‘A not so happy camper’

It’s only been a few months now since we moved to Atlanta and it brings us all good things.
The sun is out and this is the season for us to get outdoors and enjoy all of the amazing things the city has to offer. We have nice weather, made new friends and the club is a nice homey environment.
But as we all know, Georgia has more to offer than only Atlanta.

From day one, people told us we had to go to the mountains.
So, when my husband got a few days off, we decided to make a road trip to the Northeast Mountains in Georgia. And to make it a real adventure…we thought it was a good idea to go camping! It will be our first camping trip in at least 15 years. Camping is good for the soul and builds character “they say”, so we loaded the car “a la father- in- law” (a very good packer), picked up our English friend and also teammate of my husband and off we went.


The GPS guided us into the mountains very quickly and without us knowing took a shortcut…eeeekkk!!! It reminded me of many years ago when we had the greatest idea to take the “Route Napoléon” in the France Mountains, which from the French Riviera to the Southern Pre-Alps (202 miles).
Our parents told it was good for our education to experience it…
Yeah thanks again for that! It was fun for the first 30 minutes, but after that we had to stop on every curve because I was so sick. We were stuck for 5 hours…if not longer…on those mountains!

We said to each other “never doing that again!”

So, unfortunately for me…we were in a same situation… only a shorter time.


When we finally arrived at our destination all cranky, it started to rain a little bit and to make matters worse…my husband noticed the tent wasn’t in the car…yeah you read it right…there was no tent!!! Who goes on a camping trip without a tent…we do obviously! Not so happy campers at that point.
It’s a long story how that happened, but because of that we will remember this trip forever.
We all can laugh about it now, so no hard feelings towards anyone… Well maybe just a little.

So, here we were in the middle of nowhere with no service on our phones and no food. We had to find a town nearby to buy a tent and some food. Because we came from another side with no stores whatsoever, we didn’t know there was civilization at the other side of the mountain. So luckily for us, we were only 20 minutes from a place called “Helen.” It’s a re-creation of a Bavarian Alpine village, complete with cobblestone streets. I totally understand it’s a tourist magnet, but I think the real Germans would fall off their chairs if they knew how it is represented.
Don’t get me wrong…I loved it! It was so stereotyped Bavarian that it was super funny, but it was a bit creepy at the same time.

helga1 helen

We did some grocery shopping at their local store and asked everyone who didn’t look like a tourist if there was a place to buy a tent.
When we finally found a store, the sun started to go down and we all got in a light panic with the thoughts that putting up a tent in the dark wasn’t a talent we wanted to discover.


To make it easier for all of us we got a “5 min tent setup”… super easy, but not like I remembered from years ago… It eventually took us 15 minutes and it was done before it got super dark. Yes indeed…a proud moment!

Our tent setup experience reminded me of a similar situation when we decided to buy an IKEA closet and put it together as a couple. We did that one time and NEVER again!
So, if you survive “the test”… you will have a happy future… if not … Good luck!
So couples…just a little advice…buy a 5 min tent setup!

We all slept sort of good that night, but we woke up in a different reality. First of all, being placed next to a stream is not the best way to go and fall asleep. I think I woke up every hour with the feeling I had to go to the restroom and then those bugs around us were NOT normal size bugs! Spiders looked like dinosaurs, snake skins as long as a hose from a backyard and ants as big as rats, not to mention the black bears and other animals that we had never even heard of at school in biology class, who walked freely behind our tent. So happy I didn’t decide to go out of the tent that first night.

But ‘the staff’ assured us, that if we would leave the animals alone they would not harm us…

Uh ok?!…Great! We’ll do that…if I don’t trigger them with screaming and running!

That day we went to a “famous” 200-foot waterfall called Enota, which was near our camping spot. It was beautiful and such a mighty powerful feeling to just stand there.
The guys and my daughter took a dip in the water and they had the time of their lives.
As usual, I was the one who had to hold the clothes, cameras, and backpacks.
The things I do to see the 2 loves of my life happy and well… the English guy is cool too!

foto 3 (16) foto 1 (17)

After that great experience, we decided to go back to our tent and have a BBQ.
How cool is that… just sitting on our chairs by the campfire, we threw some meat and sausages on the grill then sat some more. Loved it!
The most special moment for me was the campfire. We had nice conversations with a drink in one hand and a stick with marshmallows in the other. My daughter couldn’t stop smiling.

The next day we went back to that little place called “Helen.” The guys went tubing, for those of you who don’t know what tubing is…it’s a recreational activity where an individual rides on top of an inner tube on water.


My daughter and I decided to go sightseeing instead. Yeah what can I say…
I had a great time, but this is way too touristy for me! The best part of the day was that we found a real Dutch store with way over priced stuff! You gotta love that as a Dutchie.

A Karvan Cevitam lemonade bottle (all Dutch people will know what that is) for example, was over 15 dollars and in our country it costs maybe like 3 dollars. Not even going to start talking about how highly priced the souvenirs were.
But because it was so Dutch I gave my daughter some history lessons which I’m sure the people inside the store branded me with “being a crazy person.”

front of the store foto 5 (9)

To pass the time before the guys came back, we decided to go and sit at a live music band cafe where we had a nice German pretzel. My daughter danced for over an hour in a puddle in front of the singer…I think if I had put a hat in front of her we would have done great business together.

When we all met up again, we went back to our camping spot to have our last day of vacation. Same ritual as the day before…BBQ, campfire and marshmallows. Perfect ending to a perfect get-a-way.

I also realized something about people who hate camping. It’s not so much that you hate it…it’s more that you’re just really, really, really not good at it.
I think for us… we did a good job for beginners, but it’s such a hassle for so little. Maybe because we only spent a few days in the mountains it looked like a big effort, but if you stay for a long time…I totally get it.

Only time will tell if we ever do it again…

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Here a video of our trip.

4 thoughts on “‘A not so happy camper’

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