Top Ender and Daddy are hoping to camp in every English county before Top Ender is 18. It is a huge undertaking (seeing as they only go camping once a year at the moment), but it is one that they are more than happy to undertake! They spend hours sitting at the PC looking for the ideal camp site in the area that they have decided to go to as they have several criteria even if they are only going to be there for a couple of days. Daddy likes it to have a good 3G signal (or WiFi), an electric hook up, be family friendly and to have a shower and toilet block! Top Ender prefers sites that have a swimming pool, a children's play park and her Daddy... so far they have managed to find ones that fit all their requirements and they have had great fun on their trips.
If they are going to get all the counties stayed in before Top Ender is 18 they are going to have to put some serious effort into this over the next few years! It is great for them to go away for a few days at a time, to explore a new area and to generally have some fun together. It is an extension of the Daddy Daughter Date nights I guess, and a great opportunity for them to develop their friendship and their Daddy Daughter relationship. So far Top Ender and Daddy have visited Caves, Bird Sanctuaries, Castles, Steam Railways, Beaches, Theme Parks, Museums, The National Motor Museum, Farms, National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Beauty. Daddy tries to plan it so that every visit they make is fun and educational and they get plenty of time to relax and enjoy the local scenery too.
Top Ender adores the trips away and is already excitedly planning what she is going to pack to take clothes wise (I have had to unpack her bag twice and it's only January!) and has created a list of electronics that she has to take (her DS, her ipod, her Laptop and her Flip) so that she can enjoy her downtime. She and Daddy will spend a lot of time relaxing at the tent or on a beach, enjoying the sun and each others company but also doing things that they enjoy separately too! Top Ender loves to paint and so she will get set up to paint something (she brought home some very lovely stones that she scavenged and painted one year) and Daddy will enjoy doing something too!
Part of the fun of camping is cooking. Whilst Top Ender and Daddy will take enough snacks to feed a small army and eat take away from some restaurants (or even eat in!) they will also make a few meals on a camping stove. It's normally something simple, like beans, egg and bacon but spending the time together making these simple meals outside makes the food taste even better than normal! Top Ender loves to indulge in midnight snacks when she and Daddy are camping. She prepares a list in advance with me of foods that she would like to include and we sneakily purchase them and hide them for her and Daddy to eat whilst they are away. After all a little indulgence when you are on holiday is all part of the fun!
Oh and don't worry about me and Baby Boy whilst Top Ender and Daddy are camping. Whilst they are away Baby Boy and I have some time together having a holiday at home. We will get in some special food to prepare ourselves, we will order a take away and we will make more trips to the park than strictly necessary! It might sound a little boring compared to what Top Ender and Daddy are doing but, I think that we are the luckiest though as we have all the comforts of home and we don't have to worry about the chores that might need to be done!