Wednesday, June 19, 2013


After what seemed like hours waiting to finally get to our destination we arrived. We checked in at the desk and drove down a gravel road to a field with tents dotting it. Close to a path was a spicket and a portable which I guessed to be the bathrooms, with small toilets that resembled those of an airplanes. We grabbed a spot that had lots of shade. This was about the only place with enough shade for a whole tent as big as ours is. After setting up the tent and unloading I quickly grabbed the bug spray. Darkness was closing in and the horse and yellow flies and mosquitos were not about to dine on me but as always the spray didn't help. We decided it would be best to take advantage of the showers they had at the camp, bringing in my toiletry bag I put on some rubber flip flops that my mom got for this purpose so we didn't have to stand barefooted in a public shower. After the refreshing shower we head back to camp. Settling into our sleeping bags I soon noticed i was laying on a root. ''Oh no,'' I thought, this is the worst thing that can happen to you while camping. I wriggled for a while the somehow got to sleep. The next morning i woke to someone's hot breath on my face. My little sister's body pressed against mine I opened my eyes. She then giggled a little and I talked and played with her then I guess we got too loud because someone from the other side of the tent yelled ''quiet down.'' That was my cue to get out. When I got dressed and we all woke up and told my dad happy fathers day we loaded up in the car and went to a nearby building that was serving breakfast. We got our tickets and grabbed a plate and sausage patties that were preheated and small pancakes that were the size of a child's palm that tasted like flour and were not at all sweet but breakfast will be breakfast. Then we decided to roam the park and do some activities since it was fathers day, my dad got first choice and not suprisingly he choose to go kayaking down a small little river. We rented two two seaters and one single seater and paddled down a stinky river that lead out into a vast lake that was connected to the campgrounds and dog park. I paddled through the lake watching the birds and the elderly racing thier little remote controlled sail boats glide across the water. Then a little one got tired of kayaking so we headed back down the same passageway. When we docked back up we walked off the dock and onto a grassy patch and went back to the parking lot to find and pick out our car, going back to the camp site. We debated whether to go rock climbing or to a water park we ate a lunch of sandwiches back at camp and finally all or almost all agreed that we should do the water park. That was not my choice but I saw no use arguing over their decision so I reluctantly went with it, fastening my swim suit andpulling up the bottoms. We piled up in the car and started for the park but they saw that if we waited thirty more minutes we could get in at a lower price. So we changed directions and went to the fishing docks. We saw fisher men and women young and old all fishing. I gazed at the murky water and the swampy seincery. It was burning so hot I thought I might crack into bits from the heat. All I could think about was the water park. We got to the car and drove to the water park. we caked on sun block and entered the water park. this was magnifisent, I thought it would be a pool with a few geysers but this was two tubing slides, a park, a lazy river and a slide. We were split up into groups my middle sister and I, my dad and youngest sister and then my mom. We ran, no, walked over to the slides and picked up a double tube and we both agreed to go down the open slide, as they called it, after climbing up the stairs. We sat in the pool and waited for the signial to go ''white slide, go'' we pushed off and speed down a number of turns and landed in a pool. We got out out and did that a few more times and then I decided I wanted to go on the tunnel slide and went in a single tube by myself. I landed in the pool and a lifegard helped me ashore. But then my sister wanted to go on the baby water park so I dragged myself over there and we played for a few minutes then I said I wanted to go to the lazy river. We both decided that we were not going to be lazy and instead speed down the track. Then we argued for a bit on were to go we settled with swim across the pool and go down a slide. But when we ran into my mom I gladly gave Athena away to my mom and sure enough all she really wanted to do was go and play in the pool and I found all I really wanted to do was to go down the slides over and over again, going down forwards, backwards closing my eyes and spinning. I had a blast but one time after an epic slide down my mom franticly asked me if Athena was up there. I assured her that no Athena was not up there and that she should look in the pool but once again when I came down she asked me were she was I told her that she was most likely to be in the pool and sure enough as soon as I said it her little head popped out of the water and I point the way. Meanwhile my dad and younger sister were coming down the slide. We sun screened up and went back for a couple more rounds and left. That night I made sure that I wouldn't sleep on the root and took a shower. I came back and went to sleep easier than the night before and woke up to another little body against mine I opened my eyes to see my sister there with that same little smirk. We played and sneaked a few animal cookies and then got out of the tent. My mom was sitting in a cloth fold up chair reading about the things we could do in Charleston. I sat the table and poured me a bowl of crispy rice and milk while my middle sister Athena picked at her cereal. She claims to not like stuff but you just saw her eating it the other day. She doesn't like cheese or sandwiches but she will eat a cheese burger, she says she hates pizza but goes for a second piece. After a long time of eating her cereal, she has finished and we drive to a historic place and go into the visitor center and pay and go through a museum that I supposed was maybe an introduction. We walk along a path and see animals that the people that had settled there would have seen and saw and old cemetery. The bison was my favorite. Afterwards we were told that there was a shuttle that would come by and give us a tour of it and back to the visitor center. We waited for about thirty minutes and some people came by and told us that the lady that was running the shuttle was on her lunch break. Now I was mad and hungry. We all agreed to go to a restaurant by the name of Harmony Grill. As we rode over to it, we passed by old looking houses and when I think of old buildings I think ugly but theses were beautiful  with rusted tin roofs and with ivy growing along it and flower gardens in the courtyards. It looked like a dream. After the car ride I was just about dead from starvation. I got out and looked up and saw a picture with a lady holding grits and it said. ''Grits are good for you, breakfast lunch dinner.'' Now I like grits but not that much and that good for you thing is a faulty statement because I am pretty sure that grits are not necessarily good for you but whatever. We ordered our food and ate I ordered she crab soup with grits and corn bread. i loved it it was really good after we stuffed ourselfs full we walked over to a station and rode a trolley  around downtown Charleston we saw old buildings, shops, and fountains. We then went to an military antiques and than went next door and went to Pablo's and got gelato I got a berry flavor if you go to Charleston you have to have to have  to go to Pablo's and get a gelato I highly recommend  it. After that we to camp and sleept. CRASH thunderstorm just as you dozed of CRASH we stayed awake for hours and i guess I...fell...asleep but the next morning we packed up and we were our way to our new adventure till next blogging.  BYE    

