The La Grill First Camping Trip - 2008

by Robert and Monika La Grill


When we heard that the Peninsula Swiss Club was having an overnight
camping trip at the Bothe-Napa Valley State Park, our three boys were more
than ready to go. We had never gone overnight camping previously as a
family. A tent was purchased specifically just for this event. Unfortunately, we
missed the Friday and Saturday morning events due to the boys soccer
games and picture day. These events included a chance to visit the Mumm
Winery, and later in the day the ladies drove north to Calistoga for shopping
and coffee outing.
Upon our arrival at the front gate at about 5:30 pm Saturday evening, we
drove into this gorgeous park and located our camp site and fellow campers
and prepared to set camp. It was a case of extremely good luck that all the
pieces of the tent were present, and Monika and I were able to raise the tent
in less than an hour even though the boys (Louis, John and Richie) were
trying to pull us away in all directions to discover all the new outdoor
adventures that they could experience. When dusk began to settle, Monika
and Peter Ryser began the club camp fire for all families to cook their
appetizers, steaks, shrimp, and corn on the cob. Delicious figs covered in
bacon were served as hors d’oeuvres. The evening was concluded with a
traditional roasting of the marshmallows followed with ample helpings of

There were a few well learned lessons Monika and I discovered that first night
in our new tent, firstly you can never have too many blankets and flash lights;
and secondly, never expect three boys to sleep in the next morning. The sun
had not even risen when the oldest was primed and ready to go on the
Peninsula Swiss Club family hike. Sunday morning four families remained
and took part in a hike and scavenger hunt. The children were given a list of
items which they would find along the trail such as berries, trees, leaves,
animals, rocks, etc… Our adventure was highlighted by a panoramic view of
the Napa Valley if only slightly obscured by a thicket of trees. Our President,
Monika Ryser was well prepared with additional water for the children as the
temperatures reached the high eighties and Vice President Anna Ralston
distributed treats to maintain energy levels for the two and half hour hike. The
end of our hike concluded with a rendezvous at the V. Sattui Winery for lunch.
We all look forward to the next Swiss Club overnight family event.


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last updated: 27-Aug-2009 9:44 PM