The Camping Expedition

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“Hiking through desolate plains, without food, water, or shelter, a band of four brave girls search for civilization . . . Ivy Ling, their leader, urges her companions on, even though she knows they don’t have much left in them. ‘Come on!’ she shouts. ‘We can’t be out on the plains after dark. The dreaded tiger will get us!’ Fueled by fear, the girls begin to run –“

“Could you please stop, Ivy?” MJ Valdez asked, swinging her violin case. “While we don’t, er . . . have shelter, we do have food and water — don’t we Saige?” Not giving Saige Copeland, who was carrying our blue cooler, a chance to reply, MJ continued. “We need to be quiet if we’re going to find the camping site!”

The particular camping site we were looking for was not normal, to say the least. It liked to move around, the tent pulling its stakes from the ground by itself and hobbling away to a new location. To find it, you had to be extremely quiet — a soft sneeze could scare it off. We weren’t exactly very good at the whole quiet thing, what with Tracy randomly reciting the rules of different sports, Saige complaining every few feet, and me animatedly telling a story.

I was beginning to wonder if we could ever be silent enough not to scare the campsite away. Why wasn’t I asking myself if the moving campsite was even real? That ship had sailed long ago . . .

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“Are we there yet?” whined Saige.”My arms hurt from toting this cooler around everywhere . . .”

I heard a rustling sound, scrambling, then silence. That meant the tent had run away! “We almost had it!” I burst out, catching a glimpse of a tent pole hurrying away from us. “If only you hadn’t said anything, Saige.” I was beginning to get irritable from looking for the campsite for so long without finding it

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Suddenly, Rembrandt and Chocolate Chip, Saige and Tracy’s dogs, darted in front of me.

“You have no plan,” Rembrandt said in a fancy British accent.

I stared at the Border Collie, shocked that it was speaking. Then I narrowed my eyes. “You’re a Western dog, Rembrandt, and yet you’re talking like you’re British.”

“Oh . . .” The dog dropped the accent. “Well, howdy, Miss Ling, pleasure meetin’ you.”

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Tracy threw her hands up in the air. “Now dogs can talk! What is the world coming to . . .”

“Hello, master!” Chocolate Chip called to her, grinning and wagging his tail.

Tracy pulled her hair in front of her face and fixed her eyes on the ground, murmuring, “Dogs can talk . . . Dogs can talk . . .”

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Chocolate Chip and Rembrandt, side by side, led us off in a new direction, sniffing the grass. “Follow me! Woof!” shouted Rembrandt.

The dogs had already picked up the tent’s trail, and, not wanting to let our pets wander off, we jogged after them.

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We arrived at the campsite a few minutes later. A large see-through tent was set behind a fire pit and three logs that appeared to be serving as seats.

Around the campsite was a section of magic ground that, if touched, rooted the tent to its current location for a few days unless it was in mortal danger. Knowing this, the dogs sprang forward and bounded about, making sure the tent would stay put.

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The dogs barked at it, threatened to use the bathroom in it, and the tent didn’t budge. We stumbled toward the log-benches and collapsed on them, breathing hard and wiping sweat from our brows. We’d made it! After hiking for so long, we’d finally made it.

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Out of the blue, the air all around us took on a strange blue color (haha . . . see what I did there . . . out of the blue, and then blue . . .) and a loud buzzing noise, like a an army of bees, invaded our ears. Then I blinked, and I DIED OH THE DOCTOR WARNED ME it all stopped, as suddenly as it had begun. The only thing out of place was a neat-ish pile of all the camping things I’d forgotten to bring along: bedding, plastic cups, soap, a lantern, a Frisbee, and a camera.

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I scrambled over my sisters and reached the objects first, where I scooped up the camera and put it around my neck. I couldn’t believe I’d forgotten to bring the camera. It was so unlike me! But I guess that the whole idea of camping in a magical tent that has a mind of its own had freaked me out.

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I snapped a picture of MJ, who was watching Tracy investigate the stuff.

That’s a keeper! I thought, studying the image that had appeared on the camera’s tiny screen.

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I could hear Tracy playing Frisbee with the dogs on the other side of the tent — they were shouting at Tracy and each other: “I’m more important than you . . . Human, throw to me! Woof!”

I hurried over to them and documented the fun.

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When I got back to MJ and Saige, I found that the latter had started sifting through the cooler. “There’s nothing to eat,” she moaned.

I peered over her shoulder and shrugged. There seemed to be plenty of food in the cooler.

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MJ pulled a bag of celery sticks from the cooler and pointed it at Saige. “You could have packed the food,” she pointed out, popping a vegetable into her mouth.