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Piece of Personal History...and a Shower!

Today, I woke up at 6. I wasn't comfortable because the tent was stuffy and my entire back was flush against the side of the tent, soaked from last night's super storm. I decided the earlier we left this soggy camp, the better. Too bad though because the natives LOVE us, and by natives I definitely mean mosquitoes.

I started loading up the car with mostly saturated bedding and camp supplies. When David woke, he worked diligently with me to get us out of there before 9. When it came time to wake up the girls, we just transferred them immediately to the car, where doors were shut and the A/C was running nice and cold; because somehow, a night of drenching rain didn't improve Charleston's heat index and actually made the mosquitoes multiply overnight.

A nasty, ominous cloud followed us all the way to Winston-Salem. but it never rained. Everyone was in a good mood because North Carolina held the promise to a warm bed in a HOTEL and a shower.

When we got to the city, we went in search for a Morovian church that one of David's ancestors, on his father's side, helped to build in the 1700's. The church is still in excellent condition, and, surprise! It was on the site of a restored Morovian settlement. The Morovians were a sect of the Lutheran church who came to settle in the New World for religious freedom. After coming from Germany, they migrated from Bethlehem, PA (another stop on this journey) and attempted a settlement in Savannah, GA that didn't go over so well. David's ancestor was a miller at the settlement here in Winston-Salem.

We talked to a tour guide for a long while, she showed us a movie about the site's history and sent us to discover the property. After exploring the palisades and walking into the still present cellar foundations of various homes and buildings,  we met the guide at the church. She gave us a very detailed tour of the church/minister's home, various artifacts, and furniture pieces. It was so incredibly cool to peer into the life of one of the 1st Americans in David's lineage.

Thanks to David's grandma Pete, who put excruciating effort into researching her family's history in as much detail as possible, we were able to share a piece of personal history with our children. David kept saying that he wished his grandmother could see this place. I am sure she'd be impressed and she might even be able to one up the curators with some of the things she knew! Isn't it exciting that my children have American roots that date back before the Revolutionary War and French and Indian War? Heck yeah!

