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Campfire Tales: Changing My Mind

Campfire Tales: Changing My Mind

My mom always says “It’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind.” And I do, often. Just ask my husband.

What if changing your mind is more than just a fleeting thought? More than just choosing spaghetti over a hamburger for dinner. What if you actually change the way you think about the world? Change the way you think about your abilities and limitations? Change your priorities?

I love Sister Hazel’s take on the subject in “Change Your Mind.” They say, “If you wanna be somebody else, change your mind.” The album cover even has a slide on a raft! I feel like that’s a bit of the journey I’ve taken over the past two years writing this blog. My mind is changed. Profoundly. As big a part of my life as it was before — playing outdoors is even more of a priority. And I appreciate all the benefits so much more!

So much so, that even the threat of a rainstorm didn’t stop us from our weekend plans of camping out. Hard core campers might be laughing, but I want my kids to have a few more enjoyable experiences before we really start “roughing” it. Instead of spending the night in a tent from Saturday to Sunday. We took off to Doheny State Beach Friday afternoon to beat the rain — with our charcoal briquets in hand for a campfire. We’d decided to have every bit of the campout experience (minus the sleeping in a tent). We:

  • Bundled up in warm clothes.
  • Set up the tents on the beach for playing.
  • Relaxed in our camp chairs.
  • Brought way more food than we needed.
  • My 8yo dug holes at the beach, while my 4yo flitted around “camp” doing pretend chores.

We got a fire roaring in the fire pit:

We grilled up our dinner.  And then, of course, we had to have some:

We stayed until it was past bedtime (a special treat). We sang songs and told ghost stories. We watched bunnies playing in the grass. The kids led us around with the lanterns. We watched the fire and talked, until the campfire burned down to embers:

You don’t have to be a camper to enjoy time around the campfire.  Here are some more places in OC with fire pits:

  • Doheny State Beach (We were headed for the day-use area at the south of the park, but it had been damaged by the recent storms. The ranger was unsure when/if it would re-open for day-use.  So we grabbed a fire pit by the lifeguard offices.)
  • Aliso Beach Park
  • Huntington Beach (although they just temporarily removed 84 of their 167 fire pits)
  • Or check this listing of Beach Bonfire locations from

Most are first come, first serve — so either get there early or have a Plan B. Also, check for parking fees. You can buy firewood from the rangers at Doheny, or you can bring your own.


Wednesday 6th of July 2011

We've been using the beach and firepits for years, even when the day prices went up. JUST BE WARNED!!! If you leave your firepit and no friends and family are around, the Park Rangers will move your belongings to the side and when you come back the "Party is Over", because someone else has your firepit making their dinner/smores. This happened to us this summer and were my kids DISSAPOINTED! I'm looking into the rules and regulations at present.


Wednesday 6th of July 2011

Oh no! That's too bad, Lisa. Let us know what you find out about the rules.

Cher Klosner Lane

Tuesday 9th of March 2010

Oooohhh this is so nice - the bonfire pics are dear to my heart, and those smores - yumm!

Monday 8th of March 2010

Sounds fun! .-=´s last blog ..Go sugar bushing =-.


Sunday 7th of March 2010

It sounds like you guys had a lot of fun! We did something similar in our backyard during the December holidays, but I love the idea of taking the campfire experience out to the beach. What quality family time! .-= Debi´s last blog ..Fun Friday: Winter Nature Scavenger Hunt =-.

Harrison K. Long

Saturday 6th of March 2010

Thanks, Michele, for this fun post about Camping out and Changing your Mind. It's great that you and your family can experience the best of both.

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