Months ago I created a plan to camp the first weekend in November. The little boys were out of school on Monday because of a teacher workday and all three boys were out on Tuesday for Election Day. The plan was for a Saturday departure. (Because we couldn't leave until 5ish on a Friday and because traffic in DC is the worst on Fridays at 5ish, this made sense.) And even though we couldn't make reservations and even though only one campground in Shenandoah was still open, we were pretty sure that we'd have no problem getting a campsite Saturday.
We were wrong.
It was made even more painful because the last 0.5 mile of the drive took over an hour. Apparently half of DC decided to take a day trip to Shenandoah and getting all those cars through the entrance took that long. It was just insult to injury. After tears were shed (by me and Rhett), we knew we had to do something. Driving home wasn't an option for me. I knew that on the other side of the mountains was a town called Luray. I knew that there was a KOA down there, so down we went. But before we could reach the KOA, we saw Jellystone. I must admit, I had some serious reservations about staying at a place called Jellystone. But what choice did I have? Between that and the KOA, well, did it really matter?
And guess what? I was wrong. Jellystone, while never outranking state and national park campgrounds, will now be a Plan B or C or something. But they'll be on the list of possibilities. Because let's be honest: I have kids. And kids don't care if the campground isn't all natural. They like the bouncing pillows. They like the mini golf. They like the playgrounds and dog park. They don't like the "Goodbye Yogi" dance party (for which I am truly grateful). But they would have liked the swimming pool and waterslide. And you know, sometimes (but only sometimes) it isn't all about me.
We brought a rake. Possibly the best things we thought to bring.
Given how late it was in the season and that we'd be there after the end of Daylight Saving Time, I also brought lots of glow things. Also a hit.
Rhett really perfected his Superman jump into his leaf pile. He also perfected attacking his brother with the rake after said brother jumped into the leaf pile without permission.
Chuck and I feel like these things just showed up. Where were they five years ago? Now they're everywhere.
I couldn't get over being at a place called Jellystone.