Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mom Camp on the road

We took Mom Camp on the road yesterday, going to Galena, Illinois for the day.

Galena sometimes calls itself "the town that time forgot" because for about 100 years no one except the locals seemed to know it was there.

But then people from Chicago discovered it was a nice distance for a weekend getaway. And then more people discovered it was a step back into what small-town America used to be like (ideally) and they came.

It's also where Ulysses S Grant lived before heading off to fight in the Civil War, so there is a local "Grant's Home" claim to fame. In other words, there's lots of stuff to see and do and antique shops galore to prowl around in.

These days it's pretty much wall-to-wall tourists during the summer months.

We went there last year and wandered around, had a great lunch at Vinny Vanucchi's and wandered a bit more. So this year we did the same.

The food was possibly even better than last year. The wandering was just as enjoyable, though I don't quite know why Galena is always so much hotter than Iowa (at least where we live). Maybe the breeze just doesn't blow down Main Street.

Anyway, we had a great time. And no one lost any teeth.

Today is Micah the dog's 6th birthday. We are celebrating with Greenies and rawhide sticks. He's quite pleased as he thinks food of any sort is cause for celebration.

And then we are making Jeremy Jackson's sinfully rich Chocolate Sink Holes to be shared by those who join us after dinner tonight. Dinner itself is going to be at the local Japanese restaurant. I love watching someone else cook!

We are not getting any slimmer this week, that's for sure. Maybe next year Mom Camp will have to be Anti-Fat Camp.

My daughter has gone off now to revisit the Girl Scout camp she attended for many years. As a leader herself, she's intrigued to see if her memories reflect at all what the reality is.

"I remember it being soooo big," she said the other day. She's afraid it will be far littler than she recalls.

Doesn't matter. The memories are big and have lasted a lifetime.

Did you go to camp? What do you remember? Have you been back to see it as an adult? How did it compare to your recollections.

My husband has wonderful memories of a camp he attended every summer in western North Carolina. He became a counselor there when he was old enough. I never went to camp. But I remember watching Spin and Marty and thinking I'd like a camp like that!

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Blogger Michelle Styles said...

Camp is not big in Britain.

However, growing up in CA, I used to go to Girl Scout Camp and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I spent summers as Counselor In Training, so learnt useful knot tying skills as well as sleeping out under the stars and cooking over a campfire.

My sister on the other hand went to Norwegian Language Camp in MN as she did not need a flashlight. My sister was not fond of roughing it. My eldest niece is currently there.

17 July, 2008  
Blogger Margaret McDonagh said...

First of all, a big birthday hug for Micah.

I'm out of touch with what things are like now but we definitely didn't have summer camps here in the UK, not like those in the US anyway. I did, once, go for a week to pony club camp, but was horribly homesick and also dumped in a tank of waste oil during a prank session that got out of hand. Took forever to get the stuff out of my hair.

But I had to post because I just adore the comic song about the person writing home from summer camp. I have no idea who wrote or performed it but it always makes me laugh when I hear it.

It goes along the lines of: "Hello mother, hello father, here I am at Camp Granada, I am writing you this letter, just to say my compound fracture's getting better"!!!

There's a wonderfully revolting bit about the food improving "because the little black things in it are not moving"!

I hope no more teeth are lost and that the rest of Mom Camp goes with a swing.

Mags xx

17 July, 2008  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

Michelle, One of my sons went to language camp in MN -- Spanish, though, not Norwegian. He had a good time, but he's more of a camping under the stars sort of fellow. My daughter came home from her visit to Girl Scout camp yesterday and said, "It's as big as I remembered!" She was pleased.

Mags, the song's title may have simply been "Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah." But yes, I know it well. It was sung by Allen Sherman. Makes me smile when I think about it now.

My daughter went to Horse Camp at the Girl Scout camp she attended. Loved it. Met people with horses and never looked back! She rode with them for years thereafter.

No one has lost any more teeth and all is well. We've had a fab week. So have the kids apparently.

Oh, and Micah says thank you for the birthday salutations.

17 July, 2008  
Blogger Kate Walker said...

Dear Mr Micah I am a trifle late in sending you birthday salutations as befits the importance of you reaching the wonderful age of six. I am afraid I was unable to use the keyboard yesterday as My Mum (aka Kate Walker) was sick and so she did not switch on the computer which was most unfortunate upon this auspicious day.

However we are now back on line and so I can send you convivial greetings (even though you are a d-o-g) and wishes for every happiness, rawhide chews, and greenies for your birthday.

I was wonderin if you would also like a small grey Maine Coon as an extra birthday gift. I have a baby sister who is a trifle too bouncy and energetic for my liking. She is also inclined to chew my ears especially when My Mum has me on her knee and the Floozie wishes to be there instead. I'm sure she would provide some extra amusement in your house and you have great ears for chewing. I would happily parcel her up and send her Across the Pond should you so desire it.

Please send my dear LATP my best purrs and tell her I am looking forward to seeing her in September. I will, of course, test out the bed for her.

Happy Birthday Mr Micah

Your feline friend on the other side of The Pond

Sir Sidney St John Willoughy Portly-Lummox

18 July, 2008  
Anonymous Micah said...

Dear Sir Sidney
Many thanks for your birthday greetings and the offer of the Maine Coon kitten. Does she eat a lot? Because I would not like another animal here who eats a lot. It's all I can do to elbow Mitch out of the way for treats. And my mom says we have enough dogs here to fill the animal quota, so I'm afraid I must decline (though she is quite pretty, but I do not like my ears chewed, either, so perhaps not, but thank you).

The birthday was very nice -- and today we are having cake. Supposedly this is to celebrate the GlowKid's birthday which is next week, but mine is CLOSER, even though past, and since I didn't get a birthday cake then, it's quite apparent whose cake this really is. (They just don't want Mitch to feel bad).

Your friend,

18 July, 2008  
Anonymous Micah said...

ps: we all hope your Kate person is feeling much better today.


18 July, 2008  
Blogger Liz Fielding said...

My dd spent two years with Camp America as a nanny to a Camp Counsellor. They spent the summers at a Girl Scout Camp on an island near Lake Placid. The kids all drew close when parcels from home arrived. They knew there would be English chocolate. They weren't so keen on the Marmite!

One of her "little girls" came to stay with her in London this summer. She's at university in Italy. Now the dd feels old...

18 July, 2008  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

unds as if your daughter had fun, Liz! And lucky kids to be there when she opened her parcels with the English chocolate. I wouldn't be keen on the Marmite either! It's an acquired taste. No one says that about chocolate.

I remember meeting one of the 12 year old girls I taught my first year of teaching when she was 30. Yikes, did I feel old. But when I taught her I was only eleven years older than she was. Still, it does have a way of making you start checking for grey hair.

20 July, 2008  

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