Tracy walked up behind MJ and wrinkled her nose at the celery.

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I brought the camera up to my eye and captured the moment, Tracy leaning on her BFF’s shoulder. Another one for the scrapbook! Turning the camera off, I said, “I’m hungry. Who’s making dinner?”

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MJ kindly offered to make some eggs and helped each of us find a snack. Stuffing her face with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, Tracy told us the eerie story of the Doctor’s trip to the planet Midnight.

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A sudden chill running down my spine, I stood up and went to get a bottle of water. The apple I’d been eating was lying on the log, marking my spot.

Over the sizzle of the eggs cooking, Tracy’s low voice reached me: ” . . . and that’s when something knocked on the side of the stopped tour bus.”

Unscrewing the cap, I interrupted, “But there’s nothing weird about that. Someone was just saying hello, right?”

Tracy grinned at me, her first genuine smile of the day. I guess creeping out her little sister was entertaining. “Ah, but that’s where you’re wrong, dear Ivy. You see, the sun of the planet Midnight would turn anyone who was in its rays to dust . . .”

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When I went back to my seat, my apple was gone. It had probably just fallen off the log, but the first thing I thought was, Does the thing from Tracy’s story steal people’s food? 

I searched the grass around the log, and when I didn’t find it, I demanded, “Tracy, give me my apple back.”

“But I don’t have it!” she protested. “What would I want with your stinking half-eaten apple?”

There was nothing for me to do but except the fact that my apple was gone.

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We all had something different for dinner. Tracy ate an egg and gave the remains of her PB & J to Chocolate Chip. I feasted on carrots and a sandwich.

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MJ had tea and toast with raspberry jelly on it.

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Saige, with her PB & J and a banana, was happy to report that she hadn’t had a single vegetable all day (Tracy was eating my carrots, making Saige the only one who hadn’t had vegetables). “Caroline’s not here to make me, so I don’t have to!” she sang.

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“I’m still the oldest, so listen to me when I say this,” warned Tracy. “Eat your vegetables, Saige Copeland, or face the wrath of a very tired Tracy!”

I thought I saw some of the defiance leave Saige’s face as the eldest spoke those words.

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“And no matter how old I get, it’ll still be fun to tell!” said MJ. She handed a celery stick to Saige. “So eat.”

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Very, very slowly, hatred in those turquoise eyes, Saige raised the celery to her lips. She popped it in her mouth and chewed it up, grimacing. She swallowed, then stuck her tongue out at each of us in turn, though I wasn’t sure what I had done.

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As we ate a dessert of ice cream sandwiches, MJ played her violin for us, and, as we finished our food one by one, we joined her in singing The Campfire Song Song.

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Lets gather around the campfire And sing our campfire song Our C-A-M-P-F-I-R-E S-O-N-G song And if you don’t think that we can sing it faster then you’re wrong But it’ll help if you just sing along♪

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♪Bom bom bom . . .

C-A-M-P-F-I-R-E S-O-N-G song

C-A-M-P-F-I-R-E S-O-N-G song

And if you dont think that we can sing it faster then you’re wrong

But it’ll help if you just sing along♪

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As the campfire started to flicker out and the last rays of sunlight disappeared, we all decided that it was time for bed. While it wasn’t that late, we were tired from tracking the campsite all day, and we stumbled to the tent to spread out our blankets.

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I tripped on my way to the tent and scraped my knee. MJ put a Band-Aid on it and then kissed it, just like my mother used to do for me. I thanked her, said good night, and, still smiling from the unexpected blast from the past, entered the tent.

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With all four of us in the tent, it was sort of cramped and very cozy. Surrounded by the comforting murmur of my sisters, I snuggled deeper under my rainbow blanket. A summer breeze drifted through the open door of the tent, cooling me down.

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“The sides of tents are always really uncomfortable,” Saige complained, shifting around in her sleeping bag.

“Tell me how you know this, again?” I demanded grouchily. Saige’s voice had brought me out of my happy place.

Just as I’d expected, Saige didn’t have anything to say to that. She’d never been camping before (neither had MJ or I), so how could she have known that the sides of tents were always really uncomfortable? For all we knew, the tent could have just been fed up with Saige’s grumbling.

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Uncertain what light to read with, I grabbed all three: the lantern and both flashlights. It was only after I’d turned them all on and settled back against my pillow that I realized I hadn’t brought a book. Sighing, I switched all the lights out and waited for sleep to come.

