July 25, 2005

TMK and Ryan Sell Their Souls For Some Peaches...

(Picture-heavy posting, Dear Readers.)

Today’s entry begins with some hat doffing, one doff to brand spankin’ new Dear Reader Marty for going back and reading the entire blog. We’re talkin’ 2.5 years of entries, people, some of them woefully lame. You have no idea how much that means to me, Marty. No Idea. So glad you peeked out from behind The Door of Lurkdom and left a message. I have sent you a mental “thank you” bouquet of flowers. See them?

Putting the hat back on…and immediately doffing it again to sage and perceptive Lee Ann who apparently knows all about “the inevitable growling and snarling that happens when camping stuff has to be packed up to go home.” The Mysterious K and I had a good har-dee-har-har over that one because, coincidentally, TMK went completely Jekyll and Hyde on me Sunday morning when we were taking the tent down, but I slapped her smartly on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper, just hard enough to make her do a u-turn on The Road to Complete and Total Meltdown, take a sharp right on Apology Drive, a left on Mellow Boulevard and another left on Happy Camper Street, where our paths crossed again.

As for the rest of the trip:

Here, the tent in a more natural setting than an urban backyard: Site #6, at the American Sunset RV Park. However, lest this photo has you thinking we were in a private and secluded area, lookee here. Trust me, tent sites 1-5 and 7-34(a), (b) and (c) inclusive were well and truly occupied, as were sites 1-120 on the RV side.

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(Side note: This was my first trip ever to an RV park and I have to say, oh…my…God. I have never seen so many white people in one place in my life. In fact, everything was white: The people, the campers, the trailers, the trucks, the awnings, the fold-up chairs… White, white, white. By the time I espied a lovely dark-skinned, dark-haired and dark-eyed Aleutian family on Sunday, I was starting to suffer from a weird and unusual form of snow blindness.)

Our blow-up doll bed. Cozy, no?

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This thing is a remarkable feat of engineering, for which we paid a mere $30. It comes with its own air pump which, granted, you have to remember to charge up for 12 hours before the trip but which both inflates and deflates the bed in no time (pardon the pun) flat. The bed lost no air, that we could tell, and if it didn’t lose air under us...well, I repeat, a remarkable feat of engineering. And, yes, that would be a down comforter you see on top. We are not about the roughing it.

(The down comforter did not prevent us, however, from experiencing the worst atmospheric condition known to man, Tent Clamminess--that cold, clinging dampness that settles on every inch of exposed skin and makes your clothes equally wet, cold and rubbery. It was awful. Kept us up for a good part of the night and may, in fact, be the direct cause of TMK's trip down The Road to Complete and Total Meltdown.)

Looking at the picture of the bed, you may well ask, where’s everything else, like, oh, I don’t know, the food? Well, we’ve discovered a perfectly weasely way to enjoy 100% of the camping experience with only 50% of the effort: Camp with parent-type people, especially a mother-type person of the June Cleaver persuasion. That way, see, the mother-type person does all the preparing, cooking and clean-up and you don’t have to bring any of that crap with you. In return, we, the daughter-type people, kept her company—and provided her with a car for sightseeing—while the father-type person shanghaied the (white) truck and went deep-sea fishing.

The red blob in this picture is the mother-type person relaxing in front of her (white) trailer with their (white) bichon frise, Benji.

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A photo of cousins Frankie and Benji on the beach. Benji is not feeling the love. Frankie is giving him the cold shoulder because he had one of those long retractable leashes and was running pell-mell all over the beach, a manic white blur of fur, while she was stuck on a 10’ lead because while we, with the best of intentions, had brought her 40’ lead, it was resting comfortably, sea-water- and sand-free, in the tent, five miles away.

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Our campfire, the building of which in and of itself is a story. Suffice it to say we made so much smoke that the guy across the way felt compelled to bring us drier kindling, and the people to our left ended up yelling helpful suggestions to us between coughs.

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The phallic looking things in tin foil? Banana boats, otherwise known as heaven on earth or the true nectar of the gods. If you’ve never had a banana boat, you have not lived. Here is how you make them: Take one ripe banana. Leave it in the skin, but split it lengthwise from top to bottom. Pry open the banana and fill it full of miniature marshmallows and chocolate chips. Wrap the banana up in tin foil and put it on the campfire coals for—we timed it—4.5 minutes. Remove from fire, unwrap, and enjoy spoonfuls of creamy, warm banana; melted, sugary, marshmallow syrup; and half-melted chocolate chips. It’s kind of like a warm banana split but without the ice cream. These things put s’mores to shame. Yet again, post-coital cigarettes come to mind.

A photo of TMK (standing) and her mother (sitting) before the banana boat feast.

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For years, even before it was on everybody's mind, the people on the west coast of Washington have been all about the tsunamis. In fact, one of these signs is posted at eye-height on the back of every bathroom stall door, er, that is eye-height when you’re sitting on the terlet. (I apologize for the illegibility but I was, after all, sitting on a terlet, in a dark stall, taking photographs—which, taken all together, is a little weird.)

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The sign says:

What Are the Sirens Saying?

An up-down siren, called a cut-wail, is a call for the volunteer firemen to report to the fire station. This is a GOOD siren. (TMK and I beg to differ. Good for the campers, maybe, who can just turn over in their sleeping bags and go back to sleep because they have dutifully read the sign on the back of the terlet stall door; not so good for the people whose homes and belongings have just burst into flames.)

A high-pitched constant wail is a tsunami warning. We hope you will never experience this sound.

Er, and if we do, then what? Oddly, no further information was provided. Just pretty much, "If you hear one of these sirens, it sucks to be you."

On Sunday, while we were busy trying to fit all this in the trunk of the car...

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...guess who was telling us in no uncertain terms that she was ready to go home? We had not told her to get into the car; this was entirely her idea.

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And, here, a classic example of "a picture is worth a thousand words:"

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Oh, and, no, I got no knitting done. For next time, any one know how to juggle two knitting needles and a flashlight?

Posted by Ryan at July 25, 2005 01:36 PM
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