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New Newport News News: Glamping edition

All of a sudden, all 5 of us had the weekend off and the February weather was mild and dry.  “Let’s go camping,” texted Andrew from work on Wed.

So he rented us a campsite in Newport News City Park campgrounds for Sat-Sun-Mon.  The Park ranger told him we didn’t have to rent 2 campsites, so it was too cheap to stay home.

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By the time we got camp set up, we realized that we were very happy to be glamping = glam-camping, in local parlance.  This involved setting up camp on Fri, Andrew and Theresa leaving to go feed both household’s cats and returning that evening with all the things that were forgotten the first trip out.

Andrew had gotten a campsite within sight of the playground, so Zoe could take herself over whenever she spied other kids there [or could persuade me to go with].  Theresa took a bike ride; we walked over to the camp store with Zoe on her Razor.

Sat evening, I sorted through some wood scraps / half done projects, saving anything worth keeping and the rest we burned, while Ron made the best-ever hamburgers on the camp stove.  Then we had s’mores.

Sunday morning, we went out to breakfast at Vancostas, fed the cats, showered, napped and returned to camp.  Zoe and Theresa took out a foot-paddle boat [$6 per hour CHEAP!!]  Then we all collapsed into lounge chairs, since Theresa and I must practice for our upcoming cruise.  We read, while deciding what to do next [nothing].  Lunch was fabulous chicken salad on croissants.

Andrew and Zoe put together an ultra-light airplane model he’d gotten at the thrift; it really never did achieve what you’d call flight.  It spend the rest of the afternoon nose-dived into the perfectly laid teepee of firewood that Theresa had built from wood Andrew chopped and she collected.  There was a quick trip home to feed cats and take home the bikes and bring back a pressure cooker for making stew.  Theresa had given much thought to how to cook a camp stew, researching recipes and methods.  But since the site had power for RVs, she elected the cooker, which did its wonders in half hour or so, with perfect results.



Just at dark, my brother Robert, wife Pat and son Sam arrived for dump cake made in an iron dutch oven over coals, followed by more s’mores.  Robert was sure to make himself the low-carb version; that is, marshmallows and chocolate with the graham crackers.  Andrew set up his telescope just after we all saw a satellite zipping by in the upper reaches of the atmosphere.  The stars were bright and numerous, even through the light of the fire.  Andrew placed his ‘scope behind the tents and we could view the Orion nebula [it’s the sword tip] and ruddy Mars.  Zoe and I watched the fire burn down to crystalline red coals and wove the story of the Fire Fairy [see next blog]



Monday morning, we broke camp quickly; that is, Zoe and I went off to play and hike while the adults broke camp.  I had seen a boulder through the trees and across a stream that we wanted to explore, but it turned out to be the root mass of a fallen tree, with some standing water and intriguing mud nests.   Anyone know what this is?  Crawdads?



Zoe spotted a tree with a large hole where a missing trunk would have twinned with the still-standing tree and she said, “I could stand in there!”
We quickly hiked to camp for my phone [camera] and she was indeed just the right size to stand in the trunk.  As shown here:



We all drove to IHOP for a lavish breakfast and parted company.  We fed our cat, napped and did some gardening, and gradually realized I really missed our camping companions.  Then we got a text inviting us to home-made potstickers for supper.  It seems Theresa spent all afternoon making potstickers—and missed us too.  So we finished our glamping with dinner and a movie [RiffTraxx “Hillbillies in a Haunted House,” an amazingly bad film wherein there are 2 Alfreds and no Batman].