Monday, June 22, 2015

Another "pleasant" Father's Day

This is our first official camping trip of the season. We decided to celebrate Father's Day all weekend long with family and friends to celebrate these awesome dads.

Last year I celebrated Father's Day with my dad in Italy. 

There's no card that can top that dad but Happy Father's Day anyway and thanks for driving up for some campground relaxation. 

This weekend we decided to set up camp at Pleasant View Recreation Campground in Van Buren. It doesn't make our top 20 list of family fun campgrounds but it was a ten minute drive to Tommy's basketball camp so that was "pleasant"ly convenient. 

Tommy taking a shot. 

As usual we always have so much going on at once and if we wait for our calendar to magically clear up we would never be able to camp. 

If it weren't for Tommy's camp, we would never have chosen this campground. The owners are rude and amenities were either not working or the owners just decided not to open them. The kids were very excited for the hay ride with dad but when they got to the pavilion, they were told the trailer wasn't working. Then the trailer drove right past our campsite!

It was false advertising. 

They did have Crafts with Dads so that was a plus.

Check out this carpenter's delight! 

I never witnessed it but I was told that he ended up taking the bird house back to his truck and broke out power tools to doctor it up a bit. Maybe a drill? Mitre box? It's just who he is.....which is why we are celebrating Fathers everywhere! 

Thanks dads. You put the "f-u" into fun! You take care of stuff. You are like the duct tape that holds our families together. 

This guy especially. 

For the past fifteen years I have watched and admired Dan. He is the best dad and I can't think of any other person I'd rather have raising my boys. Those of you who know Dan, know that he is truly the best of the best. 

You also know that he has a way with words. For example, if you asked Dan what he thought of Pleasant View Recreation Campground he would have said, and I quote,

"I'd feel safer if I were staying in a Motel 6 with a fist full of hundred dollar bills in one hand and crack cocaine in the other". 

(Jen-did I quote it just right??) 

He would also say that you can bet that 1 in every 5 campgrounds are shitholes. 

(Again, verbatim) 

This was his 1 so I'm feeling pretty good about the next 4 we take. 

Although the campground was a disappointment we still managed to have a great time. It's not where you are but who you're with. 

Here are some of the good times we had this weekend. 

Tommy in the treated pond, where you can find tons of these...


The set up this weekend consisted of the Williams, the Huffs, the Karnehms, my mother, and camping virgins- the Steinkes. 

Our camping circle is getting big. We might be ready to open our own campground- Hamlin Resort and Family Fun Recreation, where everything is "at your own risk" because we think recreation should be anytime. Rules are boring and we would even place first aid stations around our campground (self serving of course). 

Take a look at these kids. This is why we camp.

Thanks dads. 

Max on the jumping pillow. 

It doesn't matter how old you are, flying through air is always fun! 

Pillow fight!

Sometimes you need to bring your own fun. 

If you've never taken a ride on a tandem bike I highly recommend doing so. It doesn't matter who's in the front or the back, you both aren't really pedaling and always blame the other.

Who do you think is doing most of the pedaling here? 

Smart. You can only blame yourself... 

Looking good guys! 

Well hello childhood, there you are! Honestly I'm surprised Wii or Xbox hasn't come up with an interactive rock skipping game. It's probably only a matter of time.

Speaking of.... sometimes it's nice to have some screen time. It would be a shock to their system to just throw the kids into the outdoors cold-turkey. 


Sometimes the most important thing to bring is a grandma (and shower shoes, never forget those). 

Here's the newest camp fun game. Kan-Jam. It's kinda like Cornhole but with a frisbee. One person throws the Frisbee, aiming for the can, hoping to make it into the slit in front. Your partner waiting by the can, notices your crappy aim and then gets the chance to flick or slam the frisbee towards or into the can. The first team to 21 wins. Different "can hits" will earn you more or less points. If you are lucky enough to actually throw it in the slit, GAME OVER!!! You win.

It is almost impossible to make the slit but I'll give you one guess who did it this weekend......


Bella cheering the boys on! (Seriously, don't you just want to bite on those legs??)

Chewy and Bella (yes, even I said "awwwwwww")

Where's Bella?


While playing, The Banger Sisters came riding by on a golf cart. They were in their 60s. They were very inebriated. And I'm pretty sure they had a permanent spot at this campground. They loved Camper Dan. 

One of these ladies was slurring her words so bad but I found out later that it was because her dentures kept slipping out of her mouth (and drunk...).

Fix-O-Dent and move on Banger Sister...

Here's a picture of Dan and Gene riding around with the Banger Sisters. When the boys returned 25 minutes, later Dan told me that they rode around the entire campground and the Banger Sisters screamed "woooohoooo Dan and Gene just got banged!" 
Dan said that he's pretty sure every single person hates the Banger Sisters. After the 10th time passing our site I can see how the "woooohoooo"ing can get a little old for the other "residents"...

This is why we don't do permanent camping. We can't commit like these ladies. Too much pressure. I'll take my 1 in 5 chances. 


What's a Father's Day without a little fishing? Ellie caught her very first fish with the help of Jack and Hayden. 

You should have seen the one that got away... 

Remember walking on stilts? Kara does it like a champ! 

Lilly and Ellie swimming in the pond (with the tadpoles).

The best part of camping are Camper Dan's camper pies. If he were to ever open a restaurant the only thing on the menu would be camper pies. It's amazing what you can make using two pieces of white bread.
Pizza, ham and cheese, grilled cheese, cherry pie, apple pie, sloppy joe, Mac and cheese, and Dan's newest culinary delight, rocky road, made with peanut butter, chocolate, and a marshmallow. Yum! 

He takes a Waffle House approach. You yell out your ingredients and he makes them. 

He's kinda amazing like that. 

As I mentioned before, we chose this location because of Tommy's basketball camp at The University of Findlay. He had the time of his life. He played nine games and two tournaments. It was awesome being able to run over to the gym to see some of his games. These boys stayed in the dorms on campus. I loved hearing him tell stories about how the varsity boys took the furniture from the common area and piled them in their rooms, playing pranks, and just being boys. Tommy was exhausted by Sunday.
People mark your calendars, when these 8th grade boys get to Lehman and become the Varsity basketball team, you better watch out!! 

Warming up

Tommy with cousin Luke and BFF Danny. (Future basketball stars)
All in all, it was a great weekend with some of our favorite people. I'm glad we were able to get Dan away for the weekend Nothing says "Fathers Day" like working your ass off to set up camp for yourself. 
You're welcome.
Some Father's Day Dickel.


To all the dads out there, Happy Father's Day! Thanks for all you do to make our lives awesome. The Hamlin family salutes you.