Easter 2015

This year Easter was different. As much as I hold tight to tradition and always enjoy celebrating the Resurrection of my Lord and Savior, there’s something exciting about breaking apart from the “norm” and doing something different. So, we did. Paul and I went camping. Yes, camping. In a tent. Sleeping in sleeping bags. With the low’s in the 30’s. No shower for 3 days. Just us and nature. And, it was fabulous! We stayed at the KOA campground in Benton, IL.

KOA Kampground in Benton, IL

KOA Kampground in Benton, IL

our little "spot"

our little “spot”

We “splurged” and got a campsite with electricity! 🙂 (And the KOA Kampground had free WiFi, so we weren’t exactly completely unplugged)!!

Thank goodness for electricity!

Thank goodness for electricity!

Putting up the tent

Putting up the tent

This is the same tent Paul took backpacking with him when he went with the boys. It’s a 3-person tent, but those “persons” would have to be REALLY SMALL!!

It was super windy!

It was super windy!

It was super windy while we were trying to put it together. It was quite the experience!! (Every couple should be required to put together a tent during pre-marital counseling)!! 🙂

our home for the next 3 days!

our home for the next 3 days!

Good Friday picture

Good Friday picture

Our “Easter” picture for 2015

A little creek that ran through the campground

A little creek that ran through the campground

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The first night we had: steak, pork chops, and grilled sweet potatoes

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Played UpWords and Paul blew me out of the water!

After a night in the tent, we started Saturday bright and early!! When you’re camping your alarm clock is the sun; therefore you get up REALLY WARLY~we were up by 6:10AM!! We cooked breakfast, had breakfast, got dressed, and were ready to leave for the day by 7:45AM! Saturday we drove over to Garden of the Gods at Shawnee National Forest. It’s a “touristy” place to go–very pretty, but it didn’t take too long to climb over the rocks, look at the scenery, etc. BUT….we did enjoy the alternative Wilderness Trial around the Garden of the Gods.

Shawnee Nat'l Forest-Garden of the Gods

Shawnee Nat’l Forest-Garden of the Gods

rocks to climb on

rocks to climb on

Paul

Paul

"the camel"

“the camel”

posin'

posin’

Paul

Paul

creek on the Wilderness Trail  (can you see Paul)

creek on the Wilderness Trail (can you see Paul)?

Jabba the Hutt rock

Jabba the Hutt rock

Paul in a cave we found

Paul in a cave we found

me climbing on the rocks

me climbing on the rocks

After we left Garden of the Gods we went to Giant City State Park, near Carbondale. Giant City State Park had several trails that you could do; we just picked two. We picked the Nature Trail and then Devil’s Table Stand.

Giant City Nature Trail

Giant City Nature Trail

cool steps b/w two boulders

cool steps b/w two boulders

Paul "stuck" between two boulders

Paul “stuck” between two boulders

they had a lot of little "crevices" you could sneak into

they had a lot of little “crevices” you could sneak into

self-explanatory

self-explanatory

do you see the "standtable?"

do you see the “standtable?”

cool steps that went to...no where!!

cool steps that went to…no where!!

Watch Your Step!

Watch Your Step!

So, after a long day of hiking, we went back to the campground. Each night we were there, we had a campfire, but the 2nd night we roasted hot dogs over the fire! They were SO YUMMY!! I love me some hot dogs!!

Trying to warm up over the fire!

Trying to warm up over the fire!

Cooking over the fire!

Cooking over the fire!

On Sunday we went to Wayne Fitzgarrell State Park and hiked about 4 miles. Then, after trying to find a restaurant that was open (remember it was Easter Sunday) we headed home!

Overall, we had a great time!! I loved the hiking and even the “camping” part, except for sleeping on the ground! We’re going again over Memorial Day with Tyler, Shannon, and their kids–so, we’ll see how that goes!! 🙂

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