Thursday, July 14, 2011

Las Vegas - Part one

Hello everyone,

So today I promised to write about Las Vegas and I will but in the context of “what the hell was I thinking?”  You know how some things sound really great in theory but when put into practice, well, not so much?  I’m realizing that camping across Utah is presenting far more logistical issues than I anticipated.  As you know from reading my first few entries, we’re flying into Las Vegas and renting an SUV to carry all our camping gear.  Ah, but how to get the camping gear to Las Vegas and the SUV.  We can’t exactly bring it all on the plane. Especially since the airlines now charge a stupid $25 per bag.  Sheesh, highway – or rather airway – robbery.  The company I work for ships items everyday and has a working warehouse and shipping department. I figured I’ll just ship everything from there.  Well, what does “everything” entail? Right here came the first problem.  I can’t tell you how many days it took me to pin down my husband, and not in the fun way, to make a list of what we need to bring.  We decided we’d buy some things in Las Vegas. This is how I discovered that Wal-Mart exists in the desert. My husband insisted on buying lightweight sleeping bags for summer camping despite my insistence that nighttime is actually very cold in these National parks with temperatures dipping down into the 40’s.  But don’t listen to the wife who does the research and can pull up the facts and figures. And who cares that the wife and kids are usually cold at night even when we do camp in the middle of hot and muggy summers? No, we are buying the Coleman Clear Lake 50-degree sleeping bag for warm weather camping all because the man is terrified of sweating at night.  Actually he’s terrified of sweating at night and having to throw back the sleeping bag, thus making him vunerable to snakes and scorpions.  Which brings me to our next purchase – sleeping cots. I’m actually happy about this purchase because I, too, am not fond of the idea of snakes, scorpions and other creepy-crawlies that exist in the desert.  We’re not buying a new tent, though – we’ve decided to use our current one since it’s served us well – so I’m hoping the cots will actually fit in the tent.  My husband was supposed to set it up, get the measurements of the cots and then see if there’s enough room for all four of us.  However, he never got around to it, preferring instead to “wing it”.  If there’s not enough room for all four cots, he’s the first one on the floor!

So the stuff I actually shipped included the tent and all its parts like the fly and the tarp below.  If you tent camp and you don’t put a tarp down first, you’re asking for leaks.  I also shipped the one polar fleece sleeping bag lining we have, our lantern, cooking gear like knives, a percolator, two pans, spatulas, and some other stuff I can’t remember at the moment.  I also packed our very important tent fan/light. You hang it up in the tent and you get light and air!

What we’re buying besides the aforementioned cots and sleeping bags are camp chairs, a camping stove, pillows, a funky cool Pack-away camp kitchen and some coolers.  We own most of these things already but it’s too expensive to ship them and we needed some new stuff.  Like pillows, for example.  They were cheaper to buy at $10 for a set of two then ship our own.  We needed a new camp stove and I liked the Pack-away kitchen.  That darling folds into it’s own case so we can ship that back home easily.  Food and incidentals we’ll buy when we go to the Wal-mart to pick up the stuff I ordered.  While I truly try to avoid Wal-mart at all costs, there are times when it’s unavoidable.  They have this awesome Site to Store shipping option where they’ll send whatever you order to whatever Wal-mart you choose. Cool, huh?

Okay, so by now you’re thinking I’m pretty organized, what could I possibly be bitching about?  Well, because I ordered over $500 worth of stuff at Wal-mart which I’m eventually going to have to ship home, along with the original stuff I shipped out today. And, I don’t have my amazing co-workers from our shipping department to help me out, just my husband.  He’s a great packer and all but packing a suitcase and packing boxes for shipping are 2 different things.  Now he calls me today to see about donating some of the stuff in Denver so we don’t have to ship it home.  Really? He doesn’t want to take the camp chairs or cots home!!  Okay, camp chairs are like $10 a pop but we could really use a few more.  And cots are useful for more than just camping – and they cost a lot more than $10. Whatever…….  At this point, with only a week and two days until we leave, I’ll be happy if all our stuff arrives on time and in one piece!

Okay, tomorrow I’ll write about Las Vegas and the fascinating things I have planned :)