...your feet should be dirty, and your eyes should be sparkling. And let me tell you... sweet Ruby has the dirtiest feet and sparkliest eyes when we camp!
She's taken to going barefoot while camping (thanks to her tiny BFF Haley's influence!) and as soon as we get to the campsite (any campsite) she asks "Now take my shoes off??"
Anyway... my dirty footed toddler, and my extra patient husband and I all packed up for a fun weekend trip last weekend to Cunningham Falls State Park in Thurmont, MD. If you live in the DMV, or within 100 miles of Frederick, MD, I can't recommend this park enough.
Camping used to be a means to an end for me: If I wanted to see cool stuff all around the USA, camping was the cheapest way for us to do that. Now, camping is turning into a fun family time, where we escape the suburbs and reconnect. And Ruby? She LOVES it. So now we choose campgrounds with Ruby in mind: campgrounds with any or all of the following: beach, creek, playground, short hikes, dirt, trees, or sand. Cunningham Falls has ALL of these things, and it was, ideally, a 2 hour drive from our home.
After 3hrs 15 min on the road, we FINALLY arrived (Friday NOVA traffic... but I complain about that so much, I'll not do that this post!)... Ruby napped for about an hour, and was pretty cranky, so was using her iPad. The cutest thing...we got into the park, and she looked out the window and yelled "MAMA! TAKE MY IPAD BECAUSE WE ARE IN THE DEEP DARK WOODS AND ALMOST TO MY CAMPSITE!!!!!" That is a parenting win, in our book!
We spent time hiking...
At the beach....
Enjoying the campsite....
With Nanee and Hop, who drove over from Westminster, MD for dinner...
AND we made a short, 20 minute detour to Rocky Ridge Wooden Slide. The main attraction: a lost gem in a world where playgrounds are "safe"... this one is classic. A MUST do if you live in the area. And free! Ruby was nervous at first, but after a few runs with Mama and/or Papa, she wanted to do it by herself. It is REALLY tall, so we would take her 1/3 or 1/2 way up and let her go. She LOVED it! At the bottom of the slide, she'd immediately say "do it again!"
Even our weather was amazing! I didn't pack warm enough clothes, because I expected it to be hot! Lesson learned (although, lets be real: I should have known that by now).
My *only* complaint (because I tend to be a pessimist...)
It didn't rain. It didn't pour. But mercy, that old man sure did snore. Holy cow. The second night we were there, an older gentleman was in the site next to us, and he snored ALL NIGHT LONG. I got like 3 hours of sleep. It even woke Brock, who can sleep through anything! Next time: pack earplugs.
We rarely make plans to return to a campground, but we will definitely be returning to Cunningham Falls State Park and Rocky Ridge!