100 Days of Camping Day #14
July 4th. Independence day. A day for parades and floats, fireworks, watermelon, family, and celebrating our founding fathers and their sacrifice in order to give us freedom. In the past July 4th for us has been a big family day where we would rise early in the morning to see the parade in Lewiston, Utah where Grandma Spackman lives. Grandma Spackman has 14 children and getting the whole crew together is a challenge during the winter holidays so they decided to focus on special family reunions every other year, and anyone who wants to celebrate Independence Day at Grandma's house is always welcome. So while we lovingly thought of them, truth is, we didn't go.
Instead, we celebrated the 4th in a campground. A very busy, happy campground. There was a parade in the morning where kids could decorate bikes, water games at the pool, a special craft at the youth center, and candy bar bingo. Pio Pico went all out! THIS is where other families have their own traditions. There were several tent-and-camper set-ups that were obviously for extended family units, with activities set up for kids and happy music playing. Seeing other people celebrating made me happy.
We thought about going to some of the festivities, we really did. After all, I'm document our life in pictures, and I could take some really cool pictures during the water games! But... Well, we didn't. Why? Because we didn't really want to. We had a lot of work to do catching up on some of chores that hadn't been done during the week, and Michael and I both have web-based work that needed to be done. And the kids seemed perfectly content to stay home and play. I'm sure they would have enjoyed the parade, but they would have tired the rest of the day so I let them sleep in. Plus, I reasoned, the campground is quite busy, and this is THEIR special family time. We can go swimming any time, let them have their fun today. So we did.
It turns out, many other full-time families felt the same way. I know because someone made a post on facebook and several others joined in. For us it wasn't the crowd aversion as much as the reality of work that needed to be done that kept us home. That and I prefer water-play at night when I don't have to worry about the kids getting sunburned.
Now before you go and think we're the scrooges of freedom, we did go to the big-screen movie night again. This time it was Big Hero 6 (weird movie, imo). When we arrived, a staff member came and gave us smores made in an ice-creem cone, wrapped up in tin foil. Yummy! Michael started the laundry before the movie and joined us once everything was in the dryer. Afterwards we picked up our stuff and went home. Over the course of this month I plan on doing a special unit study with the kids about our nation's birthday and what it is we are celebrating. It just didn't happen on the actual holiday.
On a side note, Pio Pico has a lovely laundry room. You have to buy a card in their convenience store, but after that, it's quite convenient to load it at the kiosk. I prefer to do laundry at Wilderness Lakes since they have multiple smaller ones and we've been able to get a spot within walking distance. But I have to keep enough quarters on hand, sometimes the machines eat the quarters, and on busy weekends the machines sometimes fill up and you can't use them until someone from their company comes out and empties the coin tray. So the laundry cards are nice that way. This laundry room is decorated with posters of other Thousand Trails parks and people enjoying camping in general, which is a nice touch.
I love having clean clothes! And I like being able to fold them in the nice big table areas that all of the campgrounds we have visited have had. Get it all folded there and put it all away at home. Done.