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~Ivy~

P.S. Review of the tent coming soon! Use this link to buy the tent at Amazon. It’s called “PicnicPal.” A small amount of the purchase will support this site. And here is the Life at Camp poll . . .

The First Adventure of Mini Rebecca Rubin the First and Kelsie the Sidekick!

Hey! It’s Mini Rebecca Rubin the First here! Tracy (my owner) told me to say this . . .

Inspiration for this post goes to Madison over at Delightful World of Dolls. And, Wednesday is coming up soon (don’t know what this has to do with anything), so if you wanna send in a pic for What’s Up Wednesday, go to the “Get Featured & What’s Up Wednesday” page, found under the header of this blog with all the other pages. The theme (which is optional) for this week is Valentine’s Day. If you do send in a picture, please make sure to include a caption.

Alright . . . I think that covers everything . . . ONWARD!!

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“Let’s go to the beach!” I suggested to my Barbie friend, Kelsie.

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“That’s a great idea!” she replied, throwing her hands up in the air. “Let’s go right now!”

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I dug through my clothing bag, looking for something to wear to the beach while Kelsie gathered up a beach ball and towels.

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After I’d changed into my bathing suit in Tracy’s room, Kelsie sat down on my clothing bag and I did her hair.

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I did what Kelsie and I call a “French Crown,” though it’s really more of a braided headband.

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Then I picked up the beach ball, Kelsie held the towels, and we headed downstairs to escape the house and go to the beach!

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We tiptoed past Boo, the puppy Molly was taking care of for a few months, while he ate. We couldn’t let him see us, or else he would chase us all over the place and drip slobber on our clothes!

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Once we were past the dog, Kelsie and I dove into a pile of blankets and pillows and waited for someone to open the front door so we could sneak out to the beach.

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After a few minutes of waiting, Savannah Kingsley, the new girl, came in the door.

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We grabbed our stuff and made a run for it.

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Inches away from freedom, Savannah slammed the door shut on us.

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Momentum carried us on, and we face-planted into the door.

“NO!” I groaned. “We were SO close!”

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The giant dolly screamed when I spoke, and jumped up on the couch.

“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! IT’S TALKING! IT’S ALIVE! HELP ME, SOMEBODY, PLEASE!!”

Ivy’s voice floated down the stairs to her. “It’s OK, Savannah; that’s just the mini doll Rebecca and her friend Kelsie.”

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I scrambled up on the couch to make peace with the 18 ” invader — and her M&Ms =)

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But then she kicked me! She really, actually, KICKED me!

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Moaning, I sat up where I had landed. “What was THAT for?!” I screamed at Miss Kingsley.

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“Ew-w-w . . . it’s alive . . . and it talks . . . and it moves . . .” she whimpered, pressing her face up against a wall.

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“We’re going to the beach,” Kelsie said to the creature. “Would you be so kind as to open the door for us? We really must be on our way.”

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Savannah cautiously lowered herself onto the couch. “Um, no, I’m not going to open the door for you!” she exclaimed. “There’s several reasons why . . .

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One, it’s raining.” We glanced out the window and saw, *sigh*, that it was raining.

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“Two, you’re only about six inches tall. No way would you survive out there.” She jerked her head at the door. “Third, it’s February, cold, and, like I said before, it’s RAINING. And top all that off, WE DON’T LIVE NEAR A BEACH!!”

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With one big sigh of defeat, Kelsie and I slumped on a blanket by the monster’s huge feet.

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She pulled her feet up onto the couch — so we couldn’t tickle them, I thought.

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After a minute of silence, Savannah suggested, “You could go camping.”

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“Camping!” Kelsie repeated, perking up. “Let’s go camping, Becca! It’s better than nothing, right?” She grabbed my hand and towed me up the stairs to find some camping attire and supplies.

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Later, we were all decked out for outdoor survival, with our gear in my empty clothing bag.

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I marched toward the door, Kelsie pushing the bag after me.

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“OK, Savannah,” I said, snapping my fingers. “Open sesame!”

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“Please?” Kelsie added. She stopped pushing the bag for a second to catch her breathe.

Glancing over my shoulder, I shouted,” Heave ho, Kelsie! The wild blue yonder awaits!”

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Savannah jumped in front of the door, blocking our way. “You’ll be camping inside,” she said forcefully.

INSIDE?!” I squealed, outraged.

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I dove through the space in between Savannah’s legs. “We must escape!”

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Savannah reached down and picked me up with her fingertips.

“Let me GO!” I demanded, thumping my fists on her hand. “Unhand me, foul beast!”

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Inside,” Savannah repeated, putting me down next to Kelsie, who was unzipping the bag of supplies.

