Alex closed his eyes tightly as he tried to force himself to sleep. However, sleep was the last thing that could come to him- after all, the following day was one that he absolutely adores: the beginning of a whole week of camping.
Alex would go on a little camping trip every other month with his family into a different place each time. He was always in awe at how his father managed to find new places every time that seemed even more beautiful than the ones before it. The curiosity of what was to come next, coupled with the excitement that each camping trip brought, caused him to toss and turn till Alex finally scrambled out of bed. He ran towards his closet and pulled out the clue that his father had given him this time around. Along with being full of surprises, Alex's dad loved leaving little clues for his son to nudge him as to where they would camp that month.
He rummaged through his closet till he found this month's clue, a long piece of fabric that was neatly folded into a bag. His mother had asked him to wait till the morning since it was pretty late, but the wonder was keeping him up, and he had to know what was inside. He dragged the bag outside and began opening it to reveal the baby blue fabric. At first, he was confused because his father used to leave out little figurines or pictures but never something like this. He began opening it up and noticed a cute pattern displayed all over it. The soft cloth was sprawled with depictions of tiny sea creatures, chests, and little bottles. He even noticed his favorite animal, an octopus, and he immediately began beaming with joy as it resembled a stuffed animal that he had. Alex ran to his bed and brought it over. "Look, Squishy, it's you!" he said while pointing towards the little octopus figurine.
Within a few seconds, he heard his door slam open, accompanied by his mother's voice. "Alex!" she yelled as his face lit up in surprise and fear. "What did I say? You can't do any of this until the morning!" she said as Alex slowly turned around, avoiding eye contact. His mother stood at the door with her arms crossed, and Alex quietly folded the cloth back and messily placed it back in his closet. "Now off to bed. I better not see you up when I'm back in ten minutes," Alex's mother said as she closed his door, hiding a smile.
While rushing to bed, Alex held Squishy close to him and whispered, "I wonder what it could be." As he closed his eyes and sleep came to him, the possibilities of his father's plans danced around in his dreams. He dreamed of Squishy and the other sea creatures he saw on the cloth talking amongst each other. They seemed to be making a plan to go on a quest. All of the animals, led by Squishy, began their journey to find the lost treasure with a map they found in a bottle. Right when they were about to open the chest, Alex heard his mother's voice. His mother was shaking him while his father stood beside her with a huge grin. "Time to wake up, buddy. We're going camping today," his father said, and Alex's eyes flew open. Without wasting any time, he rushed into his closet and brought out the bag that contained that confusing cloth.
Alex's mother helped him open it up, and he saw the familiar pattern. "So, what do you think it is, buddy?" his father asked. Alex looked up at his father in bewilderment. His parents looked at each other and laughed. "It's a tent, silly. We got one just for you!" She said, and Alex began jumping with joy. He was used to sleeping with his parents in a plain white tent that always made him feel cold, but now, he could have this big one, and there would be room for Squishy to come too. "You won't feel cold in this one, especially because you've got a sleeping bag downstairs that matches this one." He added, and Alex couldn't have been happier. His parents had spent ages trying to find a comfortable tent that could help their son feel cozy every night while they camp and protect them from the intense sun during the day. When one of their neighbors talked highly of the KidzAdventure camping gear, they decided to check it out and instantly understood why so many people liked it. The Ocean World Theme Beach tent even gave Alex’s father the best idea for their next location.
"Dad, I don't understand. How is this tent a clue?" Alex interrupted. "Well, Alex, take a look at the pattern. What does it tell you?" His father responded. He sat down next to the tent and cupped his head between both hands as he stared at it. He began thinking of his dream and all of the creatures in it. Suddenly, his eyes lit up. All of these creatures belonged to the sea- they were going to camp at the beach. Alex jumped up and screamed, "It's the beach!" and ran to get his little stuffed animal. "Squishy, we're going to the beach! The big tent means you can come too. Right, mom?" He said while holding Squishy high over his head. His mother nodded in agreement as Alex danced around the room in happiness.
That day, as they drove to the beach, Alex felt as if it was the longest ride of his life. The beach wasn't very far, but he was so excited to set out his new tent and see his new sleeping bag that his parents said it would be a surprise. He fidgeted and moved around in the back seat, occasionally talking to squishy as he waited to get to the beach.
Once they had reached, Alex was the first one out of the car. "Hurry up! We need to set up the new tent," Alex yelled, and his parents laughed as they took their things out of the car and walked towards him. Alex walked behind his parents and lightly swung Squishy by one of his tentacles as they looked for a nice place to set up their tent. Alex's dad said that he could help this time which made him even more excited. When they found a good place, Alex handed Squishy to his mother and went to his father to help set up the tent. To his parents' surprise, little Alex learned quite quickly, and after watching his father do one part, he was able to follow all the other instructions nearly to perfection. Now was the time for the other surprises.
His mother pulled out a little bag that had the same pattern as the sea creatures and rolled out a sleeping bag with the same theme. Alex was delighted and quickly kicked his shoes off, spraying sand everywhere, and jumped on top of the sleeping bag. This was the perfect replacement for the blankets he used to sleep on on other trips. The interior of the KidzAdventure sleeping bag, like their neighbors, said, was incredibly soft and comfortable. On trying it out himself, Alex's father said that it was hardly any different from sleeping on his bed at home, and Alex couldn't agree more.
However, the fun didn't end there for Alex. His father handed him a little bottle with a piece of rolled-up paper inside it like the one on his tent and sleeping bag. Alex immediately opened it and knew what it was. He grabbed Squishy and set out on his quest to find the treasure. In the meantime, his parents sat in the shade of the tent without a fraction of worry in their eyes. They knew that they wouldn't have much to clean up after as usual since the tent is waterproof. So, they sat in the shade without feeling like they needed to slather on sunscreen continuously, thanks to the tent's UV protection.
Alex's treasure map had led him to a little pile of sand not too far away. He grinned as he began to dig and push the sand out to reveal a box. "We did it, Squishy! Let's go show mom and dad." He said and ran back to his parents. They congratulated him on finding his treasure as he sat in the tent with them and began to open the box. He saw the same design that he had now grown to adore and, once again, was filled with happiness. He begged his father to set it up now, and they went outside to do it together. Within a few seconds, Alex's father turned the contents of the box into a chair that was decorated with the Ocean World Theme. His parents thought that KidzAdventure had really outdone themselves as Alex jumped in the chair while Squishy bounced in his lap, yet the chair remained intact.
They spent the night around a campfire with other families that had come to camp and roasted marshmallows, told stories, and sang songs together. As expected, Alex refused to sit in anything but his brand-new chair. The family spent time together under the stars sipping drinks as a gentle breeze swept through their hair. After some time, Alex began to get drowsy and seemed to be nodding off. His mother told him that it was time to head to bed, but as much as he didn't want to leave the night sky, he was just as thrilled to sleep in his new tent and sleeping bag with Squishy.
They walked back slowly so they could feel the ocean waves gently lick their feet even though the edges of their pants got wet. Alex slowly slipped into his new sleeping bag inside the tent and held Squishy close as his mother tucked him in. He felt warm and comfortable, and as soon as his parents kissed him goodnight, he fell asleep, bringing the best day ever to an end.