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PINECORNS & AIR MATTRESSES | TRAVEL BLOG | DAY 2 : FORT STOCKTON, TX

TRAVEL DAY TWO

Woke up with the sunrise, expecting to still feel exhausted after our first night in the tent. Surprisingly, I felt pretty well-rested. It’s amazing how comfy an air mattress can be. To be fair, we did buy the Cadillac of camping mattresses – the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Dream Sleeping Pad. Our new rule is to not waste money on things we don’t need, but I knew if I didn’t find a way to get a good night’s sleep, this trip would last exactly one day. Ask anybody who’s ever lived with me … mama needs her sleep! Before this trip, my one and only experience with air mattresses was from about ten years ago, sleeping on a piece of shit queen size mattress that would slowly, but completely, deflate throughout the night, so you can imagine I was a bit skeptical while reading the reviews for this “AMAZING” and “INCREDIBLY COMFORTABLE!” air mattress that people were raving about on Amazon. Surely these people had never slept in an actual bed. Every reviewer must have gone from sleeping directly on the floor to sleeping on this air mattress. There could be no other explanation for how ridiculously positive these reviews were. Still, I needed something that could be packed away small and I knew an air mattress was my only option. So I bit the bullet and spent $160 EACH on two single-person-sized air mattresses. And you know what, you guys? Those crazy-ass reviewers on Amazon were right. These mattresses are so damn comfy! I would post a link to them on Amazon, but then you all would think I’m trying to make a commission off them, so I won’t. I will move on now, though. Twelve thousand words about air mattresses is enough, right? Yeah, okay, moving on.

As much as mama loves her sleep, daddy loves his breakfast, so the first thing we did on our first full day of camping was break out the camp stove. It’s a two-burner propane stove with a cover and sides to block the wind, but like I mentioned in yesterday’s post, it was CRAZY windy. Henry didn’t think he’d be able to cook with the stove outside, so he set it up in the tent (with the windows open, of course) and started cooking bacon. I had dozed back off, comfy and warm under my blankets, but woke up when the smell of maple bacon and propane hit my nose. An interesting combination, for sure. Marley and I decided to have cereal for breakfast instead, so we sat outside at the picnic table and tried our best to get our spoons to our mouths before the wind blew the milk off. It was a pretty silly sight, I’m sure. Marley thought it was hilarious!

As soon as we were finished with breakfast, Marley noticed a pine cone on the ground near our table. “PINECORNS! ROXY AND KAI! THERE ARE PINECORNNNNNNS!” They were so excited, they ran all over the park collecting as many as they could. Each of them picked out their favorite and dubbed it their “lucky pinecorn.” (Nobody bothered to teach Marley the correct way to say it. Why? Because pinecorn is the cutest word ever. Obviously.) Who knew we could’ve just been giving them pine cones to play with all these years?

After collecting every pine cone in Fort Stockton, we decided to go swimming at Balmorhea State Park, which was about an hour drive from our campsite. The pool there is huge and spring-fed, with two diving boards and about a million little fishies and turtles. The kids were stoked! Unfortunately, we forgot it was the first Saturday of summer break and every other family in West Texas had decided to visit that day, too. When we pulled up to the park entrance, there was a long line of cars just sitting there waiting to get in. We pulled up to the guy at the gate and asked him how long the wait was. THREE HOURS. Yeah, no. There’s no pool in the world worth waiting three hours to get into. Bummed, we turned around and drove back to the RV Park to swim in the pool there. It didn’t have fish, but it didn’t have a line, either. Henry and I held hands and jumped into the deep end like a couple of teenagers. Who needs a diving board?

After swimming we went for a walk. The sun was out, but it wasn’t too hot. About five minutes into it, Marley had her Official First Meltdown of the trip, dramatically crying that we were “lost in the desert with no water!” We could literally see our tent from where we were standing. Ha! To say she can be a bit over-the-top would be the understatement of the year. Henry walked back over to the tent and grabbed a bottle of water for her and then she was happy again. She made sure to remind us “we should never go for walks without water. We could die.” Close call, you guys. CLOSE CALL.

After our walk, we went back to our camp to make dinner. I had to use water from a hose to make my pasta, but it turned out delicious, because I am the world’s best mac and cheese maker ever, of all time. (For real, though.) Henry made hot dogs and hamburgers and we all stuffed our faces until we were full. Actually, I take that back. Henry and I stuffed our faces until we were full. The kids ate until they saw a mama cat walk by carrying a baby kitten and then they ran off with the lantern to see if they could find more. A few minutes later they came back laughing that Marley had found a garden gnome and said “it’s Santa! He’s watching us!!” Ha!

When we finally laid down for the night, Rox and I cuddled up to talk about how our first full day was. We both agreed it was pretty perfect. Just then, Henry walked in and said “can somebody take this donut?” Rox and I perked up and at the same time said “DONUTS? WE HAVE DONUTS?!” He meant Marley’s damn pool floatie. What a let down!

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(NOTE : I’ll be posting each day of our travel adventures here on our blog and would love for you to follow along! To keep up with us on Instagram, follow my personal Instagram account here : SarahQ on Instagram. You can also follow along by visiting our Facebook page here : The World School on Facebook. I’ll also be posting my thoughts on traveling with children, family tent camping, world schooling, unschooling and home schooling. Have a suggestion or just want to say hello? Use the contact form above to send us a note! We also love comments! Leave a comment below or on Facebook! Thanks so much for coming along on this crazy adventure with us!)

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Some of my favorite iPhone photos from Day Two :

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SO MUCH WIND!

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Marley, our resident fly killer. Haha! Look at that FACE!

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