addressing those deep seeded camping phobias.

Growing up, I didn't come from what you would call a 'camping family'. I don't have those fond memories of my family of six squeezed into our tent, roasting hot dogs around the campfire, and fishing in the early morning sunrise.

I grew up detesting camping.

And all things outdoors for that matter. But allow me to explain: this 23-year-hatred was through no fault of my parents. Don't get me wrong, I loved my version of outdoors, where I got to control it -- biking, swimming, and playing in my childhood town, but if they ever suggested that I go out of a 30-second radius of running water and indoor plumbing, I blocked out the bad parts of my childhood behavior, I probably threw a mini tantrum whining that there's no way I would be caught dead peeing outside.

To me, camping was all things that I disliked the most --  rolled up into one disgusting package.

I would complain all the time (it's too hot...it's too buggy). I hated sleeping on the ground. I hated getting bit by mosquitoes. HATED it. Oh, to little seven-year-old me that was the worst thing ever about summer.

Chad on the other hand, grew up loving it. And still does. Which is why when his parents suggested that we come out to the lake they were staying at this weekend, he said yes.

Now, I'm slowly warming up to the idea of camping and this experience was a nice way to dip my toes into the camping world since there was a camper on-site and a beach/park down the road with public bathrooms.

But, I toughed it out -- not as much as Chad's parents and sister...but I came a long way from when I was a kid. I slept on the floor of a tent, and minimally complained about the mosquito bites I was getting and the lack of shower I had.

Because I realized that the reason that Chad grew up loving it was because it is really enjoyable. I liked swimming in the lake, was eager to get on the boat and fish, and liked doing things I didn't think I would enjoy (like fileting a fish).

On the way there, I was driving through the deeply wooded Wisconsin back country roads and I actually requested that Chad find some Johnny Cash and play it right then. "Because" I told him, "I think that I'm only in the mood to listen to old school country when I'm camping or fishing". Then with mock horror I said "Am I turning into one of these country girls that I never liked?".

Well, so what if I am. :)

from this weekend -- me: the recent camping convert holding my second fish...ever. wearing a genuine smile.  
husband: photobombing. doing what he does best.

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