Matt & I have been talking about going camping for a long time now but constantly put it off because of the kids, well Clio, but this past weekend we finally did it!
Our plan was to leave after Clio’s nap time thinking that if she had a good nap then it would make the experience a lot easier on us all. However, when we woke Saturday morning Matt & I were both too excited to wait so we packed up the car, grabbed a quick lunch and made tracks, which actually worked out perfect as both girls ended up napping for most of the drive North.
It wasn’t until the morning of our camping trip that we decided on where to go. We knew we didn’t want to pay fees at a campground and preferably we wanted somewhere private; after all we had no idea what Clio was going to be like and didn’t want the pressure of having to ensure she was quite throughout the night because of neighbors.
My friend Laura of Inspiration.Sparks went camping at Kouri Island late last year, so after rereading her blog post and flicking her a couple messages it was decided that we would head there too.
What I didn’t know about Kouri Island is that it is known as “love island” because of its heart shaped rock; I don’t think we could have picked a better place to spend our Valentines evening lol and Eden even found a heart shaped rock which I thought was fitting.
As soon as we arrived and walked down to the beach we questioned whether or not we were in the right place and if we should stay; there was so much trash on the beach. We concluded that it simply washed up as opposed to being a dumping ground.
Eden immediately was in her element exploring, collecting items, building castles and searching for fossils and Clio, despite wearing her fancy dress, was pretty into it all too; especially once the tent was set up!
The girls helped Matt collect fire wood and Eden was completely amazed when Matt started a fire; in fact I was too!
Once we were all set up we relaxed to some music, cooked dinner, laughed and generally just had an awesome time hanging out.
Of course no camping trip is complete without s’mores which both girls devoured. This was Clio’s first s’mores experience and she was in love.
At around 7.30pm once the sun had well and truly set Eden declared it was time for bed, so while Matt sat by the fire letting it die down, the girls and I got ‘comfy’ on the air mattress in the tent.
Then the sugar kicked in and they both spent the next hour laughing their little heads off.
Finally Matt joined us and we managed to get the laughter to stop, of course by this time it was 2.5 hours past Clio’s usual bedtime and she was a bit confused as to why we were all sleeping in the same bed/room.
Clio then spent the next 45 minutes, laying down, sitting up, kicking Eden in the face, laying sideways, sitting back up, all while asking for “Anna” (from Frozen) and “Panda Bear” neither of which we brought with us.
Finally all I could hear were the waves gently crashing and the snores from my 3 loves. Thats when my imagination started going crazy and I would convince myself that I could hear someone, or something, the zipper opening, foot steps etc.
I am not sure what time I fell asleep but I was woken at 11pm by Eden yelling out “oh man…oh man” as her little sister started kicking her in the face, again.
We got the girls separated and back off to sleep and thats when the things I was imagining earlier actually started happening.
Car doors started opening and shutting, Matt & I both jumped up and looked at each other. Our first thought was that our car was being stolen.
Moments later we saw flashlights heading towards the tent, eek, I was scared!
Matt yelled out, but no one answered!
He unzipped the tent just as two men walked past and greeted him with “kon’banwa” (good evening).
My imagination started going crazy again wondering how this was going to play out.
As it turned out they were fishermen! When we woke at 7am the next day they were still there perched on the rock.
Matt started the fire again, we ate some pop tarts and the girls did a little more exploring while we packed up.
Despite our midnight visitors & Clio taking a little longer to go to sleep than I would ideally have liked, we all agreed it was so much fun, in fact, before we had even got out of our sleeping bags that morning Eden asked if we could stay a second night!