Monday, October 18, 2010

Annual "Camping" Weekend - 2010

We just returned from our Annual “Camping” Weekend. Quote marks around the word camping are necessary because, well, there is no actual camping involved. There never is, yet we persist in calling it our Annual “Camping” Weekend.

I think in the beginning, a little hiking might have been involved, but that was before my time. And some years we stayed in a cabin at Mohican, which was maybe a little more “rustic”…but still. There was a hot tub at the cabin, so that’s not exactly roughing it.

This year we returned for the second year to Indian Lake and there were eleven of us overnighters with several day trippers visiting on Saturday. We stayed in two connecting condos with six bedrooms altogether so no one even had to sleep on the floor in sleeping bags or on air mattresses.

Plus, there were curtains on the windows – doesn’t exactly scream camping, now does it? And we had cable TV. So we were only roughing it if you consider that it was basic cable with no premium channels. Some of us were probably going through ESPN withdrawal, but the rest of us were busy playing cards and drinking beer and weren’t paying a whole lot of attention.

So it was a great weekend. Our Friday night theme this year was “The 60s” so we all wore our best tie-dye, love beads and headbands to hold back our long, scraggly hair. (And if we no longer have long, scraggly hair we supplemented our follicles with groovy wigs, man.)

We ate chili and talked and laughed and made inappropriate comments, which ended up in our Quote Book. I usually have more than my fair share of quotes in that book, but this year I must have been exceptionally quiet and/or polite as I wasn’t quoted even once. Most of the quotes usually start out innocently enough, but this crowd jumps on anything that smacks of double-entendre. Thus, the need for a Quote Book. It is kept from year to year, too, so there is no escaping past embarrassments.

My food responsibility this year was a breakfast egg bake for Saturday morning. Since I wanted to have fun Friday night, we were proactive. The night before we left Vince and I premeasured and cut up anything that needed to be measured or cut up. All I needed to do Friday night was plop everything in the baking dish and then get up Saturday morning to pop it in the oven. No problem. Plus, I make these egg stratas all the time, so I figured it was a piece of cake. Piece of egg? Something like that.

After my partner Ellen and I finally lost a game of Euchre (after hours and hours of beating the boys), I decided it was time to put the strata together. I pulled all the ingredients out of the fridge…and only then realized I’d forgotten to bring the container of eggs. O.M.G. That’s the MAIN ingredient of this stupid dish! How could I have forgotten the eggs??

Deciding that 1AM and several beers later was a little too late and a lot too risky to go out in search of eggs, I put the dish together sans eggs and set my alarm for early AM to get up and find a store.

Vince woke up when my alarm went off and he asked, “Do you want me to go with you?” I answered his question with a question: “Do you want to see me again anytime today?!” To which he replied, “I’ll get dressed.”

We left and I said “Don’t we want to turn right?” Which, naturally, was the wrong direction. Vince just laughed and said, “Janie – why don’t you let me do the driving?”

So we found an IGA a couple miles up the road, purchased our eggs and made it back to the condo in time to get the strata in the oven before all the campers stumbled downstairs in search of sustenance and a little caffeine. Or, depending upon how many beers they’d imbibed the night before, a LOT of caffeine.

Fortunately, we had the coffee pot on perpetual perk and, while we waited for the breakfast bake to bake, we also had some tasty treats like powdered sugar donuts, peanut butter cookies and Twizzlers to snack on.

Clearly, healthy eating is not part of the equation on these camping weekends. Someone did take a stab at it and brought a bag of apples, but I’m not sure if anyone actually ate one since the bag still looked full by the end of the weekend.

The only downer the whole weekend was watching the Buckeyes lose Saturday night. We all wore our best OSU gear and walked over to Froggy’s to watch the game where Buckeye nuts abounded. There was so much scarlet and gray in the place it was enough to make your eyes water. Alas, the loss to Wisconsin was the real reason eyes were watering, but we sucked it up and finished our evening trying not to think about it by watching cheesy – yet funny – movies like Hot Tub Time Machine and playing more card games.

The saying on Sunday is: “Get up. Clean up. Giddy up.” So that’s what we did. We took the obligatory group photo, settled up the tab, split up any leftover food, said our goodbyes and hit the road.

And thus ended this year's Annual "Camping" Weekend. Great friends. Great times.

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