I survived camping!
The worst part was getting all of our crap on and off of the island. Even roughing it, 4 ladies with 6 kids is a lot of stuff. And it was hot. And I saw a scary spider. And a baby woke me up around 6am each morning. And my contact lens ripped right as I was floating around in a kayak with a bunch of manatees. And my brother's expensive borrowed camera stopped working. And there were alligators and a scary storm and fire balls and a murderous canopy. But I still had fun! (And I didn't even drink the tequila. There was beer involved, though.)
Maybe I just really, really love the beach? I go 2-3 times a week but it never gets old. We went kayaking and watched sunsets while dolphins leaped out of the water right in front of us. The kids played until they dropped and lived in bathing suits from morning until night.
Unfortunately, apparently claiming that you will die instantly if there's rain pretty much guarantees rain. On the second night there was a terrible storm that broke one of my tent poles and lifted the tent stakes from the ground. The tent was blowing furiously and it was thundering and lightning outside. The heavy canopy right next to my tent wasn't staked down and I was scared it would hit us, so I dragged my sleeping children to the other side of the tent and peeked at it through the window as it crept closer to us. I tried to run out there and lodge it against the picnic table but it was heavy and I got nervous about being struck by lightning. Also, our fire, which previously wouldn't start, started in the storm and fireballs were blowing all around. And I had to pee, like crazy.
I was almost relieved when little kid woke up because it was nice to have someone to talk to (Selfish? Probably.) I asked if he was scared and he said yes and I said not to be. We talked quietly face to face and I made up a story that he didn't seem impressed with. He sighed deeply and I asked if he was still scared (because I was) and he said no, that I was breathing all of his air and he wanted to sleep. I survived the rest of the storm alone.
The island was gorgeous though and the people I went with were awesome. The manatees and dolphins were incredible. The kids had a great time and I've decided if I can do this, I can do pretty much anything (within reason...I don't want to do many things crazier than this).
But from now on I want a blow up mattress.
And maybe a cabin.