I did not actually visit the Art Institute while I was downtown, though I was tempted. Too much to do right now; this is just a shot from train platform. But maybe sometime this summer…
Overall, nice time at Camp Bullfrog, despite the lack of sleep. Definitely going to plan on at least two nights next time we go out.
I might take Kavi and her girlfriends in a month or so, when they’re all fully-vaccinated, if their parents agree; I think that could be really fun for them, esp. if I can figure out a way to bring both kayaks, so they can all be out on the water at once. Might need one of the other parents to help with drop-off / pick-up, or maybe I can borrow a larger car from a friend. Hm. It’s also dependent on coordinating with everyone’s schedules, having a cabin available then, etc. We’ll see.
Pictured here, Kevin showing the kids how to skip stones. I never had any skill at that, but he can actually do it, and the kids were pretty impressed. Me too.
Anand threw a stick in the lake, and Kavi was irritated because the lake had been perfectly empty before, but then they noticed that the wind was blowing it towards the shore, so she became determined to retrieve the stick, which she actually managed to do.
Then she handed it to him, and he threw it in again. Siblings. I reassured her that the wind would almost certainly just bring it back to the shore again very quickly, and family harmony was thankfully restored.
I guess most people aren’t quite as willing to pull their kids out of school for a day of camping as we are. It felt like we had the whole place to ourselves. We walked out to the fishing pier, where they have picnic tables set up, and made a little art. (Anand isn’t in these pics, but he made art too. He drew a scene from a Mario video game…)
I have this Zentangle book; they’re supposed to be relaxing to draw. I’m not sure I’m convinced — this one made my hand hurt. Maybe I should’ve taken more breaks. I do like the result; makes me think of rivers. To do this kind of Zentangle, start anywhere, and just don’t cross the line at all.
Coming off of Kavi’s birthday party, I didn’t prep much food for camping — sometimes I make curry and freeze it in advance, to heat up over the fire. And mas paan (beef curry bun) is really nice to have for an easy meal that doesn’t require a fire.
But I did find our sandwich / pie maker, and made myself a really yummy toasted cheese sandwich for dinner (don’t forget to butter the outside of the bread), so that was nice. Note that photo is incorrect — I should’ve scraped off the edges before putting it in the fire. It’s been a while since I used one of these!
My mom used to make great sandwiches like this, with a spiced tuna fish mixture inside — I’m not sure anyone else in my family would eat that, though. Also, I don’t know what was in that recipe — should find out. Sri Lankan peeps, any ideas? Maybe it’s just the same filling that we use for fish buns…
Grilled peppers and grilled pineapple were a good addition; I forgot to buy corn. Next time! I also had enamel cookware, but forgot utensils, so I had to improvise utensils with our marshmallow skewers — spreading butter with a skewer is a bit of a trick, but I managed.
I was a little cranky because the wood the campsite gave us just didn’t seem to want to catch — we kept having to scavenge twigs off the ground to keep it going, despite having and using a bunch of fire starters. Kevin thinks maybe the wood was damp, but I don’t see why they’d store it someplace where it could get damp, so I’m really confused. I build fires pretty often at home, and don’t usually have this much trouble. Ah well.
On the plus side, remember that orange hat with headlamp that I bought for nighttime gardening? It works really well for scavenging twigs at night too.
But I took pictures of absolutely everything that was, even the dandelions that are also in my own backyard.
Anand got bored with the very calm paddling after 20 minutes or so, so went back with Kevin; I swapped in with Kavi, and we went around again. It was very peaceful. This is not adventure kayaking, but if you’re looking to relax, lying down in your kayak and chatting with your almost-14-year-old daughter is pretty good.
I’m going to miss her like crazy when she goes off to college. I know, that’s still four years away, I should stop fretting about it. It’s her actual birthday today, though, so hard not to think about how fast she’s growing up.
There were a few other people out, mostly fishing, I think. Other people were fishing off the pier. Maybe I should learn to fish. It looks relaxing.
Normally you can rent kayaks, but that is also currently closed due to COVID; I’m assuming they’ll be lifting those restrictions soon. We brought one of our inflatable double kayaks, which takes up a LOT of room in our little car; we definitely couldn’t fit camping chairs, for example, if we’re bringing one of these. The car was packed to the gills.
We also had to argue a little bit with the camp guy, who came out to tell me that we were only allowed to use hard-shell kayaks on the lake, and I told him (which was true) that I had called the Cook County office and verified that these particular Intex kayaks were in fact certified and allowed.
He grumbled a little, but then said, “At your own risk,” and let us go out, but after 20-30 minutes of inflating + carrying time, it would’ve been super-frustrating if he hadn’t let us kayak, so I guess factor that in if you’re thinking of doing such a thing. Maybe I should get a letter printed out that I can show them, in case I get someone more recalcitrant…
I took Anand out first, just to remind him what it was like — he kayaked with me a little in Mexico, down a river and on the ocean (very close to the beach). He was nervous, because it had been so long, but after 5-10 minutes of paddling around on this super-calm lake, he realized it wasn’t actually scary at all, and let me switch out for Kavi. They paddled across the lake and back again, and were pretty proud of themselves, I think.
There was ducks too. Or maybe geese? I really am not good at identifying fowl.