Assateague Island // The Great Outdoors

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Last year, we camped as a family on Assateague Island National Seashore. We had the time of our lives, and it was my kids’ favorite thing we did, all year long. We tried to re-create that last weekend, and added my brother and sister in law and their four kids into the mix. What is more fun than camping + the beach + cousins?  It was a bit chilly, but we had a fun first night. The kids waded in the water, played in the sand, flew a kite, and patiently waited as our dutch oven chili took forever to heat up.

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We were set to have an equally wonderful time, when the wind decided that we were going to have a *slightly* different experience this year. 35 mile per hour winds + sand + tent camping on the beach don’t really go very well together. We woke up Friday morning, saw the condition of the tents in the wind, and packed up immediately.

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Heartbreaking.  Everyone was disappointed, but I was really proud of all of us–everyone had a great attitude. (Disclaimer: Saturday, faced with the camping-disaster-aftermath and events I thought we weren’t attending but did, I was less than pleasant. Apologies to my family).


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Assateague is famous for it’s wild horses. Did you know they eat poison ivy? We didn’t either.

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Still–the beach is good for my soul. Family vacations don’t have to go completely as planned to be enjoyable, and my kids won’t soon forget how they became Junior Rangers, or how our brand new tent poles *almost* snapped in the wind, or how our fire pit (and the fire in it) was completely buried in sand after 30 minutes. This is the stuff memories are made of, folks.

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  1. Emmers
    Posted May 10, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    I had to laugh, we went camping last weekend on St. George island (with our 2 year-old and 5 year-old). We had so much fun, even after it started pouring rain in the middle of the second night. Several times I was brought to tears from exhaustion and grumpiness, and several times I was brought to tears with gratitude for getting to share my life with such a beautiful family. Those wild horses are gorgeous!

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted May 15, 2013 at 12:32 am | Permalink

      This made me feel a little better about my grumpiness–family togetherness can be so great and so exhausting all at the same time. Especially when you throw in little kids and camping.

  2. Posted May 10, 2013 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    Chinocoteague was my daughter’s first junior ranger badge, and that got her hooked. What a great way of opening your kid’s eyes to outdoor experiences!

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted May 15, 2013 at 12:31 am | Permalink

      My kids loved it! They are already planning to get a Junior Ranger badge from Great Falls as soon as school is out.

  3. Crystal
    Posted May 13, 2013 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Your pictures make my heart ache! We camped there every summer when I was a child and I have taken my children there once to camp. We live a bit far away now for a camping trip, but I’m hoping to get back soon. :)

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted May 15, 2013 at 12:30 am | Permalink

      Crystal, I hope my kids have as happy memories of Assateague as you do! I’m sorry for tugging on your heart strings, though.

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