The raccoons drank all our wine!

Two weekends ago we spent the weekend out at Tyler State Park with our neighbors, the Tarver family. It was their daughter Elena’s birthday and she wanted to go camping. So our two families went together, along with Elena’s grandma who already lives out in that area and their dog, Daisy.

We had wanted to stay closer to Austin, but there was a burn ban in all the nearer areas. And because you can’t go camping without a camp fire (you can, but it wouldn’t be as fun…) we made the 4 hour drive out to Tyler, TX.

This happened to be one of the coldest weekends of the year, so we were all a bit chilly when temperatures dipped into the 20s the first night and remained in the 30s the second, but we managed to stay fairly warm and still have lots of fun. I was the only one who got sick on the trip and had sleepless nights coughing all night long (but I still loved that we went!)

We had 2 great campsites on the water, one for the Tarver family and one for the Van Vleets. The bathroom was just a short hike away for easy access to the potties. Each site had electricity and running water which made camping a bit easier when it came to washing dishes, and we were able to plug in electric heaters to keep our tents comfortable at night. Now some may call that cheating when it comes to camping, but our intentions weren’t to ‘rough it’ and when you are car camping, you have the luxury to bring just about anything you want!!

playing and fishing by the shore


The first night we realized we had some neighbors living in the brushes near the water that was next to The Tarvers campsite. Now I just have to tell you right away that Rob’s major at A&M was Recreation, Parks and Tourism Sciences; he actually got credit to go camping! So I am not sure if he didn’t take ‘raccoons 101’ or he thought the “don’t feed the animals” sign at the front entrance didn’t apply to parks and rec majors. But whatever his reasoning (or lack thereof), he thought it would be fun to encourage the raccoons into our camp. It was entertaining while we were all awake. But that night Oakley, Ray Ban, and their fellow coons had one heck of a party after everyone turned in to sleep!

We had packed up all the trash and used a bunjee cord to lock down the main food cooler. But we left the boxed wine out on the picnic table and only turned the small cooler, the one that contained the half n half and the milk, on its side. The Tarvers heard those coons going crazy while laying in their tent late that night! And the next morning, Rob and I came out to discover a complete mess by the table! My precious half n half had been shredded and they had consumed the remaining wine, leaving their merlot covered footprints all over the table. This was the one time on that trip when I was not a “happy camper” because if you saw this post, you would know just how dear wine and half n half are to me : )

tent time

Rob’s mom gave us an 8 person tent for Christmas so we were able to all stay together in one tent, rather than separately like we did on our Colorado camping trip back in August (this post tells a bit why it didn’t work out so well…)

The girls are all there, you can see them if you think about the hands on a clock and then look for Halle at 9:00, Dee at 12:00, and Gracie at 5:00

food and dishes

camping fun

we are all looking a bit haggard after only the first night…

We are trying to plan another trip again soon before the advent of Texas heat approaches and it is too hot to go camping in Texas. This is just so much fun!!!

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3 Responses to The raccoons drank all our wine!

  1. foo.c says:

    The dog ate my homework!


  2. jvanvleet says:

    I still like your comment that it was really Whitney who drank all the wine! I still laugh just thinking about that

  3. Nonnie says:

    I so love seeing these pictures! and perhaps rob’s family is at fault over the raccoon feeding … in connecticut we had a mom and three babies that we feed throughout one entire cold winter … and this past week, eli and I hand fed a young squirrel in one of the boulder parks … it just is a ‘bad’ ingrained habit. I’m surprised that, after making happy with all that wine, they didn’t try to just climb into the tent and sleep it out next to you!!!

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