Our first night in the camper as a family!  We are camped at Adeline Jay Geo-Karis Illinois Beach State Park (what a mouthful) and it is more beautiful than I could have imagined!  Behind out campsite is a lush green field of grass and trees and across the road you can see the sparkling waters of a seemingly endless Lake Michigan!  The campsite is full and everyone we’ve met so far has been very nice and in good holiday weekend spirits.

Dave backed the camper into the site like a regular professional, and even our seasoned neighbors commented that he did a great job.  Surrounded by precarious trees and going against a sizable incline, he backed the trailer into the site in one move!  But alas we were convinced he could have done “better.”  So out we went for another pass, and it ended up fine but we really could have stopped at the first victory.  34 feet of pure glory…

Earlier in the day yesterday things were a little chaotic… We had the camper parked at Mendota County Park for a few days to help us “prepare” for this weekend trip, but what that really ended up meaning is that Dave and Eli slept in the camper while I slept (more soundly) at home, and Dave dedicated his time to fixing the busted water tank (see post, “Fill, dump, fill, BREAK, dump, fix, fill”).  So Friday morning was a big run-around for everyone to gather the “essentials” like utensils, food, toiletries, toys, and basically anything else we might otherwise travel with, as well as all the tools etc needed to fix the water tank.  Check out from our campsite was 3pm, and I think we pulled out at about 2:58 (sorry huge fifth wheel patiently waiting in the parking lot for us to get the heck out of dodge!).  Despite the slow departure, we could not have asked for a more beautiful day to putter around the park and make our way south to the exotic sands of Illinois!

Eli, as always, is a traveling champion!  He slept like a dream last night and only briefly fussed about having to be in his carseat for the last stretch of the drive.  He seems right at home and as curious as ever about his surroundings.

The camper was a little brisk last night, but that didn’t stop us from sleeping well.  It was a lot like being home with a few differences.  The water pump sings every time we flush the toilet or run the tap, but it’s a lot quieter overall than being in the house without the constant hum of appliances and heating.  I need to remember about the lower ceilings as I am putting Eli back to bed in the middle of the night (ouch – but better my head than his).  And I need to get a good pair of slippers to brave the chilly kitchen floor.  It’s small but mighty.

Dave and I are looking around the camper planning out what to bring and where to put it – a challenge we are both excited about.  One of our biggest goals right now is to have LESS STUFF and organize the few things that we have well.  I think this trip will be a good preview of what is to come!

The weather today is supposed to be fantastic (sunny with a high of 72, low 53) so we’re hoping to do some hiking, get a good fire going, and enjoy some beer, brats, and (of course) s’mores!  Now, time to get out there and explore!