Friday, July 26, 2013

Drew's "Camp Out"

Drew, Maddie, and I are in South Carolina this week with my family.  Jim drove us to Cincinnati last Saturday afternoon, where we met my parents and stayed for a night in a hotel.  The next morning, Jim left to go back to Michigan (a golf course manager has a hard time getting away in the summer), and the rest of us traveled to South Carolina.  Here are some sleepy travelers in the back seat of the van.
 My parents went camping earlier this summer, and when Drew heard about their camping trip, he thought it sounded like lots of fun.  My parents wanted to give Drew an experience for his birthday this year (instead of a thing), so they decided to give him his own little camping experience while he was here.  We started with hot dogs on the grill for dinner on Monday evening.  After dinner, we went out on my parents' deck and made s'mores.
 They were delicious!
 After dessert, we went over to my brother's house.  The kids had lots of fun in my nephew's little pool.
 Uncle Mark threw the boys into the pol again and again, and they loved it!
 One of the main reasons for our trip this week was to meet my new niece, Avery.  She is about a week old and is so sweet and tiny.
 Maddie loves her!  She kept patting her and trying to pick her up and hug her like she does with her doll and stuffed animals.
 When we got home that evening, the camping continued in my parents' yard.  My dad set up a tent in the yard, and he and Drew slept out there for the night.
 Drew was so excited!
 On Tuesday, we drove up to the Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina (where we used to go camping when I was a child and where my parents camped this summer) for a day in the mountains.  We started with lunch at the Pisgah Fish Camp, where we ate flounder.  Drew loves fish, so my parents thought he would enjoy lunch there.  After lunch, we checked out the camp ground where my parents camped, and Drew got to see their campsite.  Then, we drove to the Ranger Station.  There were lots of exhibits about hiking and camping safety and maps and brochures for all the forest activities.
 There was also a gift shop at the Ranger Station, and the kids liked looking around there.  Maddie loved this little possum and carried it all around the shop.
 My parents told Drew that he could pick something out at the shop.  He chose a wooden yo yo with Smokey the Bear on it and a rubber snake.
 Our next stop was the fish hatchery at the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education.  We got to see the big tanks of fish, and the kids got to throw little pellets of food to the fish.
 They liked seeing the fish jump and fight for the food.
 Our next stop was Looking Glass Falls.
 It was beautiful!
Then, we moved on to our final stop of the day - the Cradle of Forestry.  We toured the building first and saw all kinds forestry exhibits and forest animals.  Drew's favorite was a helicopter ride simulation.  We sat in a helicopter and watched a short video about forest fires.
 Then we headed outside to walk the Forest Festival Trail.
 We saw lots of old forestry equipment as we walked.

 Drew liked the big, old train.

 The forest itself was very green and beautiful, and we saw lots of plants, especially lots of different kinds of mushrooms, as we walked.
We had planned to have a picnic dinner before we came home, but both Drew and Maddie fell asleep in the van as soon as we left the Cradle of Forestry.  We decided to eat our picnic at home so that the kids could sleep.  We had a very fun day!

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