504 Main by Holly Lefevre: Getting "Back to Blogging" with SITS. A Title I LOVE!

9.14.2010

Getting "Back to Blogging" with SITS. A Title I LOVE!

I am getting back to my bloggy roots with SITS!
I was planning on reconnecting with my blog...
over a glass of wine of course!
So, this is just what my blog and I needed - some alone time.
Although I am horrified at finding all the typos in my early posts - YIKES!

Before I move on...I just want to say a big thank you to SITS, and event sponsors,
Standards of Excellence, Westar, and Florida Builder Appliances 
for this challenge. I like it so much that so Thelma and Louise
are not even my main motivation...
although they are oh-so-pretty and full of turquoise sky fabulousness!
The topic of today's SITS "get back to blogging" challenge is:
"Re-upload a post with a title that you are particularly proud of and explain why."

THE WHY
9/15/10
I am a HUGE fan of Dirty Dancing! I think I knew every line and every song by heart and cannot even begin to tell you how many times I watched the movie...Oh, wait...excuse me while I put in my Dirty Dancing Cassette for some motivation. OK, I am back. I so badly wanted to run away and go dance with Johnny and be Baby's best friend, maybe even sit in the corner with her.

As I grew older I dreamed of taking my own brood to a family camp, just like the one in the movie. Well, we went to family camp...and this is our story. I thought my title was funny - I still get a chuckle over it..maybe it isn't funny...maybe I am just a little lame...maybe it was late at night when I wrote this the first time, but come on people, don't you see the connection...I had a baby, the camp was filthy, and that is THE line from the movie - get it? OK, moving on...
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March 3, 2010
The Only Corner To Put Baby In Was Dirty
{This is a slightly PG rated post for mild language}

Once or twice a year, hubby and I have the same argument...where are we going on vacation? Pre-baby No. 2, the answer was Hawaii. Post baby No. 2, the thought of a 5 hour flight...the time difference...and traveling with my husband who pulls out his "ASS" Hat {and proudly wears it} the minute we leave the house for the airport, was more than I could handle.

A couple of years ago, I took the bull by the horns. I have always wanted to go to family cap. Um, yeah Dirty Dancing was one of my most-favoritest movies ever! I could actually hear "I've had the time of my life..." playing as the theme song to our vacation. I had dreams of cute little cabins, talent shows, entertainment, activities, and good old-fashioned camaraderie amongst "campers"...how could you beat that!?

Joe was turning 7 and always was asking to meet new friends. At Family Camp he would have his own activities...there would be kids to play with...he was going to LOVE it. As for Jules, she was just shy of turning one...so that was not going to be easy no matter what, but still I wouldn't have to cook, we wouldn't even have to decide where to eat...and we were staying in California - no time difference to mess with naps or bed time...PERFECTION!

Hubby reluctantly agreed to my wild fantasy of "Dirty Dancing" Family Camp. I was even able to find a great deal on a camp - which was also highly touted in a well-known magazine. Summer vacation begins in early June for us, so we were able to hit the road the second week of June. Better yet, this camp was offering 40% off of their regular rates---Dealicious! If you have ever priced these camps...they are not cheap...in fact Hawaii would have cost less {at full price}, but at 40% off it seemed the time and the price was right.

As per the website and lovely person on the telephone, we were promised lakefront rooms, a heated swimming pool, 3 gourmet meals per day plus a full 24/7 snack bar, campfires, theme nights, horseback riding, mountain biking, water skiing, canoeing, fishing, rock climbing, archery, riflery, and more! There was baby sitting and organized activities for the children all day..."Mom HEAVEN" was waiting for me!

We packed our car to the brim and headed for our destination. There was a big powwow that night and we didn't want to miss a thing. We survived the drive to be greeted by a big dirt lot, a pond posing as a lake, a bunch of pissed off parents, kids running everywhere, and camp counselors and staff hanging out at the pool...and no one in charge who knew anything about anything!
We settled in to our less than welcoming room. It was ugly, disgusting, dirty, and buggy, with straight-from-a-rental-cabin-this-is-what-we-had-left-at-home-and-instead-of-taking-it-to-the-Goodwill-we brought-it-here 1970's decor. I was still seriously appalled...at full rates, the cost of this place rivals the cost of the Ritz or Four Seasons...I was not expecting so much dirt and tackiness. We also had our very own glorious smelly, musty bathroom...just what every vacationer dreams of! After recovering, we headed down stairs for the big powwow. It did not go as anyone planned...

