Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cumberland Island: A Camping with Toddlers Adventure

We just got back late Monday night from a trip to Cumberland Island off of the coast of Georgia, which is the reason for the silence here lately. I have been planning this trip for six months, and it was our first vacation sans family: just the four of us. My brother's high school graduation coincided with the end of our vacation, so we tagged on a trip to visit family as well. Nine days was a long time to be away from home; but the children traveled very well, and seemed to enjoy the frequent change in scenery!

This was the first time that David and I have been camping, so taking a one-year-old and almost-three-year-old to an island for three days was an adventure for all of us!

We drove down to Fernandina Beach the night before we caught a ferry in St. Mary's, GA to take us over to Cumberland Island. The island was absolutely beautiful, and we loved how peaceful and remote it was. We rarely saw another person, and only shared the entire beach with two other families who were out of ear-shot. It was a completely different vacation experience than anywhere else we have been, and it was so wonderful to "unplug" in so many different ways.

As for the camping itself, the children loved it. I did not sleep at all in the tent, but since David and the children did, it was survivable. Our second day on the island, it started to rain, and it did not stop. Our tent began to leak from the roof, and we were able to borrow a tarp from some camping "neighbors". However, even with the tarp, water seeped in through the bottom of the tent, leaving everything, and I mean, everything, wet. My sheets and air mattress were soaked, and I was wet, cold, and shivering the entire second night. The next morning, we did not even have clothes to wear or towels to dry off with, because all of stuff was drenched, and we had used what we had to dry off the night before. There was over an inch of water on the floor of the tent, and the weather forecast actually had a flood warning for the island.

So, we felt that we had no other choice but to leave the island a day earlier than we had planned. So we packed up all of our stuff, and took the ferry back to St. Mary's, and decided to spend our last two days (one night) in Savannah, GA (about two hours away from St. Mary's). It was so nice to be able to take a hot shower, dry off, and be inside during some afternoon thunderstorms in Savannah. We stayed right down on Bay Street, which made it incredibly easy to walk and see the town with the little ones. Our final stop was Tybee Island where we climbed to the top of the lighthouse. The views were gorgeous, and we enjoyed learning about the history of the lighthouse.

In the end, it was a fantastic trip. We learned a lot about camping, and hope for it to be a part of our lives on a regular basis. It was a much needed break to focus on spending time as a family after such a busy semester for David, before heading into a very busy summer.

And I think the photos speak for themselves:

We are busy trying to get back into everyday life...and missing vacation already. It was nice to be away from the stress of trying to deal with the coyotes (And I cannot thank all of you enough for the support and advice. We are trying to decide on the best course of action, and all of your comments were very helpful). David has also entered full-time job hunting mode, since he will be graduating August. As usual, we are keeping things exciting.

Summer, here we come.


CourtneyKeb said...

Precious photos! There's so many good ones capturing how happy ya'll all were!

JPeaslee said...

Love the photos - your boys are the sweetest!!

Curly-T said...

You are so much more brave than I am! My husband and I ADORE camping (actually did a camping trip for our honeymoon) but we haven't been since our oldest (soon to be 5, gulp) was born. Every once in awhile we set up a tent in the yard, but just haven't the guts to take them to the middle of nowhere.
What a great family vacation you had - your photos are awesome!

Joy said...

Love these pictures. You know, there's a campground on Tybee. We "lived" there for about 3 summers, in a row. Tybee may be my most favorite place! There's also the turtle center right there at the pier. Your kids would probably love it!

Clandestine Road said...

Lovely pictures. That looks like so much fun.

Mrs.Sanders said...

Beautiful pictures!! Looks like a fun vacation ! You are my hero for taking this adventure! ;)

Katie Olthoff said...

You are so adorable!

Anonymous said...

I'm catching up on your blog after a busy summer. So happy to see y'all visited Tybee and Savannah--my hometown!