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“Come on, trooper!” she called over her shoulder as she walked back to the couch. “We’ll make this fun!”

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Soon, Kelsie and I had set up our tents and the fire place (which may or may not be a quarter).

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Then we began to unroll our sleeping bags.

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“I’m hungry,” Kelsie complained as she fluffed up her pillow.

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“I’m hungry,” I echoed.

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“We’re HUNGRY!” we exclaimed together.

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Savannah sat on a blanket on the floor next to us and passed us a container of M&Ms.

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We rushed forward for the chocolate. Kelsie popped the lid off and stuck her head into the jar. I tugged on her legs, trying to pull her out.

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Savannah unwrapped a bar of dark chocolate and licked it, watching us in obvious amusement. She finally helped me get Kelsie out of the M&Ms jar when she started drooling on the chocolates.

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Soon after, Savannah drifted off to sleep with a notebook lying on her chest, and a half-eaten chocolate bar stuck in her hair.

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And that’s when our fun started >:) We found Savannah’s laptop and watched scary movies on Netflix.

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We dragged a pillow over to the couch and skydived onto it.

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We even drew on Savannah’s face >:) She would wake up with one giant green eyebrow and a purple mustache. What we didn’t know was how much trouble we’d be in once she woke up . . .

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Finally, we settled into our sleeping bags.

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“This was really fun,” Kelsie whispered to me. “Can we do it again some time?”

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“OK, sure,” I said, nodding. “I guess it was pretty fun.”

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As the fire flickered out, we drifted off into the land of dreams . . .

Ivy’s Trip

Hi guys! I went on a camping trip, and yes, I brought a doll, and yes, a brought a camera. Ivy was the chosen as the ‘happy camper.’ I got back Wednesday night, so OOTW will probably be next week again. Sorry 😦 Now I’ll let Ivy tell you what happened 🙂

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Hey yo!

It’s me, Ivy! As Loren already said, I went on a camping trip!

Let’s start at the very beginning, shall we?

DAY ONE

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When we first arrived at our camping spot, it was very bare and naked. So I decided to help by . . .

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Taking a selfie! Woo-hoo!!

Oh, uh . . . right.

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The great way that I helped was by setting up the tent. First, I put tent poles together. But I did not do it alone. It is really impossible for a wee 18 inch doll to set up a real human tent.

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Next, I put the pole into the tent.

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Once the tent was up, I went inside! Here is a comparison between my shoes (Right), and Loren’s shoes, (Left). Humans have such big feet!

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I dragged my clothing bag into the tent. Why couldn’t those silly humans help me? To them, my bag would be nothing, but to me, it’s super heavy!

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I put my bag down next to Loren’s, and looked around for something to do.

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And that’s when I saw it — books!

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I spread them all out on the ground, and read the titles. Fudge-a-mania, Double Fudge, Mia, Bravo, Mia and Phantom Stallion — Mountain Mare.

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I decided on reading the ‘Mia’ books, and the Phantom Stallion one. I found a stack of pillows and climbed up on top of it.

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I finally chose to read Phantom Stallion first.

I guess I fell asleep, because Loren woke me up later and told me that we were gonna start making dinner, and that I needed to find some wood for the fire.

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So I went outside and put my shoes on.

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I walked all around our campsite, picking up every stick I saw, that I could pick up.

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I walked to the fire ring and put my sticks down.

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Then, I saw this thing that people cook stuff on over the fire. I couldn’t help picturing myself being roasted.

Loren came up to me. “Ivy, do you think you could find some more sticks?” she asked.

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I climbed up the rock wall that surrounded some of our campsite. There was a little trail that led off into the woods, and I had gathered all the wood in the campsite.

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I pulled myself up onto a rock, and found that I was breathing hard. The simplest tasks for humans are hard for us dollies!

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Then I turned to look at the trail. It was steep!

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“It’s now or never,” I told myself, starting the climb.

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After five minutes of trying to get to the top, I was crawling on my hands and knees. But, I had finally made it!

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I sat down on a tree root, my breath coming fast. As I gazed down at the campsite, I felt slightly angry. Why couldn’t Loren have gotten more wood? It would have taken a human only a minute to climb the trail. I, on the other hand, had taken five minutes.

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Okay . . . let’s get started, I thought, heading into the woods.

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In a few minutes, I found a log. I scrambled onto it and started balancing.

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I walked along the log, pretending it was a balance beam.

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I sat down when I reached the end of the log. I had been having so much fun, I forgot what I was supposed to do!

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Then I slipped, and fell to the ground!

