First Night Camping

I would entitle this “First night at war” but for those of you who are not part of the SCA, this might be mis-leading. When my friends and I from that middle-ages re-enactment club go camping for days at a time, usually the theme is that we are “At War” with another Kingdom, and the fighting scenarios include troops of knights and other armored fighters, doing battle with “swords” and shield, using field tactics, storming “castles” and other scenarios. So this is to set the scene, and now back to your regularly scheduled catch-up post.

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I did some of my packing the night before, and the rest this morning. I’m really quite glad I had the “Coffee Bar of Splendoor” already together from last weekend. I seem to be getting a little better at time management, because over breakfast (Denny’s down the street because it was fast, sit-down, cheap, and had coffee) I made notes about all the things I *wished* I could do, and then did a realistic time estimate on how long it would take to do each. Then I evaluated “what would the consequences be if I *didn’t* do this step?” which helped me put the whole thing in perspective.

When in reality it would take an hour to enjoy lingering over my ironing and watching an episode of TV at the same time, but the consequences would include sitting in rush hour traffic on a get-away Friday AND a holiday weekend, it was easy to walk away from that task. Were I not careful, I’d have done that first because then my room would be clean when I got home. I did need to dismantle my bed before leaving because Geoff and Mer are staying home this weekend, and putting together Geoff’s old loft bed for me.

Finally I decided on the bare minimums, which included cleaning the kitchen while packing my kitchen items and the last of my downstairs organizing. It might sound like cleaning the counters and other people’s dishes aren’t as important as packing and leaving, but I’d been away a lot this week and when I’m not home, the kitchen slips quite a bit. And I enjoy my vacations MUCH more when there’s a clean kitchen at home.

The drive was uneventful, even though there was plenty of traffic even WITH leaving by 2:30-3:00, but I enjoyed taking PCH and taking in the ocean before sitting in north-San-Diego-county traffic. Even the sunset was lovely, making the trip that much nicer. I got on site (at the SCA gigantic camping trip for the weekend) while it was still light out—another one of my goals for the weekend.

My roomie Mel is part of a household that has a nautical theme, and supposedly “all the ships” would be “at the docks.” I drove through the park and never saw anyone I recognized from their households, so I went ahead and parked my car and started looking for them on foot.

Met a nice lady in the parking lot who hailed from Northeastern Ohio (where I grew up!) and had a lovely chat before starting on what turned into a three-hour hike looking for my camping space. A three-hour hike in the dark is exhausting, and sadly the food court had closed before I could stop for dinner.

So I visited some other friends in their camping area around 9 or 9:30, and when they offered me a snack I started to actually cry a little with joy and exhaustion. It was all very silly, but bananas and cookies make a wonderful dinner in the cold and the dark. One of the guys there knew where “the docks” were supposed to be, and walked me out to a dirt road I never noticed, out towards the archery fields, where we easily found two pirate groups and my friends.

Turns out my camping group had only gotten there around 8:30 which explains why I couldn’t find them at 6:30. *grin* So, the camp is all set up, we’ve all had a lovely garlic chicken and veggies dinner in the dark, and my roomie has offered me a place in her pavilion (since on top of everything, my friend Lilya still hasn’t arrived yet with the tent she was planning to loan me). Time to sleep and start early tomorrow with coffee bar for everyone.

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