Beach Camping

This past week my entire Suman family went beach camping. It's been a while since we were all together and we sure had a fun time. It was hard work with the little kids but I'm glad we did it.
We camped at San Onofre as we've done for many years:
We ended up with the best site of the lot! Larger than other sites and a huge shady tree. But don't let that fool you. It was also full of all sorts of wonders: dirt, dirt, and more dirt, freeway and train tracks within 50 feet (with trains speeding by at all hours...3am, 5am...great with sleeping kids), low-flying choppers from near-by Camp Pendleton, distant Cannon explosions from Pendleton, and the bright side: the beach! As a kid you must tune the non-nature sounds out. But wow, as an adult, I can't say that I'd recommend the camp sites (unless you're a surfer. Great surfing beach). We still had a fun time though.

With everyone there, we had to cram our huge tents in. Cue circus music:
My mom did tons of work to organize the food and everything in-between. She even got little flashlights for the kids. Ava and Lucy were fascinated and continued shining the light in their own eyes. Funny girls. Aunt Mere with some of the kiddies:
We had hotdogs and smores the first night. Ava was ready to pray:
I can't say the first night of sleep was great but it was decent. My favorite part of camping is waking up in the morning and hanging out, making breakfast. Morning faces:
My mom brought those biscuits in a tube and we roasted them on the fire. So much fun! And kinda yummy too. Everyone started to get creative with add-ons: marshmallows inside, chocolate, baked in a foil, etc. Camille stuck to her favorite past-time though, plain old marshmallow roasting for breakfast:
Casey loves taking pictures with his sister-in-laws. Saaaaaaad!
Bryan was the fire starter. Ta-wisted fire starta. He did a pyro-great job.
Dennis enjoyed the flames:
All Laura wanted to do was sit in Ava's little pink chair. Eric told her she would break it. But we checked the weight-limit (as if we ever thought that would be a problem) and she was fine! She relaxed in her new seat:Me and Luce Goose:The one bonus of having train tracks nearby....you can act like kids by placing coins on the tracks. Of course they're not as easy to find once the train's gone by:
After morning clean-up we headed down to the beach. It's quite a hike to get there, so we brought the backpack for Lucy. This was our first time using it and it worked great! Lucy warmed up to it and enjoyed the ride:We set-up shop and stayed for SIX hours! We all have interesting burn/tan lines as a result.
The kids had tons of fun in these little yellow boats:And so did Gram!
We dug holes:
and climbed in holes (Lauren):
We played with sand (Dane):And ate the sand. For some reason Ava thought it was yummy:She was honestly shoveling the sand in her mouth as if it tasted like chocolate chip cookies. Check her out!

Casey had the great idea to bring kites:
Great fun for everyone, especially my Dad. He stood there for an hour with this shark kite:
My mom invented a cool Rock Game that we girls played:
There was smashball:
And lots of surfing for everyone. Meredith and her board:Dennis taught Casey, Saunja, Mark, and Sara to surf. They all did great! Casey can't wait to do it again and regrets all the years he lived 3 miles from Santa Monica beach and never tried it.
Saunja did stand up but I kept missing the shot. Great job!Owen took a nap in the beach tent:
And Lucy sort of joined him:
Aunt Karen came down for the afternoon:
And of course, there were blog opportunities everywhere you looked. Here are the busy bees at work:
Owen and Makenna sat in the boat together:
Eric kept making Lucy laugh:
Some of the laughs were forced but it was funny to watch:
Mark, Sara, and Makenna:
Saunja and Dennis:
They recently moved to Idaho and decided at the last minute to join us. We're so glad you guys drove down! You and your kids add great fun to the group.

Eric and Laura:
Ava's beach set-up. SO luxurious:
Little Luce. She loved sand more than water this summer:
And she liked tromping around on it. Her little walk was funny to me:

Gram and Makenna:
Fun day at the beach. Now back to the campsite for Taco Stackups, showers, and dish washing:
Lucy wandered in the brush:
And when she grew tired of dirty hands, she loved playing in Daddy's truck. Swinging from stuff is her new obsession:
Owen got a comb-over 'do from dad's chin stubble:
And Papa held the grandkids:
The next morning, we had breakfast and broke camp. We discovered a new food for Lucy's "will eat" list...Marshmallows:
She and Ava are always ready to say "Cheeeeeese!" I love this shot because you can see Ava's awesome sunblocked burn on her face. (and Lucy looks funny):
Roughing it in the "wilderness":
Here we are, the Sumans: We managed to get a family picture in there after a day at the beach. Um, good thing I look totally hammered (I think I felt just like I looked....though Lucy might actually look worse than me).

It was a whirlwind two days with a lot of attention to little kids. It felt nice to get home, cleaned up, and sleep in our cozy beds. But it's also fun to play house out in the dirt, with the nighttime lull of freeway cars and trains. Here's to another year of Suman Beach Camping!


Suman Family said...

dude. well documented. i can't get over how many pics there are. you must be pretty stealth with your camera or maybe i was too busy chasing ava but i had no idea you were clicking away the whole time. i stole a couple...and of course snagged that video link of ava eating sand. nice work. it was fun despite, well, everything! :)

Jean said...

What a fun time!! Wow, you have a big family. Must've required a lot of planning!! Kudos!

I love that you take so many pictures, and I bet your family loves it too. :-) That picture of your sister with her surfboard is really pretty! Looks like an awesome trip!

Nicole said...

What a fun trip, love all the pictures and videos. Looks like you guys had a great time. Even with the noise, road, train, etc isn't it all about the fun memories, and laughing about all of the noise? Sounds like a blast!

gunnfam said...

So much fun! I'm so glad you survived and had a good time. My favorite is of the video of Ava eating sand. I wish my kids ate dinner with that much gusto!

teresa and the boys said...

I seriously cannot get over the video of Ava eating the sand. Way too funny. Great re-cap -- you are much more vigilant with your camera than I am. I'll have to get on that.

P.S. Will someone please tell Saunja that I want to see her blog? Unless, she has something against us. *humph* =)

Mr. Dizzle said...

Casey just now learned to surf? I guess I just assumed he knew. Makes me wonder, what else does Casey not know how to do that he should?

megan said...

longest post of the year award goes to....you! seriously.

It looks like a LOT of fun but also a LOT of work!! glad you are back!

Camille said...

So fun...and great pics (I took a few...thanks)! Thanks for roughing it with us...and especially with two little kids. Also thanks again for arranging the camp site. It really was good time even though it was a ton of work.

dietcokegrrl said...

Awesome recap!! Looks like so much fun and I love all the pictures!