Camping With 3 (…plus 1!)

by Lynnette

Camping, Kids, Tennessee Travel

Mark and Erin camping at Percy Priest Lake in Nashville. A few weeks ago, we went camping with our friends, Mark and Erin, plus their little one (named Sophie) and their other little-one-on-the-way (named… whatever Sophie decides to call him this week).

This was Sophie’s first camping trip. And for a 4-year-old, this was a big deal! Aside from being “broken up with” by her boyfriend at school last week, that is.

In fact, we were worried we might not find a campsite that was available close to home.

At which point, we were informed that our camping expedition would, in fact, still take place — it would just be moved to Sophie’s backyard instead!

Sophie sitting by the campfire. Our new camping friends... Mark, Erin, and Sophie.

This camping trip was happening, rain or shine… campsite or no campsite…


My Tent Is JUST Right… Yours?

Lynnette in the tent-setup phase of our camping trip.

Just for fun, we took along all 3 tents that we own. The biggest one held Jim, myself, and our big ‘ol dog, Destin.


Erin and Sophie getting into the camping spirit.

The medium one fit Mark and Erin-plus-one perfectly.


Sophie had her own tent on her first camping trip.

The smallest one was just right for Sophie, and she was delighted to have a tent of her own! It went PERFECTLY with her new white fuzzy bunny slippers and comfy pink sleeping bag & pillow.


Sophie pouting because she'd rather be playing in her own tent, but the spiders are taking over that tent...

What it DIDN’T go perfectly with was all the huge daddy-long-leg spiders that kept making their way into Sophie’s little backcountry refuge!


Sad Sophie cuz the bugs have moved in, forcing her to move out of her own tent.

She definitely had fun “playing” in the tent during the day. But when it came to sleeping, she managed to stay in there by herself for about, oh… 3 minutes! At which point mom & dad’s 2+1 tent now contained 3+1. Word is, a bigger tent is in order should we go camping with Sophie & the fam again anytime soon.


Camping… Down By The Shore

Jim enjoying the view of the lake while sitting at the campfire at Seven Points Campground.

Like usual, our spontaneity almost got the best of us again… You see, it was on Thursday that we decided to go camping on Saturday. I don’t know if it was because of Father’s Day or what, but EVERY campground at Percy Priest Lake (near Nashville) was booked solid!

Hang-tag from Seven Points Campground to remind us that site no. 33 is one to try for again in the future. Our only hope was the first-come-first-serve “primitive campsites” at Poole Knobs. Upon closer inspection upon arrival, we all decided that those sites weren’t exactly what we had in mind… it would’ve been near impossible to fit two tents on those sites, let alone three!

A phone call to our all-time favorite campground at Percy Priest (called Seven Points) revealed that there was a cancellation, but they couldn’t hold the site just for us. So we took our chances and drove the 45 minutes around to the other side of the lake.

Testing the waters... as soon as we arrived at our campsite, Sophie discovered the water, and was eager to jump right in! Mom, you SURE I can't go in??? Sophie practicing her diving.

Thank goodness we did… this was the BEST campsite we have ever had in our life! We had what seemed like miles of acreage to ourselves — thus, plenty of room for 2, even 3 tents. And the best part: this site was one of 10 sites that went RIGHT up to the water’s edge! Yep, we had our own private beach (…minus the crystal-white sandy part).


Dogs Are Fun… So Are Babies!

jim_destin_jeep.jpg Lynnette playing with Destin at the campsite. We always take Destin with us when we go camping. He’s fun, easy to control, and he has a great time.

Sophie enjoyed playing with him too.

Except for that one time when he wrapped her up in the dog leash —  just as she was running away to play.


Destin eager to go duck hunting. Destin and Sophie swimming in Percy Priest Lake... just minutes after we arrived at the campground.

This little girl and that big dog both had a good time playing in the water… And both were begging to explore deeper waters. The answer was always “No” — Sophie because she had a hard time keeping her footing on the slippery, slimy rocks which lined the shore, and Destin because he would’ve chased the ducks for MILES until he caught one!

SOPHIE: “I want Lynnette to get pregnant. Why isn’t Lynnette pregnant?”
ERIN: “Why do you want Lynnette to get pregnant?”
SOPHIE: “Cuz I would like to play with her baby as much as I like to play with her dog!” Sophie walking Destin at Seven Points Campground on Percy Priest Lake in Nashville.

…so there you have it!


Tellin’ Campfire Stories

Lynnette hanging out by the campfire. Sophie telling campfire stories. Jim hanging out by the campfire.

We stayed up fairly late on Saturday night, SOME of us were imbibing on cold adult beverages and entertaining Sophie with our campfire stories (or rather, BEING entertained by Sophie and HER campfire stories!).

This is Sophie's best impression of 'waiting patiently for breakfast'. Sophie was Jim-the-cook's assistant all weekend. She helped with breakfast in the morning, and here she's making Smores with Jim. After we woke up on Sunday, we were pretty much in lazy-mode all day long. Well, everyone except Sophie, that is.

While we were ALL hungry, no one was more anxious for those scrambled eggs (that took about an hour to cook due to inadequate campfire cookware) than Sophie was!

It was so cute. In the end, Jim cooked us up a fine breakfast buffet. I’d give it 4 stars.


Sophie was fascinated with all the ducks that kept swimming by our campsite.

Fortunately, there were plenty of ducks to distract her…

Mark feeding the ducks with Sophie watching... he feeds ducks just like he pitches! Sophie feeding the ducks while Erin watches. She and Mark spent most of the morning feeding the ducks at the water’s edge.

Then, mom got in on the action. Together, they ended up naming all the ducks which frequented our campsite!

We took a lot of photographs on this trip…


Sophie in the shadows along the water's edge. Sophie wishing she could go swimming with the ducks in Percy Priest Lake.


Happy Fathers’ Day

Sophie, the little slugger. Sophie swinging the bat in a summer game of T-ball with Dad. It wasn’t long before the wee one wanted to play T-ball with anyone who was up for it. (Daddy was the only one who volunteered.)

It was Father’s Day, so it was especially charming to watch Mark and Sophie enjoying their first camping trip together.


Mark and Sophie at the Seven Points Campground on Percy Priest Lake in Nashville, Tennessee.


So What’s With The Dryer Lint?!

A Ziploc bag full of good old-fashioned dryer lint! A point of controversy arose when my fellow campers questioned why I would go to the effort to actually LABEL a bag of dryer lint: “D-R-Y-E-R L-I-N-T”…

After verifying that they were not questioning said lint’s ability to start a campfire in milliseconds, and that they were simply questioning why I felt the need to label the lint…

I informed them that I do NOT, in fact, label all such miscellaneous items around my home. And yes, you can tell perfectly clear that this is lint, just by looking through the clear Ziploc baggie, but this Bag ‘o Lint was photographed specifically for use on our website, and the label as such was simply added for “effect”.

So there. Consider yourself educated about the proper use (and labeling procedures) of good ‘ol campfire lint!


A Good Time Was Had By All

campsite_picnic.jpg Mom and daughter having a fun time camping. In the end, this was a successful camping trip, especially in the eyes of a 4-yr-old.

Plus, it was another thing that Sophie’s parents could cross of their list of “New Things To Introduce Sophie To”.

CAMPING: mission accomplished.

(They’ll still have to work on the “sleeping with bugs” part though…)

For Jim and I, this camping trip simply gave us the itch to get back out there and camp some more!


What I Learned Today…

Perhaps we’ll try primitive island camping (minus the palm trees!) at J. Percy Priest Lake next time. That definitely sounds right up our alley! Of course, we’ll have to find someone with a boat…