Saturday, June 15, 2013

Summer Vacation 2013 - Day 1

Kim and I spent most of Thursday and Friday afternoon getting everything packed and loaded into the car so we would be ready to go Saturday morning. We left the house a little after 9 o'clock and dropped off the dogs. Kim had already dropped of the cat with Katie earlier that morning. We where on the Interstate a little after 10.

We quickly discovered that the electric outlets in the car where not working. This was not good as Kim's phone was dead, and we where relying on the GPS on our phones to get us to our destination. I was also hoping to let the kids tether to my phone's Internet for entertainment along the way. In town we made a few stops to find a replacement fuse, and also stopped at the truck stop in Lloyd, but didn't find any. At the truck stop I remembered I might have bought fuses and put them in the glove compartment box, which is where we did in fact find replacement fuses.

I drove the first stretch until we stopped a little after noon at a rest stop and ate sandwiches. The girls did a great job running around the grassy area and playing with each other while Kim and I rested and enjoyed some time at the picnic table.

Kim drove after lunch and we only stopped for the occasional bathroom break. As I sat passenger the kids where good enough that I was able to take a nap that I wasn't expecting I needed. After Kim manned the helm for a few more hours on the road I took over driving the final part of the trip.

As Kim's luck would have it, the kids where very needy while I was driving. Arianna was especially needy as she wanted to do crossword puzzles and use these little sewing kits that Kim bought, but found she needed a lot of help that Kim was unable to provide from the passenger's seat, so Arianna through her share of fits and cried a lot.

By the time we where nearing Charleston the kids where very ready to be at our destination. After we exited the Interstate we still had over an hour of driving ahead of us before we where actually in Charleston. The trip consisted of lots of swamps, rivers, marshes, and wooded areas that where very pretty and was almost relaxing over the constant "are we there yet?"s.

Our destination in Charleston is John Island Park, which is a very large park. It has a full water park, climbing wall, camp grounds, primitive camping, conference halls, fishing dock, kayaking river, and more. We had reserved a spot in the primitive camping grounds.

As soon as we arrived I began scoping out a spot for us to camp, leaving the rest of the family in the car and AC. The primitive camping grounds is a large open grassy area surrounded by trees. I noticed one tent had taken advantage of a little clearing in the trees and soon I found another clearing in the trees where we could have 24-hour shade. I quickly went back to the car and retrieved Aurora to stand in the area to prevent anyone else from grabbing our spot.

We made quick work of unloaded our van. On the last trip back Kim locked up the car and we began setting up camp. It did not take long before we realized we didn't know where the keys are. I had left them in the care when I left so everyone could stay cool, and Kim did not see them anywhere when she was emptying out the care. After a little inspection I found them sitting in the ignition. This was a little odd as the car is programmed to not let the doors lock if the keys are in the ignition and any of the doors are open. None-the-less, there they where locked in the van in the ignition and with the headlights on. We have AAA so Kim called them and put is in the queue to get our car open.

After the trip driving here, having the keys locked in the car put me on edge. It took a lot of will to stay pleasant with Kim as I was very annoyed, but I understood that it was also frustrating for her and it was an accident.

While we a waited on AAA I set up the tent and Kim prepared dinner. Dinner was sauteed zucchini and squash with Ramen noodles. As Kim and I stayed very quiet with each other, the girls ran around, played, and generally had a good time. AAA finally came and got our care open and jumped, as by this time the headlights had rendered the battery dead. Athena and I took a twenty minute drive around the park while Kim and the other two girls got everything set up for bed.

When we where back at the camp we got everything else washed, put away, and organized. Arianna was too scared to sleep with her sisters in the complete dark, so Kim traded places with her so I was sleeping with Arianna and Kim with the other two girls.

Always on the look-out for a chance to do some cartography for OpenStreetMap, I took to mapping the park on my laptop, using my phone's Internet. The existing map was very incomplete, not even connecting the mapped roads in the park to anything, so the roads where completely inaccessible according to the map. I got most of the main roads mapped out as well as the road in the campground and then yielding the laptop to Kim so she could do her blogging. While Kim wrote I fell asleep with Arianna snuggling up against me.