Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Family visit at Hot Springs LTVA - 1 of 3 - some daytime photos

While I was in Hot Springs LTVA my San Diego family came for a visit.  They picked up the kids at school and arrived on Friday around 3:30.  We had a great time!  I took tons of photos and I'm splitting the ones I like best into daytime, nighttime and Hot Springs posts.  They aren't in any particular order, it was time-consuming enough to just choose, re-size and post what I liked the best!  

Tom gets the Olympic Medal for packing camping gear.  Trust me.  One car, five people, 1 puppy.  2-room tent with 5 cots, 5 sleeping bags, 5 packed bags for clothes, 1 for toiletries.  5 large beach towels. Ground cover for tent.  Hard sided dog crate, dog foot tin and treats, dog bed and blankets.  Kitchen.  And I mean total kitchen.  Large covered popup, three or four tables, 2-burner gas stove on legs with large propane bottle, small Weber bar-b-que, 2 coolers and 2 hard sided containers of food.  Pots and pans, box of plastic ware, 2 large rolls of paper towels, 1 large water container, large bottled water and small bottled water.  5 adult camp chairs and 1 child camp chair.   2 boxes of wood and 2 bundles of wood.  2 lanterns, portable radio, liqueur and cigars for good measure. Toys and i-Pad, phones and all the chargers.  And I'm sure I'm leaving things out.

Every inch of the back of the car was used, plus a few things on the roof.  I took this photo after Tom had taken some of the things out:

They have a large two room tent with a hard front door - you don't have to zip it open and shut. I've never seen a tent like that.  Trish said when they did the family Indian Guides weekend and they all went, after their tent was set up, one of the people said, What's that, the Taj Mahal??  They arrived late in the afternoon and it was a new tent, so the other men helped Tom set it up.  This is the second time they've used it, he has Indian Princesses with Kennedy, 11, and Indian Guides with Gavin, 9, and Graydin, 4 is now going, too.  When he camps with the kids, he has a smaller, easy tent that he brings.  The two-roomer is the family tent.  Unfortunately, when they arrived he couldn't find the directions and it was quite a sight to watch him and Trish figure it out and get the tent up.  Amazing!

Here's Tom laying out the tent on the ground cover while Gavin sweeps off any dirt.

The tent's up!  This is the kids room side of the tent:

It took two hours to set up and two hours to break camp on Sunday.  But I have to tell you, even though they were visiting ME, I was royally feasted while they were here.  The only two things Tom forgot to bring were the tent directions and a can opener.  I was able to provide the can opener, but he had more things with him than I have in The Palms.  And he and Trish amazingly figured out all the poles and which went where to get the tent up.  

Luckily I had a pretty big campsite and I was at the far end of it because of the soft sand.  This allowed us tons of room for the kids to set up their camp.  Here are some of the photos I took during the day while they were visiting:

Three kids in a little Mickey Mouse chair:

 Hi, Grammy!

So what's inside the bush?  Kennedy went all the way in and Graydin was right behind her.  Gavin was thinking that wasn't such a good idea.

 Breakfast on Saturday.   Juice, fresh fruit, French toast and sausages:

Sunday morning we had pancakes, bacon, strawberries and juice.

Gavin snuggling with Jagger:

Graydin playing with his trains in the kitchen:

I took the boys over to visit Hazel, who was camping across the road.  They got to meet Fleur and Power and thought the Greyhounds were pretty cool.

Later Hazel stopped by our campsite while she was walking the dogs. I wanted her to meet Tom and Trish and Kennedy.  They all enjoyed watching her drive away in the car with the dogs walking beside it on their leashes.

Jagger is the friendliest puppy - he goes up to any dog, big or small, and just makes friends.  Power was pretty curious about this little furball.  

Graydin watching a movie on Mom's i-Pad:

Jagger sleeping - he was pooped after all the walks and running around.  Just like the boys, he put his head on a pillow and he was out like a light!

