A miracle: I spent the weekend camping in the woods of the Laurel Mountains (aka Place With Lots of Insects) and I did not get one single bite. NOT ONE.
Not sure if the bugs could sense my inherent bitterness or if they were just heeding the siren song of their Inner Crow (oooh! shiny flame!), but whatever the reason, the moths and gnats and mosquitos decided to make some lovely wax art in my citronella candle instead of eating me. Mmmmm... wax-enrobed insects.
Insect art aside, Laurel Hill is a lovely park and it's always fun to camp there. Even when you forget about the no-alcohol rule and make the park ranger stop and tell you to put away your bottle of wine. (Yes, I bring wine when I camp. I'm pansy like that.)
The park has a sweet little beach and lake area. Since it was 7,931 degrees outside, we spent an afternoon lounging on the beach in the shade.
It was there that I learned not all people are born with common sense or, apparently, good hygiene. The fact that THIS needed to be a sign? Like, whoa. I fear for humanity. And also for my gastrointestinal tract.
Rest assured I will never, ever look at another "Got milk?" ad in quite the same way again.
On a more pleasant note, there was all manner of funky headgear going on this weekend. Yes, that IS a snorkel mask. And a miner headlamp kinda thingy. The snorkel mask was vital to surviving the smoky campfire (who knew?), while the headlamp made the rounds of all the short people because, well, because it's just totally cool and fun. It's also handy when the adults are trying to play Settlers of Catan in the dark and are trying to avoid attracting nine million bugs with the candle and lantern. (Well, it's handy until the person wearing it looks away from the board and everyone yells "STOP MOVING YOUR HEAD!")
The kids spent hours goofing around in the creek behind our campsites and just poking the fire with long sticks. Seriously, I could have bought a fire ring and a gathered up a bunch of long sticks for Miss O's Christmas gift and she probably would have enjoyed those more than her DS.
Even better than the creek and the s'mores and the sticks, though? Mantracker. (Sarah, you know I am twitching just typing that word.) Miss O and the other kids were ALL ABOUT the game and dude, I have heard that word more in the last 72 hours than I ever hoped to hear it in my whole entire life. (It's a long and uncompelling story, but I hate that word more than I can express and I'm pretty sure Sarah uses it just to see me wince.) At one point, I came out of the bathroom and could hear the word "maaaantraaaacker" floating across a good quarter mile of woodland. *shudder* So, I'm not entirely certain of the rules because I tried very hard not to listen, but I do know that the three girls made John sit in the woods for 40 minutes while Jeff tried to find them. The phrases used to describe the experience were "it was so much fun!" and "wow, that was boring..." and "hey, there were a lot of bugs where we were waiting!" and "I was really hungry waiting for the mantracker to find us and he kept walking RIGHT PAST US AND NOT SEEING US. And I was hungry." I'll let you figure out who belongs to each sentiment...