{the following is a synopsis of our powwow}
Camp Dude {CD}: "Welcome. We are glad to have you here...Yada...Yada...Yada...We just wanted to go over a few rules and let you know when meals are served. You all will pretty much be on your own this week as our activities do not start until next week. We'll have the pool open for you a couple of hours each day, and the craft room will be open tomorrow for a few hours. The lake will be off limits because the lifeguard isn't here, but there are many hikes and trails to check out. They are just a short drive from here"

Me:..in my head...looking around: "WHAT!? Oh CRAP. Hubby is going to K-I-L-L ME DEAD RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW. How did I miss this? Where was this on the website or when I called? Am I that sleep deprived? How, oh how did this happen?...This week is going to suck BIG TIME."

Then, I snapped out of it and I heard it...the rumblings...the whispers...and then one mom, who was traveling with two children under the age of 2 1/2 asked...yelled...the question..."WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?"

CD:"This is not a full program week. This is a trial run, a training week, to get us ready. We do not have all of the counselors here yet. We are not ready for real campers."

Somehow, he and the few staff members present were not immediately strung up by their toe nails and tortured by the 50 or so families. Much to their credit, each the families other than "that one mom," remained calm and told CD that we were not told that little detail, and they better figure out a way to make this "right"...RIGHT NOW! Collectively the families agreed to leave the next morning and dispute our credit card charges if something didn't happen and QUICK!

To help our cause "that mom" packed up and walked out right then and there. The rest of us were just dumbfounded and thinking what are we going to do with all these kids and nothing to play with, nothing to do for one week. This was our bonding moment at camp. We figured we outnumber them and therefore, we can pretty much do what we want...we will go in the lake, we will have a campfire, we will not let "you" ruin the trip.

To their credit, CD and his superiors pulled together some activities for the next day. They called in every counselor they could, and offered a half-ass program for the kids. Not to their credit, they left my 7 year old son alone on the dock fishing {when he was supposed to be in their care} because the girl counselor wanted to water ski with the "hot" dude.

After 2 days, they offered every one free mountain biking, horseback riding and water skiing on the pond (we knew there would be additional charges for these activities}. We all decided to stay. We made the camp ours...we raided the kitchen at night and took the s'mores fixins', we made our own campfire, we played games...it was fun, but not what it was supposed to be...
My son was able to do archery and shoot BB guns and a rifle - to this day, if you ask him, he will tell you it was one of the best vacations ever {other than Hawaii}. As for me...it was miserable...everything was dirty...the dining room was dirty, our room was dirty - nails were falling out of the bunk bed - that is good for a one year old to play with!, the playground was a bunch of broken plastic climbing structures, there were a bunch of horny single parents trying to hookup with one another, one man who seemed to think he was the camp stud {NOT!} and his wife the camp MILF {glad he thought that, but double NOT!}.

As for the camp counselors, they were too busy flirting and hooking up with each other to care about the campers - they took up every chair at the pool and jumped in front of us at meal time ...apparently we were interrupting their vacation! To add insult to injury, they were having training throughout the day and evenings on how to greet and treat the campers coming to stay. They even had s'mores and campfires...we were not invited.

This was no Dirty Dancing experience. It was dirty but there was no dancing, and certainly no "Johnny." There was a "Baby" though. Although I am pretty sure some of the other antics that happened in Dirty Dancing were happening in the counselors quarters. I would be remiss if I did not point out that on our second to last night there, camp management called us all together to thank us for staying, and offered us and additional 50% off of the already 40% discounted price. That helped easy the sting of the vacation, but we all would have rather had the experience we were promised.
And, hubby obviously didn't kill me,
but I am not allowed to plan vacations anymore.
Has anyone ever been to family camp?
Anyone have one to recommend - I swear I want to try this again!
Happy Camping!
Holly
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21 comments :

  1. Hi Holly! My eyelids are being forced open, but since I saw you are up & posting, I wanted to come by. And guess what?! My eyes stayed open the whole post! :> I too, love Dirty Dancing (will you be watching DWTS??) and must have it completely memorized. Line by line. Lol! Your tale had me gasping & imagining & oh my! No, I haven't been to a family camp before. Though, my oldest is begging to go camping camping, so we might adventure to that next summer (though, I require la toilette! I've done my time in the woods btwn camping with fam & growing up in Girl Scouts!!). Hope you get some sleep...as soon as I link up my SITS post, that's where I'll be headed. But, I'm glad I stayed up to read yours...must admit I got a chuckle. :>

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  2. What a great post! I can't believe that you and your family stayed! If they were featured in a national magazine, I would definitely wrote or called them to share your story. They blew that one! At least your son had a great time and as a mom that's what you want!

    Come by and share my Get Back to Blogging title...

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  3. I LOVE the title!!

    Oh dear, I've never had quite this bad of an experience. Surprisingly too, since this is exactly the type of thing that happens to me.