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I checked myself for wounds. Only a few scrapes.

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Then it hit me. Wood! I had to gather wood! I jogged back to the trail.

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I picked up sticks along the way. I was running now.

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As I reached the trail, I tripped on a tree root!

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I slid all the way down, just managing to stop my self before I flew off the rock wall.

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I hadn’t lost my sticks on the dirt-slide! I combined my piles of sticks and threw them into the fire.

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I felt just a tiny bit sad as the sticks crackled and burned. It had taken me so long to collect all of them!

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While I was waiting for dinner, I read my book.

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I got bored, so I wandered over to where Loren’s mom was cooking something. I tried to help, but I was shooed away. Sigh.

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I was still bored, so I walked up and down the picnic table. And then I saw it.

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YES!!!!

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I started opening one bag of chocolate-y goodness. Have I ever told you that I have a sweet tooth?

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But I was shooed away from the M&Ms, and given a bag of carrots.

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The carrots weren’t that bad, actually. They were kinda sweet.

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We had hotdogs for dinner! I insisted on roasting my own 🙂

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Once my hotdog was ready, dinner was served! Yum, hotdogs and Kool-aid!

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I moved my cup off the plate, because Loren’s mom said to. She also said that a surprise was coming!

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Here’s the surprise! This is the best way to eat apples EVER! You cut the apples up, cook it with butter, and then when the apples start to get soft, you add brown sugar and cinnamon!

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YAY!!!!!

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I dug right in.

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Yummy yummy hotdog!

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Loren took some pictures of me, so I guess it’s like a two photo photoshoot.

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What good camping trip doesn’t have s’mores?

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After dessert I went into the tent and set up my sleeping bag.

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Once that was done, guess what I found under Loren’s pillow? The ‘Mia’ books!

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I read for a while and then . . . well . . .

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Yeah, I feel asleep.

On to the next day!

DAY TWO

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The next morning when I climbed out of the tent, the light was so perfect! But . . . I didn’t really notice the light, I was too busy being hungry xD  (But isn’t this pic great??? I love it 🙂

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When I got to the picnic table, guess what was waiting for me? MINI DONUTS!!

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Heh, heh, heh!

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LOOK AT IT!!! IT’S SO PERFECT!!!

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Sweet Mama!

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Once breakfast was over, I got changed into my gymnastics uniform. It’s so comfy! I go to Pine Valley Ridge Gymnastics 🙂

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Because there was talk that we would go to the beach, I had my flip-flops handy.

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Since those humans were taking so long to get ready, I did a little bit of gymnastics. First up, straddles!

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Then I did a handstand.

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Still in my handstand, I decided to do some crazy stuff with my legs! I tried lifting a hand up, but the didn’t work so well 😉

Loren, her mom and brother went on a hike, but I had to stay behind because my little legs wouldn’t be able to make.

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When they FINALLY got back, we headed down to the beach!

Woo HOO!

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 Uh, I guess it’s not a beach after all. It a lake. 😮

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Well, I ran down onto the sand, and spread my towel out.

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Sunbathing! 😀

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Once I got tired of my skin/vinyl melting, I walked down to the water.

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The water wasn’t very nice there, so I walked down the shoreline, looking for a place to get in.

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Then, I found a very nice looking spot to swim!

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At first I just waded, ’cause the water was kinda cold.

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When I was used to the water, I swam some.

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After I dried off, I went exploring around the lake! I went to a piece of land that stuck out a little into the water. (BTW, I love this picture!)

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After our lake adventure, we went back to the campsite. I saw something in this backpack!

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Yes, YES!

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I opened the bag and poured it’s contents into a bowl.

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They’re kind of odd-looking, right?

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Well, that’s because Loren’s mom put the M&Ms bags in a cooler, and water from the cooler got in the bags. But I think the bags look kinda neat! Tie-dyed, almost.

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After I ate almost the whole bowl (Yummy!), we had to pack up camp. I rolled my sleeping bag up.

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And then I stuffed it, my pillows and other belongings into my bag.

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Then I went out and sat on the truck while camp was being packed up. Overall, I had a great time! Although it was hard to go to sleep, because I’m from San Fransisco and the woods are nothing like the sounds the city makes at night! It had very different sounds, yes, like crickets and owls and other birds.

Here are some bonus pictures that I (Ivy) took!

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If you know me, you know that I like photography. But only taking pictures of animals. But on the camping trip, I took pictures of other things!

Like lots and lots of trees xD

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Flower 🙂

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There were deer tracks in the sand!

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Well, bye for now!

Ivy