Fernando’s Maiden Voyage!

I grew up camping with my family for 2-3 weeks every summer. We covered the entire west coast from top to bottom in that green and white Wilderness. I’ve been to some incredible places that most people will never get the opportunity to see. I’ve been to Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore and the Grand Canyon, just to name a few. Now, it’s my turn to give the same gifts to our children! We may not be able to visit all of those places but our plan is certainly to try.

We had our maiden voyage with our new camper Fernando (meet him here) this past weekend at Taylor’s Beach Campground in Howell on Cook Lake, which is about an hour north of us. We decided to try out a new local campground for our first trip out and found Taylor’s advertised on Facebook. It had a BOGO special for the month of April so we chose to book it and risk the chance of cold weather.

Taylor’s Beach is a gated campground with mostly seasonal campers and has some great amenities. They have a small beach with swimming, fishing, frog pond, horseback riding, boat rentals, large playground with a basketball court, game room, kids outdoor movies and weekly/monthly/seasonal sites. I was told that a covered pavilion and mini-golf was being added soon too. It was a great place overall even though the office wasn’t open for the season and a lot of the amenities weren’t available yet. We could see how fun it’d be once it was warmer out and wondered how crazy it’d be with a full house.

It seems every time we camp we forget something, and being the first time in the new camper I knew there would be something. I just never in my wildest dreams would have thought it would be Nolan’s shoe (though it happened once before, so I shouldn’t have been that surprised!) We left late Friday night after the school fair and the kids were on the trampoline as we were hooking up. We told the kids to get ready to go, they hopped in the car and off we went. Two out of three fell asleep during the drive and Nolan was pretty out of it when we went to get him out of the car. That’s when we realized he hadn’t put his shoes on. He’d left them in the backyard by the trampoline. Off to Walmart we went to get him another pair, oh and bacon. We forgot that too. I was more upset about the bacon honestly.

It was very cold over the weekend with temps down into the low 30’s at night and only about 50 during the day. The kids didn’t seem to mind at all. The spot we got was a lakefront site right next to the beach and across from the playground. It was awesome sitting around our fire and being able to watch the kids while they played. They spent more time at the beach and playground than at our site which was pretty rare. They only came over for boo-boos, food and sleep all weekend!

Our friends the Vincents came Saturday night with their 2 kiddos and we grilled, ate s’mores (I know, I know… not paleo or healthy AT ALL but I had to give in for this special occasion!) and talked around the campfire all evening.

We laughed at a few of the firsts in the new camper, I was the first to use the toilet. It’s pretty much like using the airplane bathroom but less scary. First tank dumping was also exciting!

First meal in it was pretty special too! I cooked the homemade pork sausage I prepped ahead of time, and scrambled some eggs for the perfect paleo breakfast.

We’re still getting used to our beds and the little noises. We feel so spoiled with all the amenities Fernando has, we stayed warm at night with the furnace, we had plenty of space for everyone and we are so in love. We can’t wait to go again!

Are you a camper and want to join us on our adventures? We’d love to find other families to camp with. Contact me at if so!

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