Rain On Memorial Day Weekend? What The….

What is up with the weather? We’ve gone camping on Memorial Day weekend for several years now and this is the first time we experienced rain! And no, not just a little moisture in the air or a fleeting sweep of droplets on the field. No, this was a full-on rainstorm. Aaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrgh….

First I’ll say this. We are car campers. I’ve never been the type to load up a backpack with the latest in freeze-dried cuisine and hiking gear only to trudge into the woods for several miles before pitching a tent for the evening slumber. Nope, not me. I enjoy the outdoors but I have rather strict limits when it comes to a bit of recreational camping (emphasis on the recreational). So when it came time to consider starting a fire to warm us up and barbeque our meal, we were not at all motivated or inspired. The thought of trying to start a fire in the rain and then eat our meal inside our tents was simply not appealing.

Bittersweet Cafe,” I suggested. It was the best local restaurant I could think of at the moment. Truls was right there with me. He did not want to cook either.

Palapas Mexican Restaurant,” answered Dave, a friend of ours sharing the warmth of our heater and the desire to get out of the weather.

Whichever, it didn’t matter to me. Anywhere other than our campsite was good for me. Palapas was much closer than Bittersweet Cafe, so that was our collective choice. We rallied Dave’s family and another to take off.

There was a 1 1/2 hour wait at Palapas and the nearby Chinese restaurant was buzzing with people. We ended up at the Village Pizza and Grill. Warmth and hot food. Yes! Unfortunately, the rain was still going when we finished our meal. We then discovered the row of arcade machines in the back of the pizza place and that became our rain avoidance plan.

It was 10:30pm before we left the restaurant. Many bills had changed into quarters over the course of 3 or so hours. But our planned had worked. The rainstorm was over. Whew! Now to see what became of our tents.

Our site had a nice thick canopy of trees where we pitched our tent. We weren’t very worried. Though the rain was steady, the downpours didn’t last that long. Our tent and everything inside it was dry.

Did I mention that this was the first time camping experience for one family in our group? The family is from Turkey and it took some strong arguments to get the husband to agree to the adventure. Needless to say, they joined us at the restaurant. All through dinner, they called nearby hotels for openings. Unfortunately, most required a minimum 2-night stay because of the long holiday weekend. In the end, they decided to brave it out and go back to their tents to sleep. I’m certain they’re glad they did.

The next morning was glorious. Clear blue skies. Not a single cloud marred the view. The kids freely sped their bikes along the dirt roads. No vehicles are allowed inside the campsite so none of us worried about kids getting hit. Instead, we relaxed by our fires, eventually gathering our things for our beach day.

The rest of our stay was uneventful and just as relaxing as we’d hoped. Manresa State Beach is a fabulous campsite with clean, modern facilities. We can see why these sites fill up within a few minutes of the seasonal reservations system opening.

An original post to It’s Never Easy But It’s Always Fun blog.


4 responses

  1. Love your post! For starters, we love Manresa SB. Camping and beaching all in one! Your photos are gorgeous. I feel like I am there! I totally get the newbie experience. Our first time camping (as a couple, not a family) was in Big Sur. Dh and I spent one night in a tent, the second night at the Marriott in Monterey! For years that was our version of “camping” – one night outdoors and one night at a hotel! Then along came our kids and the outdoors finally won out. Glad to hear you all stuck it out with such glorious results!

  2. Thanks, Patty! Unfortunately, those sites fill up so fast. Not a bad plan, though – one night tent/one night camping. I could get used to that. hahaha But yea, with kids, it’s nice to have that open space for them to run around. hahaha

  3. Hehe, I think you left out one important part, those 3 brave families that stayed and endured all the rain, while you were inside having your dinner. 😉
    LOVE all the pics!

  4. Monica – hahaha You are right! I was so focused on our own misery, I didn’t mention the other BRAVE families that stuck it out that night in the rain. Then again, you guys were already on the ball with your campfire already made and ready to go before the downpour began. That may have made us think twice about leaving to find dinner indoors if we were as settled in…then again, maybe not! 😉 hahaha

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