Someone needs to explain to me why, after oh-so-many decades of pampering vacations, I suddenly decided camping was a good way to relax. Because apparently, I don’t know myself.
This year, obviously, regular vacations are stymied. Just thinking about flying on an airplane brings on a mild panic attack and screams of “social distance!” and “masks!” Don’t even say the words “amusement park” unless you are covering your ears to protect against shrieks of fear. So my husband and I came up with a plan to go camping. You know. With tents. Surrounded by trees. With outdoor restrooms and showers.
I had an image of a peaceful communing with nature, far from “the madding crowd.” Just like those rosy pictures on the packaging for tents and air mattresses. So we bought all the equipment. We set up the tent in our back yard as a test. We inflated the air mattress. I decided I needed to work more on my core strength that I would obviously need to stay on said air mattress. One move by either me or my husband causes the whole thing to dip precariously. Who needs a roller coaster? Just buy an air mattress and set it up in your back yard.
We made a campsite reservation at Put-in-Bay for April. It was still open, despite COVID-19. Two days before we were to go, a horrible storm hit the island, downing trees and forcing closure of the camp site.
We were not deterred from our new adventure-seeking.
The next step was picking out parks for our outdoor adventure. Looking at websites, we landed on Buckeye Lake and Mohican Park. We discovered they have tiny, one-room cabins with beds and AC. They don’t have bathrooms or kitchens, but hey … AC!!!! The cabins are actually at KOAs near the parks. Feeling a little bit like my grandparents, we reserved a cabin.
Last week, we excitedly drove for our first of two KOA adventures. We lasted one night out of the two reserved. It wasn’t necessarily the cabins or beds themselves that sent us fleeing. We actually brought our air mattress to put over the bed. And the cabin was sparkling clean.
No. The deal breaker was boredom. We went to the pool. OK, that killed two hours. We drove to Buckeye Lake, and like in the movie “Vacation,” stood there, with arms linked, admiring the view. That killed another hour.
We went back to the cabin. My daughter drove up from Athens to join us. She and I walked the dogs. Twice. We ogled elaborate RVs in the park. Scoffed at one setup that included a fake, lit-up palm tree and LED strobing lights. We then went to bed, desperately clinging to my laptop live streaming news.
We woke up, frozen from an over-zealous AC unit, and stared at each other. Bored. I suggested we go home and forget the second night. I was greeted by a chorus of cheers.
We have reservations at another KOA next week at Mohican. We will give it a shot. It has putt-putt, a pool, canoeing, tubing and other opportunities.
Hopefully, we won’t be bored.
I yearn for the day when I am comfortable again at a Fairfield Inn or Springhill Suites with their free breakfast and comfy beds.
More power to you campers out there. Not sure you can teach this old vacationer a new vacation trick.
Contact this reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 440-871-5797.