1st Annual Family Campout

On Thursday I got this impulse idea to go camping on the weekend.  The weather looked perfect and I was sure there would be somewhere fairly local we could head out to.

I started to ask some coworkers who were into camping and was told that you had to book a year in advance (for ALL of the lower mainland?) I knew that was the cause for Tofino but here too?  So I did a quick search on available sites (on a website I now can't recall) and out of the entire province, only three sites had availability.  Two that were 14 hours away and ironically *my* hometown. (which would have been a fantastic idea however ferries were not an option due to no reservations).  

So not deterred, I kept trying and found another website - http://www.holidaytrailsresorts.com/ which had online searching and reservation bookings (great feature!).  The campsite we chose was Camperland in Bridal Falls near Hope which was just far enough out of the city but still an adventure.

The pricing wasn't bad I thought, but I have no idea about paid camping since I grew up on the Island and we just go to a lake and set up camp.  That's more of roughing it.  We prepaid $51.15 for a  tent site for one night.  Their check-in is noon to noon so that ruled out going on Friday after work.

Saturday Morning

Off to a bit of a late start but quickly got the car all packed up!

I was shocked to see a grey sky since it was supposed to be a hot weekend.  As soon as we started to pull away, it started to rain LOL.

An hour drive from Burnaby and we find the campsite just off of the hwy which was just past the defunct 'Dino Land' (For those born in the 80's - you would have remembered it as Flintstones Park).  I blogged about it here.

We 'registered' in their front office and I purchased a days worth of wifi for $3.50 and then off to find our spot.  We were directed to the far end of the lot but closest to the waterpark.  

Clayton and Mason set up the tent while I unload the car:

 I asked Mason to make our 'bed':

The site all set up! My car was parked just to the left of this photo which is alongside the road.  The blue tent is our beach shade tent which worked out great for additional lounging space (and ultimately Clayton's bed since we didn't all fit in the smaller 3 man tent):

Once we were all set up, we changed into our bathing suits and headed over to the Bridal Falls Waterpark (which is just behind that building in the above picture).  The pricing is a bit high as there is no reduction for children (2 and under are free but 3+ pay same as Adult).  $20 per person.  I was smart and checked my Entertainment Coupon book on the drive over and found a FREE admission.  $20 saved!! There is also a discount for campers ($3.00 I think) if you buy wrist bands through the Campsite.  The oddest part of the waterpark is the hours 10-6 daily.  I was shocked they closed so early, I would have been up for another go after dinner since our wristbands were good all day.

The waterpark was a lot of fun and the weather quickly heated up to almost 30 degrees. Rain avoided! but man was it hot.  We went down a few slides and Mason seemed to enjoy the kid sized water slides and went by himself.  They even have a hot tub (and it's hot!) to relax in.  The water in the slides is quite warm and there are no stairs which is nice.  After a few hours we headed back for a late lunch.

Mason enjoying a treat from the store:

 I tried to set up the wifi but was disappointed when I realized our site was the furthest away from the router and it wouldn't connect.  When I complained to Clayton "The wifi is spotty" he thought that was a pretty silly thing to say when camping.  It was, lol.

We chilled out for the better part of the afternoon, enjoying the heat.  I opted for a nap as I was feeling pretty gross (I have Mason's cold and it's a bad one!) so Mason and his Dad headed back to the Waterpark. When they returned it was time for Mason to have a nap (hot grumpy child) which he finally did, in my arms.  At that point it was nearing dinnertime so I headed off to Chilliwack to the White Spot to get take out dinner!

After dinner, Clayton pulled out the guitar and played us a few tunes:

Then the sun set...

It started to get a bit cooler which was welcome as it was just so hot.  I couldn't wait to go to sleep but sometime in the late evening, a bunch of teenagers from Alberta showed up in the empty spot to the left of us and decided that was a good time to drink and be really loud.  I was pretty irritated.  Damn kids!

Eventually the rain came and soon after it was a downpour.  The tent held up well until the rain seeped in from the bottom and I got cold and slightly wet.  So I grabbed all the blankets and a sleepy Mason and headed into the car.  It was 6:45am.  Mason was now wide awake and all I wanted to do was sleep.  I looked over to Clayton who is in an OPEN tent in a sleeping bag with rain all around him and he's sleeping peacefully lol.

Once we were all awake, we headed to the lodge for breakfast which was made by a local German couple.  Basic eggs, pancakes and coffee type offerings.  We ate and then headed back to the site to pack up.  Had the weather been nicer (and perhaps me not feeling so awful) would have stayed until checkout and headed over to the Waterslides once again. We checked out and headed home.

The hot shower and comfy, warm bed was very welcome!


PS - There is a great article on all the waterparks in BC in the August edition of Westcoast Families.  You can read online here.  Pages 18/19

PPS - This is similar to the sun shelter that we brought on our little trip.  It is awesome for the beach or park!  Sets up like  a small tent - no tools and it's under $40.00.  You can see more details here.

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