Once the rain finally caught up with us, we reluctantly left for the hotel. The night was spent in a dry hotel room with a blasting TV and hot showers to go around. Ahhhh, relaxing!

Tomorrow- Baltimore, here we come!

A Historic Day in Charleston

We got a late start yesterday morning. I was up early but dared not wake anyone for fear of losing my quiet time. I was finally able to get a good start on my book! Once everyone was dressed, fed, and scooting along, we headed into the city.

According to my AAA guide, we were definitely to visit Charles Towne Center, which we did. The place we visited is apparently the original landing site of the settlers in the 1600's. We walked around the museum, even Arianna enjoyed the museum. Then we ventured outside.

There are quite a few things going on at the massive property and we weren't sure what to do first, so we followed the people in front of us since they had a map. The maps cost $1 and I wasn't about to pay for a map we were going to use for a few hours.

Anyways, the people ahead of us went through the African-American graveyard to the native animal zoo. The African-American graveyard was just an open field, no marked graves. Apparently, the people who buried them there meant for them to “go back to nature” and because of this, the graveyard was only recently discovered. Our map-bearing leaders led us to the bison, skunks, puma, deer, otter, and other various animals that live or once lived in the area. Naturally, we lagged behind and lost our free access to a map. Some little girls also got tired of walking and exceptionally grumpy.

With all the energy the kids could muster, we headed toward the historic village and ship site, with promise of a free shuttle. I really wanted to do the history stuff but knew I couldn't get them to walk another mile to the ship; so, the shuttle was going to be my saving grace. Annnnd....the shuttle never came. I was told at the front desk that a shuttle comes every 15 minutes. After waiting for what David estimated to be 30 minutes, 2 women with strollers passing by told us the shuttle driver was operating the boat tour while the boat person was on lunch break.

At that point, I decided I was hungry. When we left, I complained that the shuttle never came and the NEW PERSON at the front desk told us the lunch break story as if it were a known fact that the shuttle doesn't run during those times. I was disappointed but more importantly, I was hungry.

David chose a place called Hominy Cafe that boasted authentic southern and Charlestonian fare. It was delicious but pricey. I got the shrimp and grits and Aurora got the she-crab soup, which are apparently must-haves when visiting Charleston. David had some kind of fried chicken and gravy biscuit called The Big Nasty and the other 2 girls ordered grits and carbs a la carte. Everything was so good but we vowed not to eat out again for a while.

After rolling out of the cafe, we hit the visitor's center to find Charleston offers a free trolley service. I was all about that. We rode the trolley in a complete loop because we realized we didn't have enough money in the meter to justify getting off. It was a nice way to digest our food and determine where we wanted to go.

After getting off, we ordered gelato from a cute Italian sweets shop called Paolo's. Again, good but pricey. We walked to the car and took our own driving tour of the city. Unable to find parking near the splash fountain, we parked in Battery Park and walked along the bay. The weather perfect, overcast and pre-storm, as if the clouds were holding everything back until our visit was complete. We looked out to see Fort Sumter and 2 other forts in the distance. We strolled past Rainbow Row, marveling at the impressive homes against the bay, their lush gardens, and their enticing entryways.

Everyone was in high spirits as we stopped to wonder at a statue in Battery Park. Then it almost happened, Arianna ran straight for the road. I was too far away to catch her, all I could do was yell for her to stop. She would have been hit had the driver not been paying attention. She was so upset with herself, she cried for the next 5 minutes. David picked her up and carried her back to the car and we all went back to camp for burgers.

Then the rain came. We were forced to go out for pizza because who can cook in such weather? That night, the rain REALLY came. We were in the middle of a severe thunderstorm and flash flood warning for the Charleston area.

The girls naturally had trouble falling asleep initially but once they crashed around 11-ish, they were out for the night, before the real trouble came. For about 3 hours, David and I worked to move kids and stuff around so the water damage in the tent was only half soaked instead of being fully immersed. After all the shuffling of people and stuff, we concluded with an area of about a queen sized bed for all 5 of us. David and I kind of sat around and looked at the situation for a long while before attempting to carve out a small slice of bedding. We didn't think we'd sleep at all, but he and I finally succumbed to sleep around 3 in the morning.

