Twas the Night Before May Long ...

and all through our house, every creature was stirring.

Except the cat.
'Cause she fat.
And lazy.

However, there were two loads of laundry to sort, groceries to stock in the trailer, ice to pour into coolers, beer to load, along with truckloads of sunscreen and bug spray. Oh, and the water guns.

It is only a mild form of hyperbole when I say that we got devoured by mosquitoes this long week end.

Our week end began bright and early Friday morning, loading all our last minute items into the truck. Breakfast was eaten on the road after stopping at the greatest of Canadian institutions - Tim Horton's. Now, with our tummies full and large mugs of coffee in hand, we set out for the campground nestled in a small town in central Alberta.

Just over an hour later, we were at our campsite - complete with hook ups for power and water. Given that it still tends to get a little on the chilly side at night, I for one was grateful for the power hookup as we did have to turn on the heat one night.

Friday night was spent with close friends and the outlaws around a campfire, relaxing after the day. Our friends worked all day and then drove out to meet us, and I can safely say that it's no small feat to pack up a trailer and belongings for three people, and manage everything with the trailer (even if it is your day off). We were all exhausted and tucked in fairly early around 1030.

Saturday dawned bright and glorious.
And blowin' a gale.
As us Newfoundlanders would say: "Some day on clothes, wha'?!"
Truly, you could have dried the Queen's entire wardrobe on a clothesline on Saturday. Things finally calmed down around 8-9pm and all of us once again nestled in around the fire.

The kids gorged themselves of junk food after endless rounds of baseball, tossing a football back and forth, bike rides, and a trip to swamp behind said baseball diamond where they caught frogs.

Back inside the trailer, it was a cuddle puddle and a movie - I think we made it about halfway thru School Of Rock before the gentle roar of snores, heavy eyelids, and drooping heads made it abundantly clear that it was time for sleep.

Bring on Sunday. By far, my favorite day.

We had just enough of a breeze so that it didn't quite feel like 30+C. There were games of Hole-y Board, the kids once again went and caught frogs - a trio this time - bike rides, copious amounts of junk food, hanging out at the splash pad which was only a five minute drive into town ... but it started off on a perfect note.


Pancakes, bacon and eggs - a meal, cooked over a campfire (minus the pancakes. I cooked those in the trailer while nursing several cups of coffee) brings me back to when I myself was a kid. One time, Mom and Auntie cooked no less than 20(!!!) pancakes, the majority of which were eaten by an older brother. We all ate incredibly good that morning. Thick cut bacon, eggs that were cooked just right, pancakes with butter and syrup, and a hot mug of strong coffee with a good lug of Bailey's essentially set the tone for the rest of the day.

Now, unbeknownst to other campers in our group, my partner in crime had put together a small arsenal of water assault weaponry in the trailer. We had taken a look at the weather the day before leaving and with a devilish glint in his eye, and a mischievous grin he says:

"We're having a water fight on Sunday."

Tucked safely away and out of sight, we all went about that Sunday with our usual air of carefree ease. The sun was out and it was hot. During the afternoon, friends of the outlaws came, bringing with them another young lady for the rest of the kids to pal around with.

This meant we had a fairly even group of kids and adults.

Finally, knowing there was a splash pad that would not only cool us off and let some of the younger kids blow off some steam, it was also a great way to get a few minutes respite from the every-present and voracious appetites of the mosquitoes who apparently thought it was an all-you-can-eat type of day. Some of the older kid had come to the splash pad as well, but sitting by the kiddie pool with the little kids and a few overheated adults didn't really seem all that appealing so they all naturally gravitated to the playground. About an hour later, claiming boredom, the majority of the kids rode their bikes back to the campsite, which meant it was also time for us adults to follow suit.

We just took our time going back.

We went back to a war zone. Kids are running and screaming around our campsite being chased by the biggest kid of all (the one with the glint in his eye, and the wicked grin) who's going around with water pistols in each hand filled with absolutely frigid water and shooting at every single moving target.

From there is descended into chaos. The girls teamed up against the boys. Puny water guns were tossed aside for water balloons which eventually feel by the way side in favour of buckets and pots that were pressed into service from trailer kitchens. Sneak attacks were everyone's M.O.

I was not spared. An outlaw fell victim to one. Another only narrowly avoided one. A carelessly napping adult had no chance, and we all said a prayer for her. It was then that things got serious and plotting began in earnest to bring how this H20 tyrant who dealt out destruction and mayhem at will. Working together with the adult who had been drenched while napping, her vengeance was swift, served icy cold.

This quickly put an end to things as far as the adults were concerned. There was beer to drink, more sun rays to soak up, friends to visit with and rematches of Hole-y Board to be had, and it's champion to be declared. The kids, meanwhile, continued to be pitted girls vs boys for another hour or more.

Finally, hunger got the best of everyone. After scouring the war zone for broken water balloons to be collected and thrown away, weapons of destruction stowed safely away, and all pots and buckets returned to their respective owners, it was time to settle in around the campfire, light the BBQs and rustle up a meal of smokies, hamburgers, steaks, and veggies. Soon afterward the kids tore off on bicycles to the playground while us adults played a game of Name That Tune - with a twist. It was TV theme songs, and I will absolutely brag and toot my own horn and let you all know that I.kicked.ass. Not that I watch a lot of TV, but the occasional Netflix binge and on-line streaming and downloading services have greatly increased by pop culture prior to 1999.

Finally, smelling of woodsmoke, beer and gin, and exhausted by the days activities it was bedtime. Monday morning came all too soon and in what felt like world record time, the trailer was packed up and we were on the highway back home. The final indulgence before finally accepting the knowledge that it was back to reality in the morning was the glorious three hour nap that happened nearly instantly after getting back in the house.

The summer is young yet. There's more camping trips to be taken, more memories to be made and more of this glorious country and province to see.


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