Gonzo blogging from the Annie Leibovitz of the software development world.

Category: Camping (Page 2 of 2)

Glamping 2009 – Day 2 – Dead Battery

Waking up after a night of somewhat restful slumber (as much as you can have at a hotel in the middle of nowhere) the first things you shouldn’t hear are “Did you leave the cooler turned on in the truck last night?”.

Yeah. We have a cooler that plugs into the truck and it ran all night long. On the positive side, everything in it was still icy cold. On the negative side we had a truck that didn’t serve much purpose as a vehicle to travel in. A quick call to road side assistance and about 10 minutes later, we had a boost and we were off to the nearest Tim Hortons (luckily just across the parking lot) and on the road.

Glamping 2009

Stranger in a strange land? I find some road signs amusing, where locals will find them the norm. Apparently there’s a badger problem in British Columbia, enough so that they have badger crossings. I think they’re definitely related to the vicious vampiric badgers and not just your regular run of the mill badgers.

The trip today was 5 or so hours with a short puking episode in the local Dairy Queen at Cache Creek (sorry guys, we did clean up). Then up the road and we were there. Finally. The vacation begins. And so does the unpacking.

V got into the spirit of things with some water sports. The kind of sports being tossing rocks into the water and then following them in, just to be sure they’re in the right spot. No worries because hey, she’s a kid and water and kids just go together. Like Nutella and Peanut Butter.

Glamping 2009

You know dinner time with kids? The unpredictable time when you don’t know if they’re going to eat, fight, or just be crazy little people. With Vista its always an adventure. Sometimes she engorges herself with whatever the flavour of the day is, other times she nibbles like a bird (then wakes us up at 3am because she’s hungry).

Camp food is interesting as you can never tell what you’re going to be having. There’s a campfire ban in B.C. (due to dry conditions and existing forest fires in various locations) so no open fires are allowed. Bummer. Having hot dogs roasted over an open fire is a treat. In any case, dinner tonight was hot dogs, hamburgers and corn. And yeah, V apparently *loves* corn. We knew she liked it but she gobbled down half a cob. Then another. Then another. Then another. (see a pattern forming here?). Finally she polished off a full cob. Oh yeah, to finish that off she had another. one.

Glamping 2009

Needless to say, we’re looking forward to the diaper changes tomorrow.

You can view the entire Flickr set for this trip here.

Glamping 2009 – Day 1 – And So It Begins

Every year we head out with the fam to do some camping. Camping? Me? Geek boy extraordinaire? The guy who can’t exist being more than 50 yards from a hotspot? Yeah. That’s me. The first year V was only a few months old so she basically slept most of the way there, most of the time there, and most of the way back (except the screaming that happened as we got closer to Calgary which prompted us to take her into the Children’s Hospital where we go her reflux identified). The next year she was pretty good along the way and back and it was a great trip.

This year things are different. V is 2 years old now and has the attention span of a gnat. In addition to hauling half of our house with us (including laptops, power cords, chargers and I was tempted to bring my XBox 360 with me) we have my 16 year old son Mike with us. The good thing is he’s there to entertain her in the back seat. The bad thing is he’s there to entertain her in the back seat. Try sitting through 15 minutes of high pitched wailing followed by 2 year old laughter behind you while you’re driving and you’ll know what I mean.

Glamping Day 1

So there it is. 11 hours of car pooling with one two year old, one 16 year old, and @PrincessJenn. I’m not sure beating myself upside the head with a hot poker would be any better so I’ll make the best out of the trip. Actually it’s been quite fun so far.

We’re heading a small hole in the wall in backwoods B.C. where electricity is a four letter word. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very pretty but it’s just not the high-speed internet vacation we’ve had in the past. Luckily we’re not going the full trip the first day (only a moron would drive 12 hours with a 2 year old) so we’ve stopped over in Sicamous, B.C. (just past Revelstoke) for the night. Glamping? Oh yeah. We’re in a Best Western with a pool, a hot tub, and free wireless internet. I joked to Jenn that should we have won the Lotto-649 last night (I bought a ticket, we just haven’t checked it yet) that we would be staying at the motel for the week and send her parents a postcard and some money.

