Monday, July 26, 2010

I Won't Grow Up

Monday, July 26, 2010

We have a tradition. One I inadvertently started about 7 years ago. Each year I take the kids "camping". Why the quotes? My idea of camping is probably a lot different than yours. We have a nice cabin known as a villa. It has air conditioning for the summer and a beautiful fireplace for when we choose to camp in the fall. It has running water, queen size beds and two TV's, which we only turn on in the morning to watch country music videos while cooking breakfast. So, you know...CAMPING!

Each year we have a great time and bring back a bundle of memories. This year was no exception. I'd like to share a couple of the best parts from our 2010 Jellystone Camping Trip.

Saturday evening we were all sitting around the campfire cooking burgers, brats, dogs and chicken when the foreboding clouds started to roll in. We'd been hit two nights in a row with TERRIBLE thunderstorms. Milwaukee was totally flooded and many have lost their homes. Granted, we were three hours away, but the thunderstorms were almost as bad. We decide to move dinner into the cabin and scramble to get all the food and drinks and children in. But wait! We didn't roast marshmallows yet. The raindrops start to fall and I yell for the kids to bring the mallows before the fire goes out. They laughed and laughed at the mad dash to cook as many as we could. No lightning, no thunder, just rain. So I decide it's time for a rain parade. I ran to the truck and grabbed 4 umbrellas. Why would I have so many? For just this very reason. The other adults love the idea so they also grab umbrellas from their cars. We take off our shoes and splash our way up and down the cul-de-sac, singing Elvis and The Judds the entire time. I only wish I had pictures of this. Our colorful umbrella parade is seared in my mind, never to be forgotten.

After about an hour the rain stopped and we got the fire going again. At about 11:00 we put the kids to bed and then my friend and I (let's call her Teri because that's her name) decide that we are going to go on a mission. You see, Teri just bought one of the cabins and she needs more landscaping. We tell her sister that we're going to go dig up some plants. Her sister laughs and says we'll get arrested. We say "No way. We'll be very covert."

(Me and Teri in front of our cabin)

Now Teri has 2 sons, the oldest is 21 and the other 18. They both brought friends and they were all off riding bikes, but we knew they'd be back soon. So here we are, creeping through the wet grass and over to Teri's new cabin (2 doors down). Teri proceeds to lay on the ground and roll up her sidewalk while I crouch between cars and laugh so hard I wet myself. I'm trying to keep this story short, but it's just too funny. She grabs the shovel from her porch and beckons me over. I walk as low to the ground as possible. Side by side, we tip toe between the other cabins. Oh, no! People are still awake. Time for the sniper crawl. Picture both of us on our bellies with a shovel and a poking stick (and for some reason, Teri also has a spatula) in tow, crawling under the windows so we're not detected. I told you...very covert. We make it two blocks over to the ghost town portion of the grounds. After the recession hit, some of the villas haven't been rented out, but things are looking up!)

Now one would think that if you want to make sure a building is unoccupied, you'd quietly peek in the windows. Oh, no, not Teri. She walks up and knocks on the door. I tell her that she's lost her mind and a good burglar would never knock. She says, "Good point." We look around to see what plants we want to steal. Of course we're not really going to do it. That would be wrong, but no way are we going back empty handed. Teri asks me for my hat and after I say what for, she snatches it off my head and puts it on the shovel. She said it's for her new friend. So now it's me, Teri and her new friend making our way back to her cabin. When we get there we grab the two potted plants she had bought at Wal-Mart earlier, put the shovel back and then creep around the back of the cabins. Two doors down and we can hear her sister and the boys on the front porch. Picture this, folks. Teri and I put the potted plants in front of our faces and pretend we are moving plants. It takes forever before they finally notice (I can't believe they didn't hear us laughing) but when they finally do, it was well worth it. They laughed and laughed and laughed and begged for us to take them on our next excursion. They said they had no idea we were so cool. They still thought we stole the potted plants which even added to our coolness. I confessed about an hour later because, well, stealing would be wrong.

The best part? It gave me an idea for a new book!! Major bonus!!!

So how about you? What's the most childlike thing you've done recently?

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi


Mary Jo said...

Move over, Angelina Jolie! Elle is on the prowl. Way too funny. :-)

Child-like adventures? Moi? If I told you, I'd have to kill you...or something to that effect. :-)

Krys said...


Absolutely hilarious! If only more parents would be like you. I know this might come as a big surprise, but I do childlike things almost every day. I talk to our daughters (3 of them, of the feline persuasion) and I give them 'zerberts', or 'raspberries', as some people call them. They've gotten used to it so it doesn't have the same effect that it used to.

My wife and I usually go outside our apartment every night to talk and when we walk back to our door I'll walk a half step behind her until she realizes that she's being followed. Closely.

Beth Ciotta said...

All I can say is YOU are one of a kind. :)

SIS Beth

Tori Lennox said...

Hey, that's my kind of camping!

And what a hoot your secret mission was!!!! :)

Elle J Rossi said...

Mary Jo,

If you have to kill me off, please make it towards the end of the story. I would hate it if I only made it a chapter or two!

Elle J Rossi said...


I still call them 'zerbets'! What fun for your kitties.

Um, when do you think Wendy will catch on?

Elle J Rossi said...

Aw, shucks, Beth. You say the nicest things. Don't tell me you wouldn't have joined in the covert operation. I know you would have done it and been laughing so hard you snorted!

Elle J Rossi said...


As far as I'm concerned, that is the only way to camp! And you can just call me Tomela Cruise!

Mary Stella said...

I would so go camping with those kinds of accommodations. Loved the idea of a rain parade.

Come to think of it, I've sort of paraded in the rain with Sis Beth. We got caught in NYC one night during a downpour and couldn't get a cab so we had to walk all the way to the bus station. I started singing songs about rain. Considering that I don't like to sing when anyone can hear me, that's evidence of how I was trying to keep my mind off the fact that I was soaked .. and that I would remain soaked for the entire three hour bus ride back home.

SIS BJ said...

Hi Barb

Very funny. Wish I had been there to see it. I would have wet my pants along with you.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a blast. Wish I could have been there.

SIS Bren

Elle J Rossi said...

Nice visual, Mary Stella. I would have been laughing my arse off. That is until I had to sit on the bus. Ugh!

Elle J Rossi said...


It was way too much fun. Perhaps next time I'm home, we can get into some trouble????

Elle J Rossi said...


It was a blast. Next time you're in Peru, we'll go on a covert mission together!

Alyson Reuben said...

You're much more fun, Elle, if you don't grow up! Something about your story makes me think of the original Parent Trap movie w/ Haley Mills. Guess it's the skulking around the cabin part;)

Edie Ramer said...

That's hilarious! Alyson is right. It does remind me of the original Parent Trap movie.

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