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Over the holidays, while visiting my family in South Florida, we decided to enjoy some time in the great outdoors. I mean, why not – It’s December in Miami; about the only time of year it is actually pleasant enough to go outside down there. So we packed up the “fam” and headed even further south to the Keys to enjoy some time out in God’s creation. The hubs and I decided to “rough it” and go camping while the others also decided to “rough it” in city terms (which means they got an RV.)
But we live in Alabama and while the hubs calls me a “yuppie girl” I still think I can hang for a couple nights of camping. I mean, I brought the air mattress- so how bad could it be, right? Camping is fun! Or at least the North Face commercials make it look that way… ( friends gathered around a campfire all bundled up, sharing stories and then heading off to bed to cuddle up next to the one you love for some extra heat.) Well, yeah, that’s not exactly how it went for us. In fact, I don’t think anyone from North Face has ever been camping in the Keys. But I’m getting ahead of myself….
First things first. Tent set up. The spot we chose, while completely in sand –which if you’ve read my other blogs know is not our favorite- had a concrete area right at the front just big enough for a wheelchair and the “porch” of our tent. It actually worked perfectly so that the hubs didn’t have to push through sand to get to the tent. So, tent set up went off without a glitch –I mean why wouldn’t it? We are two grown adults. With the tent up we set out to enjoy the sights of Key West: lunch with the fishes, Key West Conch Tour, and sunset at Mallory Square. Before we knew it, it was time to head back to our home away from home. We said good night to the fam. and the air-conditioned RV and headed off to our romantic bungalow by the ocean.
We got in the tent and readied for bed and then made the quarter mile trek to the community potties before we turned in for the night. Walking down the street in my pj’s (though slightly awkward) I just pretended like I was at the Wal-Mart back home. Speaking of pj’s, I had packed my fleece ones because you know- it’s December. I have visions of North Face commercials in my head. We get back to the tent to settle in on our queen size air mattress with our zero degree sleeping bags. We also packed a fleece blanket cause you know- it’s December. Suddenly,we realize it’s really not that cool inside. In fact it’s more like the opposite of cool- warm. And after about 5 minutes we realized it’s not even warm, now we are just down right HOT. But outside our tent, according to the noises we are hearing, it seems like there are hurricane force winds out there. But how can there be a nice strong – cool (ish) breeze out there when it is a fiery furnace inside our tent? So I went out to inspect. I roll up every window I can find, lengthen the cords to the cover and do all that I can see to do to get more air in the tent. I get back inside and lay down and shortly realize it was all to no avail. It is an OVEN inside our tent. I honestly think we could have baked cookies in there. So we lay there falling in and out of consciousness as sweat is pouring off of me and my FLEECE pj’s… because it’s December. Throughout the never-ending night, as we both tossed and turned, we realized a few things:
1. We are pretty sure there was a hole in our air mattress as our bed turned into more of like sleeping in a boat with ten foot swells.
2. We realized that the movement we felt that we thought was just sweat rolling down us, was actually tons of little ants that had decided to take up residence in our tent… and in our bags… and in our hair and our clothes.
3. North Face commercials were not filmed in south Florida and there is a reason the camp- grounds were almost vacant- it is TOO hot to camp- even in December!
Needless to say when the fam came to “wake us” the next morning we couldn’t have been happier! And a cold shower had never sounded better. The weather, however, did prove to be great for going out on the boat to fish. Ok, so maybe I didn’t fish and maybe I am more of yuppie girl than I thought, but the others sure did and came back with a great catch. As for camping I think next time I’ll leave it to the folks in the North Face commercial.