The camp ranger this morning informed us that local meteorologists reported over 800 strikes of lightening in a 15 minute period. I believe it too. Last night was crazy, I guess the clouds really were holding back while we were in town!

Fabulous Father's Day Fun

Sunday was a Father's Day dream. We woke up at our own pace and wished David a Happy Father's Day. Next, we decided to let someone else do the cooking, the campground hosts a pancake breakfast every Sunday and we hit them up. There wasn't much but there was definitely something for everyone!

After getting ready for the day, we headed out to explore James Island Park. It really is a gem of a park. The admission is only $1 per person and there are so many things one can choose to do. We didn't pay admission because we're already camping here but I feel as if it's a steal of a price for everything they have going on around here. The girls had their ideas about what they wanted to do but I pulled them aside and said we were to do whatever their dad wanted without complaint. It just so turns out that he chose activities they were into; otherwise, that “no whining zone” promise would have been out the window, no matter whose special day this happens to be.

First, we hit up the kayaks. We kayaked around the hiking trails, natural areas, and the dog park (which was fun because the dogs were bounding into the water near our kayaks). Then we entered into this open lake area. There was a cool, gentle breeze in the lake which made for itty bitty waves. When the sun hit the waves, the light made the lake look as if it were glittering. On the opposite side of the lake, some R/C sailboat enthusiasts were racing their little boats. To the hobbyists' dismay, we were able to get close enough to touch the action figure-sized boats with our paddles. Each one has it's own special mark on it's sail and there were at least 20 of them. I have never witnessed a real sailboat race but can imagine how majestic it would look after seeing these little boats tack the course. After freaking out the sailboat enthusiasts, we headed back to camp for lunch.

David decided we should visit the fishing pier. It was loaded with people fishing and crabbing. There's so much life in a swampy grassland. Initially, everything seems flat and monotone until one stops to really look. So many birds and fish lurking in the safety of the flora. David says he used to seek out places like this pier when he was a teenager.

The grand finale of our afternoon was the water park on premises. The girls had been ogling the water park area ever since we entered James Island. Everyone had a 3 hour blast at the water park. The big girls got to do the super slides repeatedly, David and Arianna were inseparable buddies, alternating between the pool and the little kid water obstacle course. I know that was the ultimate highlight of his day. She only wanted to be with him and he was perfectly content to follow her around like a puppy. I went back and forth between the 2 groups and even got a little chill time by myself. We stayed until they kicked us out at closing time.

Returning to camp, David and I prepared an exquisite meal over the campfire, followed by s'mores that the kids created. We showered and headed to bed as happy campers!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Doin' the Charleston

Here we are! We made it safely without much of a hitch. The ride to the kennel was kind of tight with 5 people, 2 dogs and 2 weeks worth of stuff for all but the dogs were happy when we arrived at Wagland Kennel. Then we were off. It sure makes a difference without the dogs, we had a lot more space to move around after they stopped off at their stay-cation spot. I know they'll have fun there, they love that place. Anyways, we were off...

Even though we stopped about 4 times because someone had another bathroom emergency, we made good time. I am proud to say I only sped a little because I was so worried about losing all our camping stuff in the cargo carrier thingy. Arianna discovered the gargantuan tub of animal crackers I packed in the car and immediately got excited. It was kind of hard to miss them. Every chance we she got, she was finding reasons to munch on animal crackers or play with the animal crackers. By the end of the night, the tub was half gone.

Upon arrival, the park looked nice with lots of cool things to do, like a rock climbing wall, splash park, bike and hiking trails, fishing, CAMPING, etc. Tomorrow, we plan to discover some of them. David already said he'd like to check out the canoe/kayak situation for his Father's Day fun. We pulled up to  the primitive camping area, which is basically an open field with picnic tables and fire rings and a trailer of toilets. You pitch your tent where you find space. We found one with our own camping ring, picnic table, and creek. It is nice enough and in the super-shade, which is awesome but the creek doesn't flow, it just sits, and every so often wafts of eau de porta-potty mingle with your nose. Lovely.