There's a little hidden area that's like a tree covered room with a bunch of really low tree limbs.  Perfect for climbing on.  The kids wanted to play longer, but a neighbor told Trish and me that further up the road from this area there's a grave site and we wanted to find it. We didn't see it, though.  I think we must have taken the wrong path.  I thought this was a pretty cool picture of the kids.

Sunday morning while Tom was cooking breakfast my neighbor, Maryon, came over.  She just stood there, and I invited her into the "kitchen."   She walked in and still just stood there looking around.  Finally she said, "You know, when you drove in and started unpacking and setting up camp, we couldn't believe what we were seeing.  How in the world did you fit all this in one car???"  She was flabbergasted - it was really funny.  Her husband said they should get one of the two-burner gas stoves like Tom and Trish have, but they didn't know where they'd keep it when they were traveling.  (I should have told her it folds down pretty small and flat.)  In the photo below, that's Maryon on the right.

Saturday afternoon was HOT and really windy.  We had to take the topper off the pop-up so it wouldn't blow away, and then the tent started lifting on one side.  Part of the tent was pegged into solid ground, but part of it was in pretty soft sand, and that's the side that was lifting.  Tom put ratcheting tie downs on two sides and attached them to strong branches on bushes and that held it firmly.

We were all pretty tired of the hot wind and decided to go into Imperial and see a movie, so we watched Mr. Peabody and Sherman and ate popcorn and drank cold, icy drinks.  That was a good diversion for a few hours and when we got back to camp it had cooled down a bit and the wind had lessened. 

The three grandkiddles were so, so well behaved, and even the puppy was really good.  I had filled the water tank the day before and cautioned them to be very conservative with water, and when they left, after six people using the water in the kitchen (not much goin' on in MY kitchen, though) and the bathroom, we had only used 2/3 of the tank of 25 gallons.  I was amazed.

Speaking of which...   A boy and his dog, what can I say?  I guess that I hope he never runs for office?  :)

This weekend camping with the kids will provide me with many wonderful pictures and memories for years to come. Thursday I'll post some photos of the nightlife in camp while the kids were here.  :)

A big WELCOME to our newest Follower, Carole Shuman!  Carole, you don't show any information so I can't list a blog for you, but Katie and I are happy to have you as a Follower.  Thanks for coming along with us on our adventures - Welcome Aboard!

From me and Katie, have a great Tuesday, everyone!  :)


  1. And, I bet everyone had such a wonderful time! The kids will never forget this time with you either.

  2. What a wonderful weekend! Making memories is the name of the game. The photo of the kids on the tree would be a cool, framed Christmas gift. You have a lovely family, Barbara!

  3. Really good pictures, Barbara! You were very busy and still managed to get so many photos.

  4. What a beautiful family you have and love the Puppy! Wonderful memories were made and will be treasured!

  5. Your family reminds me of mine, and they can all pack a van or SUV like that. I know you had a wonderful time being with them, and everything sounds like so much fun.

  6. I loved this post - what a great family you have. And, it sure looks to me like a good time was had by all. And, of course, I just love Jagger; he is certainly the kids' faithful companion. I'm even thinking about the possibility of a Cavalier King Charles - I think that's what Jagger is. I do know they're great with kids of all ages! Thanks for sharing your wonderful family time. They are one industrious couple!!

  7. How fun "making memories". Outdoors time is the best. Looks like a good time was had by all. Becki

  8. Loved your photos, Barbara! What a wonderful time you had together! I agree--the photo of the kiddos on the trees is a Christmas card for sure! Jagger looks like quite the sweet dog--I noticed one photo Tom was in the background with Jagger on his lap--so sweet! My guess is that you slept really well for a night or two! This will be a lifelong wonder of a memory for all of you!

  9. A great family time....one the kids will never forget. Glad the weather cooperated and you all had fun. Can't wait for the next set of pictures.

  10. Looks like a good time had by all. Glad your family got to share your campsite. Made it so much more fun to watch the family in action.

  11. Next time I move, I want to hire your Tom! I bet he could do wonders with a moving van.

    The photos are terrific, I especially love the little guy and his dog. When he's 24 he might not like ti though, ;)



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