I made a mental note…

The weekend before last, I went camping with some guys from work. Before you ask, yes, it was in a tent. Not a camper. Not a cabin. Not a Holiday Inn. A bonafide tent, sleeping bags and all.

We’ve been planning to do this for well over a year (when I happened to pick up a tent at Target on clearance for $20 (originally $149!!!!) and a sleeping bag for $7 (marked down from $40!!!) , but shit always happened. Yet, finally, one of the guys said screw it, we’re doing this, and he arranged everything so we didn’t have any more excuses. So we packed our bags, our fishing poles, our tents and our coolers and headed down to Virginia Beach for a weekend of roughing it.

We hit the site late, about 11:30, on Friday night and started to break camp (is that the right term?). Somehow, I got in charge of putting together the tents. Like I said, I haven’t been camping in 15 years, so, in turn (obviously), I haven’t thrown together a tent in as long.

It took me about 40 minutes to get the first one together.

Fortunately, my buddy Steve jumped in midway through (as he was done helping unloading the vehicles), and the next tent took us only about 15 minutes. I’m thinking a lot of it had to do with the fact that the two tents were exactly the same.

By the time we were done, the food was just about cooked up. So we settled around the fire, drank a little, ate a little, smoked a little (cigarettes, fools) and talked a lot. It was probably about 2 a.m. before we decided to call it a night. But before we went to bed, I made the following speech:

“Guys,” I said, “in every group there’s that one guy that wakes up before anyone else. And a lot of times, that guy hates being up by himself and feels compelled to wake everyone else up. Well, if you’re that guy, don’t. Everyone hates you.”

They laughed. We turned in.

Holy shit, was the ground this hard 15 years ago? I made a mental note, buy an inflatable mattress for the next time.

6:30 I was awakened by that guy in our group. “Get up soldiers!” was the call. I instantly wanted to kill him. Steve, who was my tentmate (or whatever the hell you want to call it), agreed with me. But since it was the guy who had got it together, and was cooking breakfast, we decided to let him live.

I won’t go into all the details of the trip, except we had a blast. We wandered around the campsite, making fun of other campers (especially that family that was doing tai chi every time we walked past their site. I shit you not. And it was worse because they were crackers. My other friend — who also happens to be named Steve — who is Asian said, “What’s wrong with you white people?” I didn’t have an answer).

Here are pics. One, two prove we were actually in tents. Two, I’m an attention whore. Not as bad as some, but one nonetheless. As always, click on them and they get bigger. You might have to scroll down a bit, as my last.fm plugin will overlay the picture. I haven’t figured out how to fix that, yet.

Mornings suck. This is early on Saturday. Probably an hour or so after we were awakened. I’m on the right, my ex-bro-inlaw is on the left.

See!  Tents! The two big tents are the ones Steve and I set up. The guy sitting down is the other Steve that went.

Comfiest bed on the site. That’s my ex-bro-inlaw, again. He was originally going to sleep in a tent. He slept in his truck, instead. Smart.

ZOMG CRABS FROM THE SKY! We found a dead crab. I put it on my head.

Good eats. We cooked over the fire. No microwave here, kids! (They didn’t have electrical outlets).

Bait. Riggo caught a fish. Stefan (again, my ex-bro-inlaw) suggested we use it as bait. That’s what happened. Jaws got away.

Burn baby burn. Now that’s a fire!

All in all, it was good times. We’re already planning another one for October or November. I’m looking forward to it.