Everything would have been just peachy in porta-potty-ville except, I won't incriminate anyone on the internet, but someone locked the keys in the car with the lights on. OK, fine, it was me but I have an excuse... ???? ...

David was really upset until he remembered we have a secret weapon...wait for it...AAA. That's right the amazing auto club that saved our butts on our last trip, here again to rescue us. Albeit, it took them 2 hours to get here, luckily we were planning to stay all night and didn't have anywhere to go. But for real, the AAA man pulled up and I swear the dude had a halo over his head. I was so excited to see him, I accidentally called him ma'am. Yeah, it was a little awkward after that.

The girls enjoyed watching him break into our car with all his gadgets. When they tired of that, they picked honeysuckles to bring back to camp so we could have something sweet to eat. Here's another mistake I made, no s'mores. I know, I am the worst mom ever but I just completely forgot. I made a seriously lame dinner and we ate without complaining too much. Then we piled into the tent and played Uno, giggling like, you know, little girls until bed time.

Tomorrow, discover this park. The next day, discover historic Charleston.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Preparing for D-Day

Oh. My. God! I am so overwhelmed. There is so much to do to prepare for this trip. I have almost everything packed into categories. I figured, depending on whether we were camping, staying in a hotel, or roughing it in Billy's swanky Baltimore mansion, we could unload certain "containers" rather than sift through everything. It took a lot of planning and organizing, which I hope pays off in the end.

Until we loaded the car, my living room looked like a campsite explosion. On top of packing and planning, there's all the other things to prepare for: mail, pet and plant accommodations, organizing travel confirmations, the house...well, it's somewhat to my departure standards. I had it the way I wanted it earlier this week and figured I could maintain until D-Day. Then the kamikaze camp explosion happened and everything went south from there. Lucky for me, my kids are totally cool with being my slaves today as long as I give them little breaks to play Minecraft every so often. Minecraft is a game that's like virtual crack for kids, and I can get my babies to do just about anything for an hour and a half as long as I promise 30 minutes of play time.

The lawn looks like a jungle and I just don't have the energy in this heat to mow. This morning it started to rain and I thought, "Good, now it will cool off a little." Nope. It actually got worse. The heat index is in the triple digits today and it feels like a sauna out there, and not the relaxing kind, the kind that is turned up too high and you have to make a severe effort to breathe. My lawn may or may not be ready for the departure; thankfully, we don't have an HOA that cares about that kind of stuff.

We're all uber excited and ready for flight. I guess I should get offline and start slave-driving again so we'll be ready to fly in the morning. Over an out.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

T-Minus 6 Days and Counting

We embark again...well, not quite yet. As we prepare to engage the spaceship once more on another epic Baucum adventure, I invite you to join us on a vacation to remember. We've made a few improvements, as far as I am concerned:

Numero Uno: NO VOLKSWAGON BUS! We'll be taking our 2007 Hyundai minivan, no push-starts anticipated this time around!! David wants to take the Subaru because he likes it better but with the minivan, I like the fact that each child gets her own seat, an important feature to a kid when travelling long distances with your potentially annoying sisters.

Part Deux: This baby. I really hope it fulfills my wildest dreams. Well, not really. I just hopes it frees up space in the trunk and actually IS waterproof as it claims to be.

Third: We get to see so many awesome people this time. Some we haven't seen in too long. We'll introduce you along the way.

Lastly: Air Condition! This time around, we're modernizing our trip. We're taking our travel to a new level. Oh yeah, baby!

Grab your virtual luggage and snag a window seat, we're going on a trip to:

Charleston, SC-  for camping and history
Winston Salem, NC- for David's family history
Baltimore, MD- for family and friends, whoop whoop
Washington DC- ditto above
Philadelphia, PA for this exciting event...

Lehigh River, PA- for David's family history and more camping
Lancaster County, PA- because the Amish are cool and so is camping
Baltimore, MD again- for more friends and family
Washington DC again- ditto above
Jamestown, VA- to explore more about this cannibalism buzz

Oh, I am really hoping to get the girls to type something along the  way too. I will try having them put their name in the subject line when they type. Also, if you want a postcard from the girls, send me your address at

Happy Trails!