My First Camping Experience
Everyone remembers their first travel experiences, whether it was their first time traveling, visiting a new destination, doing a new activity, or staying in a new style of lodging. For me, it was my first time going camping. This experience, this trip, is something that sticks with me to this day. A good story of the trip is something I’ve attempted to recreate many times with my family.
I did not grow up camping. My camping days were spent in a house. My sister and I lived in New York City, about 5 minutes from her family in Rochester, NY. Once or twice a year, we’d go visit them and spend a whole weekend in a leased camper mom bought in Rochester. We had our own beds and were the only kids in the house when we utilized it for summer camp. We were in our early twenties but yet children.
My first trip was not camping either. It was a family vacation to Canada. For some reason, our family got the all-familiar invitation to a camp on an island. What island we didn’t know, probably Bermuda. We did know it was off the coast of the Grand Banks, Canada’s southernmost island. Something about a “fishing trip”, “expeditions” or some other phrase that got passed on from one person to another until finally arriving at our family camp. It was a fun trip and we did fish, however nothing to speak of was fishing.
The trip was fun. We got to stay in a cabin on the island. They gave us ice-cream cones and candy while we ate sandwiches and waited for the ferry to come. We also played on a beach. We were told that even though the water was still, it would be a good time to play in the waves. It was good, but nothing to write home about. A fun trip, yes, but nothing to write home about.
My second trip was a real camping trip. There was beer, sandwiches, cookies, nachos and whatever else you could think of for lunch. The food on this trip was something special. A homemade bread, a homemade sauce, a homemade cheese and a homemade bread. Everything was real. Real vegetables, real meats, real bread and not a single snack chip in sight. It was a very serious trip, however we all did an excellent job of disguising it.
My sisters and I did a good job of keeping our voices low, however, I will never forget my brother’s response when asked if he could play the violin. He said he could play just fine. I do not think I will ever forget his response. His face was the expression of someone who could not believe his ears. How could he believe his ears? That was the expression he gave me and he was absolutely right. The food and the ambiance was perfect. We did not have our instruments, so I think we did a pretty good job of not pretending to be a musician.
That trip was interesting, yes. Fun, yes. Interesting, definitely. The reason that I am writing this story is to try and get everyone to be aware that something may be amiss. Something is not right. When we went on the trips I felt like we were the only ones without our instruments.
The last trip we did was with our teachers and the teachers were extremely upset. They just did not feel like giving us our instruments back. I asked them why and they told me they did not feel they could give us their instruments away. What I did understand was that something was amiss and it was that they did not feel like giving us our instruments back. I felt we had a pretty good trip, all things considered. But when you are looking at all the opportunities to have fun and relax and learn and grow as a musician, there were just some things missing.
When we did the next trip, instead of going to Mexico City, I went back to Atlanta and we did the trip to New Orleans instead. That trip was pretty good as well. That trip we went to Houston, went to a flea market in Houston and found a piano. Our teacher saw it and picked it up and gave it to us, which was pretty cool. We played a few keys on it before returning home.
After New Orleans, we went to Panama City and played on the piano at a historical museum there. That trip was fun, too. After that we went back to Atlanta, went to Orlando, Florida, and spent the weekend at our friend’s house in Orlando. That trip was pretty good too. The only thing I would change about that trip was the restaurant. It was a fast food place, which for a pianist is very limiting, especially with the limited time we had.
That trip was the only trip I have taken that did not include the violin. That trip did not include the violin because I was told it was more difficult to transport and put together than the piano. I had to physically take the violin out of its case, find a piano that fit its dimensions, and put it together. As soon as I put the violin back into its case, I began enjoying it again.
So for this trip we went to Myrtle Beach and had a great trip, again. It was fun to travel with the kids there, too.
These trips did include other great opportunities I have not talked about. One of those opportunities was a trip to The New River Bird Sanctuary in South Carolina. That place is amazing. I still remember sitting in the hot sun inside of a semi-circle with my son and the sun. It was so amazing to see. To have the kids there too, was great. It was nice to be able to share the experiences with them. As a musician, you want your family to be a part of it as well.
I have enjoyed taking this trip, too. It gives me a chance to play with the kids in a different way. We are trying to encourage them to be involved with the piano. So far, so good. My son is starting to get involved as well.
Those trips are great, too. They get expensive quick. And you have to find piano lessons, too. I am going to see if I can save some money by getting a cheap violin for the trip and just buying lessons on a regular basis, myself. But still, it is great.
So the trip to Myrtle Beach has been great, too.
There are other opportunities as well. But these have been our favorite so far.