this is the post about our two weeks in carlsbad, when we weren’t exploring nearby national parks.
but, before that, our trip from big bend to where we were staying near carlsbad was over 5 hours, so we broke it up with a layover at the fort stockton, texas walmart. decidedly less cool than big bend.
that night. everything went to crap. i woke up, with a bit of nausea, and laid awake uncomfortable for awhile, before finally throwing up several times. i was awake most of the night and completely miserable. i was hoping it was the food or a strong reaction to a bunch of carbs and sugars after not eating any for a long time. the next day, i was not up for completing the drive to carlsbad, so we lounged around the walmart parking lot awhile. i slept. derek managed the lidkids.
around 4 or so, i felt a bit better. well enough to attempt to get us to our final location. about 30 minutes from the campsite, anna said she didn’t feel so good. i hoped it was a little car sickness from playing the ipad, but i was wrong. a mile from the campsite, i had to pull over for anna’s turn to be sick. sick kids are far worse that sick grownups.
anna slept on the couch and the poor kid threw up several more times. and then, at some point in the night, isaac threw up. and it was a full on plague. the next day started out with some lazy rest and recovery.
except you know how kids are. in between feeling bad, they feel completely fine, and don’t have the sense to just rest, so anna was out with hazel, playing trains. check out that “it’s been awhile since i took a shower and then two days in the car and then a vomit session” hair. blerg.
we pretty much had a low-key first week. i went on a purge session, mostly with legos, so of course, i had to have some “advisors”. there was a lot of tv watching. derek never fully got what we had, but he felt pretty terrible, on and off all week.
the kids had a lot of fun at the campground playground. it was close enough that i could just send the older two off alone without worrying. and they can even keep an eye on hazel in short spurts. we met some new friends, who were camping right next to the playground, so the kids were there constantly during their stay at the campground.
when we saw the cool picnic table shelter at our campsite, we knew a purchase of sidewalk chalk would be necessary. the girls put it to good use. also, i drew a portrait of hazel to keep her from being sad about being banished from the playground by the kids.
anna and isaac are obsessed with writing long stories about adventures in minecraft and clash of clans. usually, i’m not allowed to set eyes on these tales, but for some reason, anna allowed me fleeting access into her little world.
for hazel’s second bathing at the campsite, we tested out a new plan. in the handicapped shower stall, there was a shower head that i could take down and use to fill an empty (formerly full of legos) bin, for a makeshift bathtub. hazel LOVES it. and it worked perfectly.
so there were a lot of very windy days (and nights). one stretch was so bad, we didn’t even leave the camper. the kids couldn’t open the door or it would slip out of their hands and slam against the side of the camper. i struggled to get it closed. the camper rocked. and the bathroom door rattled from the wind coming in the fan. it was crazy. so, we found inside activities. isaac spent a couple of solid hours constructing this guy.
i made this bacon one morning, before the wind started up. after we ate and i went out to clean the griddle, i couldn’t even pull the grease tray out, because the wind was so strong it would slosh the grease everywhere.
we had a bit of an adventure one afternoon when we took the camper over to the dump station. after we dumped the black tank, derek started to fill it with water to flush it out. i was watching the sensor lights that tell us how full the tank was. sometimes, the sensors get “residue” on them, which sometimes makes the lights show the wrong thing. so, we were pretty sure it was empty when it read 3/4 full. so i watched and watched and watched, waiting for the full light to turn on. only. for some reason, it never did. and i heard water running over in the bathroom. i yelled to derek to empty the tank and ran in, only to find the toilet full and the bathroom covered in slightly contaminated water. then, the ONLY towels we had in the camper were brand new because we had JUST done laundry and it was all in the car. so, i sopped up the poop water with brand new towels, which threw away immediately afterward. and then spent a good amount of time with a bottle of cleaner and a roll of papertowels. blerg. so, it’s not all fun and games.
during our trip to carlbad caverns, we picked up a bunch of junior ranger booklets that are not park specific. i assumed it would take me weeks to get the kids motivated to do them, but i was pleasantly surprised and they finished them in days. so, we drove back over to the park to collect our hardware.
due to the wind, we left yesterday (friday) afternoon, to head west to alamogordo, nm for our next leg of the trip. we are in yet another walmart parking lot, and we will check into the campsite a little later. the wind was supposed to be pretty bad this morning and afternoon and it’s not a lot of fun for derek to drive in those conditions. plus, now we get an extra full weekend day here. so, that’s pretty cool. and there’s lots of adventures planned for this two weeks. stay tuned…