I’d been planning to go camping at Prince William Forest Park with my friends Andy & David as well as some other folks who I didn’t know, however, the government shutdown and the park was closed so we had to make other plans. We explored a few options and settled on Westmoreland State Park, near King George, VA. I was excited because prior to exploring alternative sites I didn’t even know Westmoreland SP existed!
We were heading out for Saturday night so Friday after school I went and got the RV and brought it home so I could pack Saturday morning. I also went to Wegmans to get food for the trip and do my weekly shopping so I wouldn’t have to do it Sunday. I also had my last CSA pickup of the season so it was a hectic night and I didn’t get home until 7, which is very late for me.
Saturday started busy too as I was packing and gathering stuff and preparing for the trip. Susan dropped Leah off around 10 and I was just about ready to head out. We went over to David’s house to meet up with everyone else, except that Andy was the only one coming to his house, the other 2 ladies (who I’d never met) were meeting us at the campground. Soon Andy arrived and we headed out. We ended up driving separate first I got ahead of them and then I stooped for fuel and they passed me.
When I stopped for fuel I discovered that Leah has learned how to unbuckle the seat belt. I was out of the van pumping and she appeared between the driver seat and the passenger seat! agh! What she doesn’t know yet, is how to buckle the seat belt. ugh. After I fueled I needed to pull away from the pump to turn the fridge back on and get some snacks. Since we weren’t going far – or fast – I told Leah to just sit in her seat and we wouldn’t tell Mommy that we didn’t buckle. She responded with “but Mommy knows evvvverrrryyyythhiinggg!” LOL!!!!! (I did tell Susan so it’s not a secret). We pulled around the back of the gas station and ate some snacks, buckled up and were on our way.
Once we arrived at the park we were told to pick our site and then go to the Visitor Center to settle up. Andy & David were waiting for us in a parking lot and we went together to find our two sites. We couldn’t find 2 next to each other so we picked 2 that were across the road from each other. I backed in and started setting up. I noticed that we had water and electric hookups. hmmm… David had called me when he made the reservation and he’d said that the sites with hookups were all taken. No one had given us any direction in terms of choosing sites so I figured it didn’t matter. Since it was drizzling a little I put the awning out and set up the chairs under it so we could have a place to go and not get wet. I plugged in and then since Andy & David were off settling up I decided to go ahead and set up our bed so later I could hang out and not have to worry about “chores”. I took Leah’s booster seat and put it in the driver seat and put the bed down and got out the sleeping bags and had everything all set up. Almost as soon as I finished Andy & David returned. We had to move. We hadn’t paid for water & electric.
The big problem here was the bed was down, making it impossible for me to buckle Leah in, unless I put her in the front seat. I really didn’t want to have to put the bed up and then put it back down, I also didn’t want to drive with Leah not buckled for the 2nd time. I consulted Andy and we decided that since we were just driving in the campground and I wasn’t going over 10 mph, she’d be ok just sitting on the bed. I was more worried about “rules” of the car than safety, but what happens with Issa stays with Issa right? I told Leah that she had to sit on the bed and we were off to find another site. At one point I looked in the RV mirror and Leah was standing on the bed dancing - “Van surfing”. OMG. After I used my stern voice she sat down and didn’t get up again. We ended up in another loop where we found 2 sites right next to each other and they were perfect! My site had a fire pit area so we used that for meals and hanging out and the other site had Robyn & Mary/Andy/David’s tent.
Our first task after moving was to settle up with the park office. Andy, David, Leah and I walked over, but Leah and I got sidetracked by the playground! We played and hung out there for awhile and then walked back to the campground. It was very cloudy and drizzly. Not the best camping weather, but it wasn’t too cold. On the way back from the playground we stopped to buy firewood (the park, like many others, requires you to buy wood in the park. This wood was very green, and wet, and wouldn’t burn. boo.)
Mary still hadn’t arrived yet but she’d texted that she was about an hour away so we decided to go for a walk to Fossil Beach. Westmoreland SP is right on the Potomac River and there are two beaches, one that features fossilized sharks teeth, if you can find them. We took the long way to the beach through the forest. Leah got tired about 1/2 way there and I couldn’t get her up on my shoulders (she’s getting heavy & tall!), Uncle Andy to the rescue!
Soon we reached the beach! There was a boardwalk right before the beach with a lookout tower. It was really pretty, even if the low clouds kept us from seeing the other side of the river! We even heard an owl, at least I did, Leah didn’t hear it!
Once at the beach we spent some time exploring, looking for sharks teeth and driftwood. Leah definitely wanted to get wet, but didn’t. I informed her several times that if she got wet she’d have to walk back in wet clothes and that probably wouldn’t be fun.
Robyn waded out a bit.
Soon Leah was begging to go back to the campground. She and I headed out a few minutes ahead of the others. She was really getting tired of walking! She wasn’t really complaining, but she kept stopping to rest her legs (we’d walked maybe 3 miles). Soon the others caught up with us and Mary had joined them! She’d passed Leah & I, but of course we didn’t recognize her! When we got back to the visitor center we all piled into Mary’s mini-van! I was happy to see that she was going to be able to drive us back to the campground (it was another 1/2 mile or so), but I wasn’t liking the idea of putting Leah in a moving car without buckling her in for the 3rd time. Luckily Mary has a four year old and I was able to put Leah in her son’s seat and buckle her in! It was “baby” seat, but luckily Leah didn’t complain. This time it was the adults who were crammed in unsafely!
Back at the campground it was time to make dinner! I fired up the generator and Leah and I were eating sweet potatoes and broccoli in no time!Walking 3 miles did wonders for Leah’s appetite! I couldn’t keep up with the food requests! We hung out around the fire and roasted marshmallows with the others cooked their dinners.
It was well past Leah’s bedtime and she was very tired – she was talking non-stop and not making sense. I was hesitant to put her down because I was thinking I’d have to go to in the RV too, this was a good thing as it would keep me from staying up late, but I kinda wanted to make it till 9:00. Shortly before I put Leah to bed she kinda fell out of the chair. Yes, I took a picture before I helped her! She was laughing!
I finally realized that I couldn’t wait any longer, Leah had to go to bed. It was about 8:30 and once I got her changed and into her sleeping bag she was out like a light! I left her in the van to go gather my stuff up and when I came back she was asleep! So I left her sleeping in the van while I hung out with the others for a little while. Soon though everyone was getting cold and we didn’t have much light so we all headed to bed.
At some point during the night the wind kicked up. I didn’t notice at all, but the tenters heard it howling all night. Love my RV!
Leah and I were up and having breakfast by 7:30. Sleeping in until 7 feels so late when you up by 5:20 on weekdays! The others didn’t get moving until almost 9. David was more successful with the fire this morning!
Soon it was time to take the tents down, put the RV in drive, and head home. :-( Before heading out we got a group shot!