Saturday, April 7, 2012

Jungle Safari Birthday

Bree had big plans for her sixth birthday. "I want to go to Chuck E. Cheese!" "Let's go swimming at a hotel." "How 'bout we have a big party and invite lots of friends." In the end, she decided that what she wanted more than all those other things was a jungle safari. I convinced her that the nearby Pinal Mountains were pretty close to a jungle. And a treasure hunt was pretty much the same thing as a safari. And since we've been playing a lot of Lego Indiana Jones around here lately, the kids were pretty excited about being treasure hunters.

So we packed up the Suburban with every single camping item we own, managed to squeeze ourselves in there too, and drove the 30 minutes to Pioneer Pass to claim the best campsite. We had the place mostly to ourselves. We set up camp, had lunch, and sang happy birthday so we could enjoy some delicious jungle-themed strawberry cupcakes. Strawberry flavor is kind of Bree's thing..

Then I hid the treasure and drew a map for the big hunt. The kids loved it. I think it actually lived up to their expectations, which is always good.

Chad took the picture below at some point during the stay. Bree drew her own treasure map, which led us to where she had hidden the chocolate and graham crackers for our S'mores.

The kids also got butterfly nets and magnifying glasses to help them scout out exotic bugs, with Chad's help.

And we managed to relax quite a bit too, since Bree and Mason were more than content to romp around the place, climbing on rocks, and miraculously escaping injury for the whole trip. Lincoln stuck pretty close to us.

Actually, Lincoln was not a happy camper. I attribute it to the complete lack of napping that went on that day. And it did get a little chilly. Because usually he is the happiest, most mellow baby ever. But we're determined to try again. No child of ours is going to hate camping.

It's been almost two years since our last camping trip. And no, it's not that easy with kids and a baby. But we were all so glad we went. There's a kind of peacefulness that only exists when you're camping in the mountains. And being there together as a family was priceless. I'm sure Chuck E. Cheese would not have compared.


The Wallace Family said...

You are so clever and fun! Your kids are so lucky to have a creative mommy and daddy. Happy Birthday, Bree. Sure love you,

Aunt Jenn

Jaime Lynne said...

Chad nailed that photo with Bree. He should pick up the camera more often!

Can I admit that the fact that you were camping without us made me feel a little sad?

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