    We did have a similar one, though. We were looking for "Little House on the Prairie" and got a nasty shack decorated the same way (LOVE YOUR DESCRIPTION OF THAT) and a murky pond swimming hole with so much seaweed (pondweed?) that the daughters would not step a toe into it.

    We left after one day. I guess I was a quiet version of the mom in your story. We ended up staying in a hotel and making a vacation up as we went along.

    There was only one other family there,and they were permanent residents and overseers. I got the total creeps from them and became convinced that they had broken into our shack while we were out and stolen a favorite hair bow. My husband still thinks I'm nuts and we just lost it, but I remain convinced of the bow theft incident.

    Grin.

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  4. well if anyone ever wants to do something like this State Parks offer some fantastic cabins now for event everything is there just no instructors, lakes hiking camp fires fishing disk golf is a nice long weekend getaway....check your local state parks out see what they offer you would be amazed.....oh how i loved Dirty Dancing.

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  5. Sorry you had such a disappointing family camp experience! So glad your son has great memories though : )
    We've had a family reunion at a YMCA facility - lots of activities for every age group {although no counselor-led activities for kids}, group activities, meals included, some activities like horseback riding, hayrides & private camp fires extra.
    good luck with your next attempt! ...hopefully less dirty & more happy dancing

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  6. I think this must have been the very first post of yours I ever read- rereading it, I remember it very vividly, but didn't remember it was you! Anyway, great post- it obviously made an impression!

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  7. What a crazy story! Your recap is hilarious but it must have been just a nightmare to go through! I'm also a huge Dirty Dancing fan and spent many many hours dancing to the cd in my parents' bedroom when I was younger. I honestly didn't even know they still had camps like this!

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  8. I LAUGHED, I cried and nearly peed my pants, you are hilarious my friend! Oh yes I have been to family camp, as an organizer but thought, "ooo, I will bring my three toddlers, it will be so fun". Running a camp while nursing and chasing boys was not fun. I want to try again as well. :) I have read about one in Oregon that is all treehouses...that sounds fun. :)

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  9. Oh my gosh. Yea, I would have been that mom totally flipping out!! That sounds just awful.

    I love Dirty Dancing too! I have seen it hundreds of times!

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  10. I think you title is clever.

    Stopping by from SITS. Hope you can visit my blogs.

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  11. What is it about that movie? I can watch it over and over again. :)

    Family camp always sounded fun to me, too--just with someone else's family!

    Kidding aside, I'd love to try that, just not the place you visited! We've talked about camping at state parks but haven't made the leap with kid and toddler. Maybe I'll just go alone. Ha ha!

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  12. Okay - I laughed through your post, not because it was funny but because of disbelief! I have never been to a family camp although we have camped as a family many times. Loved reading your post but it will be a great story to tell your grandchildren one day. Well, maybe not ???

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  13. Indeed, a great title. That whole thing seemed like something that would have happened to me. How horrible. (Just another reason for me to NEVER, EVER, (ever) camp. ;)

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  14. that is soooo awful! i would have been enraged. they flat out lied to you! i'm glad you made the best of it, though.

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  15. That's funny and absolutely horrifying. The NERVE of those counselors.

    But...I suppose never having to plan a vacation again is a HUGE side benefit!

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  16. This post is so funny, in a "OMG that is awful and so glad it didn't happen to me" way. I'd probably be that mom that was flipping out!

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  17. Oh yeah - great title & I have always wanted to stay at a place like that too. What an experience... yikes! Well, it's been a while since I've had a chance to come by and say hello, but I'm glad to see your blog just keeps getting better & better :)

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  18. Dirty Dancing! Patrick Swayze! *swoon* I remember this post! hahaha. It's still great to read.

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  19. "Nobody puts Baby in a corner"
    Seriously? I've always had a little fantasy about how GREAT family camp would be! (Like Dirty Dancing!) I did summer camp as a kid and loved it and sharing that experience with my family would have to be great, right? I think I'm rethinking the idea.

    I am glad they gave you some financial incentive. Soooo sorry that it turned out like it did. Ahhh, sand, surf, palm trees, mai-tais - maybe that flight to Hawaii isn't so long after all...

    Ally

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  20. Oh my! My jaw was wide open while reading this post. NO WAY! I'm still cracking up over the horny singles. hahaha. I love that your son remembers it as his favorite vacation ever. Kids are too cute. Thanks for the entertaining post tonight - just sorry you had to endure all of that craziness!

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  21. Wow. I am having such a good time reading these posts!!
    I love Dirty Dancing too! And what a great story. It sounds like a crazy trip. Ugh. I could handle almost anything but the dirt.

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