I hope I didn’t keep you hanging on the edge of your seats with anticipation wondering IF we survived the tornado, IF the firefighters really did chop down the door to Room 101 and IF we really did enjoy our hot cocoa.

For those who read my post yesterday, here is the rest of the story.

We weren’t sure whether it was really necessary to abandon our campsite to avoid the impending storm. But my in-laws had already reserved their room at the brand new Holiday Inn Express right down the road, so it made perfect sense to wait out the storm there.

The weather reports now were calling for possible tornadoes and severe thunderstorms in the area until 2 a.m. So, we conceded to the weather and reserved our own room.

I was ashamed of myself for how quickly I could forget about our little blue tent and our firepit just a few miles away. The air conditioning in the hotel lobby felt unusually crisp and cool. A waterfall separating the lobby from the neat and clean breakfast area started lulling me with its soothing sounds.

Maybe my 8-year-old has been telling me too many stories of Greek mythology, but the hotel goddesses seemed to be taunting me: “king-sized beds,” “fluffy pillows,” “hot showers,” “continental breakfast,” “HDTV.”

“NOoooooo,” I screamed silently, trying to focus instead on our tent so alone and afraid all by itself in the middle of the pouring rain. I might even have questioned for a minute or two why I had EVER thought camping was a good idea when the Holiday Inn Corporation had created such a clean environment in which to spend the night. We didn’t even need bug spray.

What was I thinking?!? Wasn’t THIS the American Dream?

But the next morning, we went back to our camp site and found that our beautiful blue tent had survived the pounding rain and wind. And once I was no where near the Siren Song of scrambled eggs and granite counter tops, I remembered that I do like camping after all.

Heck. The Holiday Inn really is over-rated. Who needs a king-sized bed with stark white sheets and a hot shower when she can rest in a sleeping bag and eat hot dogs for dinner?

So, here are my top 10 reasons I like camping:

1. Spur-of-the-moment trips. We aren’t rugged campers. We usually stay at a KOA campground with a pool. And showers. So, we can visit new areas on the cheap without totally roughing it.

2. No phone. No voice mail. No mail. And e-mail only if I want it. (A lot of camp sites have Wi-Fi.)

3. Hiking and enjoying the outdoors. We try to pick camping locations that are near a state park, forest or beach.

4. Watching my kids explore the campground like it is a great new adventure. We have had the chance to travel to lots of destinations, ranging from Super 8s to luxury hotels. Camping gives our family another perspective on travel and the chance to create some great family memories.

5. Sleeping on the air mattress in our tent. Honest. I think it’s cozy.

6. Listening to the birds chirp in the early morning.

7. Making S’mores by the campfire.

8. Sitting around the fire doing nothing.

9. Catching fireflies.

10. Waking up in the morning after a big storm and seeing the sun shine again. It’s a great reminder that “His mercies are new every morning.”

So, what about you? What’s your favorite part about camping? Do you love it? Or would you do anything to avoid it? I really want to know!

I’m linking up to oh amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday today. For more great Top Ten’s, check out her blog!

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