, slightly sunburned and bug bitten and with filthy camping feet, from one of our very favorite campgrounds, Fort De Soto Park and Campground. It's such a nice place to camp.

We tent camp, although someday we'd love to purchase a pop-up or an old, 1970's silver bullet, like an Avion or an Airstream. (Actually, the silver bullet is my dream, not so much Bryan's. On a completely random side note: I would LOVE to buy one and completely remodel the inside. I'd like some faux hardwood flooring, lots of basic cabinets, and some fun hardware and light fixtures. I'd paint the entire interior white, and add tons of colorful curtains, and bedding, and a picture or two on the wall. And I'd plan to stock that baby up with everything I could ever need on a trip to anywhere. And then we would hit the road Jack!)

But anyway, back to life, back to reality... we went tent camping. And we do love our tent. Our tent is made to sleep 8, so we are sitting pretty with plenty of room in there.

Bella took these pictures of us while we were setting up the tent. I love the focus on Bryan's face.

And here it is... the Amish farmhouse of tents...

My absolute favorite/must have additions to our tent are as follows: two floor mats (interior and exterior) for helping to keep the sand off of the tent floor, a dust buster for dust busting all of the sand that makes it past the rugs, and a small folding table for things like cell phones, fans, purple water bottles, etc...

Outdoor must haves also include two "dressers". Seriously, I do not love chaos and disorder, so these little beauties keep me sane. We have a drawer for plates and utensils, we have a kitchen drawer, we have a junk drawer (for things like scissors, tape, clothes pins, string, lysol, glow bracelets, etc...), we also have a produce drawer, a snack drawer, and more.

The hanging lights at the top have been around since last year's trip to Sebastian Inlet, and have become a lighting/decorating staple of every trip since.

The site we chose was really secluded and private, which we loved. It has it's own little "beach" and water access, and had a perfect view of the sunset. The only negative about this site, was that the mangroves were full of noseeums, which are little biting bugs. I think next time we go we'll choose a site less secluded and buggy...

Our campsite mornings looked like this:
beautiful sunrises,

an early fire to keep the bugs at bay,

and a tide waaaay out, revealing all kinds of crabs for the birds to eat.

We had bacon and eggs and whole wheat blueberry pancakes for breakfast each morning. The boys were in charge of the fireside cooking, and Bella and Lilly made the pancakes. Lilly stirred the ingredients, and spooned them onto the griddle, and Bella was in charge of flipping.

Our days were filled with exploring, exercising, relaxing and enjoying being together.
Quiet paths around the campsite made this a great place to go for family rides, and we found some fun places to exploring.

We were SO thankful for three specific couples on this trip! The ones that gave us enough firewood to burn for four days straight, the ones that gave us kayaks to use for four days straight, and the ones that let us borrow their trailer to haul it all in! Thanks bunches!!

From first thing in the morning until night time, we were in and out of those kayaks.

The boys were fishing for shark in this one...

We were able to see so much wild life this week. We saw (and caught) a gazillion hermit crabs and fish, and we saw sharks and dolphins, and lots of birds.

I love West Coast beaches!

One of my very favorite moments of our trip was getting to see a whole bunch of dolphins swimming around below the pier. If I wasn't a human, I would want to be a dolphin.

For a special little treat, the five of us split a giant delicious fresh squeezed lemonade.

After full days of playing in the water and the sun, we cooked dinners, enjoyed the sunsets and full moons and sat by the fire.

It was a great camping trip, full of family memories made, which is really the best part.
Happy weekend to ya!

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