The drive was quite nice but with spotty rain along the way. It was as if someone up above was looking down and saying “Hey, that big ass truck hasn’t been rained on for 15 minutes” and then unzipped and let it pour out. We stopped at Field, B.C. (a tiny town but very tranquil nested in the middle of the mountains) which lasted all of about 10 minutes. One minute I was at the pond with V watching the droplets come down, then it was a mad dash for the car to get in before the soaking began (and let me tell you, strapping a 2 year old into a car seat under pressure is a talent I do not have). Of course 10 minutes down the road, it was bright and sunny.

Glamping Day 1

Ahh dinner. The last meal of the day. The time you sit down with your family and chow down as it were. After checking in I go directed to two different places that were “kid friendly”. Apparently “kid friendly” in Sicamous, B.C. means your kids drive Harleys or don’t care about adequate service. The first place the shiny-happy lady directed me to was a place called Moose Muligans. Hey, with a name like that I was almost half expecting to see Mooby Burger or something and a big giant ceramic beast outside the establishment greeting us like a Canadian version of Wally World. As we turned into the driveway my spider sense was tingling. I could see the sign “Liquor Store” right above the arrow pointing to the Moose. And then there it was. Moose Muligans Pub and Grill. Complete with it’s own Liquor Store right on the main floor. I guess when Mommy and Daddy have had enough of the kid, they grab a few for the road. Oy.

Strike one on the kids meal homestead. Tim Hortons (a suggestion from Jenn) was sounding better and better. Even Mike said “Tims makes good sandwiches”. Nope. No siree. My family is going to eat at a good old fashioned sit-down eatery. Departing from the Moose we drove down the road towards choice #2, Eagles Pass. It was looking pretty good and even had “Eatery” in the name and kids out on the patio. Sweet. This *must* be my redemption for the long drive today. A nice home cooked meal from a place that welcomed the little ones. Heading inside is when my little bubble started to shatter. The place was somewhat busy but there were quite a few tables available. A large set in the middle was reserved for some upcoming party so that’s cool, but even with the place devoid of customers we were told we had to wait 10 minutes. The couple that walked in the door mere seconds behind us was told to wait 20 minutes. Hmmm. Something’s not right here.

Finally we got in and ordered. I thought this was going to work. I *hoped* this was going to work. They delivered an appetizer first (steaming hot potatoe skins) but it was at least another 10 minutes (felt more like 20) before the orders came. After dropping our plates on the table there was a “Okay, great, there you go” from the waitress. Missing from the entourage was our daughters kids fish and chips, which frankly should have been delivered first. Pretty much any other place we’ve been to they bring out the kids meal first, which is also usually not boiling hot. Nope, Eagles Pass finest decided to bring out a nice scalding plate of hot fish. It seems in the missing order of fish, they hastily tossed something in the deep fryer and then brought it out without even cooking (if deep frying can be called cooking) long enough. Scalding hot mushy fish is what my daughter ate tonight on our first day of Glamping. Where is Timmy when I need him?

Glamping Day 1

The kicker to the meal (not to mention that we had to ask for refills of our “bottomless” drinks as the waitress basically ignored us for the entire meal) is that when I paid we were told “Oh, you get a free ice cream cone with that kids meal”. Oh really? Another thing they conveniently *missed*, much like the $0 tip I left them. Now V can’t have ice cream but that’s not point (and they didn’t know that until after they told us we should have got the ice cream).

In any case, other than the horrible meal the day was good and the drive was fun. So if you’re in Sicamous, B.C. be sure to avoid Eagles Pass Eatery. Maybe we were “special” but it didn’t seem that many other patrons were enjoying their meal either.

You can follow the flickr set for this trip here.

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