Damara Hutchins

Bad connection with nature

My husband, Chris, said last week that I'd be discussing Flintstone Golf, but I'm not. Instead, I'll be talking about how difficult it is for people from my lineage to go camping or, for that matter, have a relatively uneventful nature outing without inflicting permanent emotional scars.

I know I'm not the best person in the world to discuss "roughing it." My ideal camping adventure would require a fully furnished tiki hut equipped with running water (working toilet) on a pristine, crystal blue-watered beach somewhere in Bora Bora. If I have to be in the woods, then I'd prefer to stay in a lush cabin or a decked-out RV. In my mind, I'm way more important than my wallet will allow me to be.

Unfortunately, the real world keeps me grounded..literally, I'm on the ground in a tent that was made for an average-sized person and their average-sized partner, not a couple of tall people and their extra space needs. We never invested in one of those huge tents because we always figured this stage of our life was temporary and we'd work our way into a camper trailer one day. We are now in our 40s and there is not a travel trailer, camper or RV happening any time soon.

I blame the children. They suck funds away quicker than a July sidewalk melts a drop of sweat. No one really has money until the children leave the nest. That is what I choose to believe so if you know any different, please don't burst my bubble.

Back to nature: my family in particular has always battled the elements. I will not name anyone specifically, but I remember hearing the stories of good intentions gone horribly wrong in the pursuit of innocent family outings.

One uncle took his family down a river in a canoe when the sky opened up with a nasty thunderstorm full of lightning and heavy rain. Being in metal boats, they decided to pull out of the water and get onshore. One of the children had to use the potty.not the easy potty, but the other one. She went down the path and did her business. My uncle then had to use the same path a little later and accidentally slipped in the pile of poo lying on the ground. Needless to say, it was messy.

Another uncle also decided to attempt canoeing, but keeping a boat from tipping isn't easy when you have a bunch of kids and a load of food. They couldn't stay upright and the food went downstream without them.

A couple weeks ago, my husband's side of the family had a gathering at Turkey Lake Park in Orlando. We were staying in two cabins with bunk beds and it was going to be fantastic. On Saturday, Flintstone Golf would be played.

I arrived at 10 p.m. on Friday night and decided to head to bed with my daughter. We slept for two hours when the puking began. It wouldn't stop.

I drove home with her at 7:30 on Saturday morning. While everyone else was hanging out and making memories, we were sitting in my ER getting a diagnosis of possible food poisoning. She was devastated.

"Why am I allergic to camping?" She asked this from the hospital bed after the vomiting finally stopped. Because we weren't meant for the rustic life, I thought to myself. I took out my phone and snapped her picture to post to Facebook. I think I'll leave that nature business to the birds.