When Jenny and I first started dating, she never ceased to make it very clear what her expectations were. One of those stipulations was that if we were to end up together, I would have to learn to appreciate camping.
Having become an Eagle Scout, I have had my fair share of camping experiences. Through the years, I have grown to have a special hate for the activity. If I have a free weekend, the last thing I want to do is sleep on the hard ground outside in the cold after walking five miles with 80 pounds on my back. Not to mention the lack of showers, comfort, good food, and being woken up at 4 in the morning to the sound of chirping birds. Oh, and did I mention that's just when the weather is good? Unexpected snow, rain, hail, etc. can only exacerbate an already excruciating camping excursion. I remember one occasion in particular in the Boy Scouts where we were trying to camp in snow caves on Lookout Pass in Idaho. It rained that night. Snow caves and rain do not mix. That, and many other experiences have led to my distaste for camping. Why spend the weekend being miserable (i.e. "roughing it") when you can have fun doing something cleaner and more relaxing?
This was not going to sit well with Jenny. Her experiences have all been good. So, last summer, she orchestrated a trip for us to the Olympics and Washington coast, much to my distaste. I wasn't helpful at all, but she pressed forward....
....and I had a great time! We had a nice, long drive towards the coast, and had one of the best burgers I ever had at Smitty's along the way. After arriving as far west as we could go, we took a short hike down a cliff to Shi Shi beach, where we did some exploring. Jenny educated me on the wonders of tidal marine life, and I had a blast prying starfish off the rocks to inspect. We later spent the night on another beach somewhere else and woke up to a sunny day and low tide that must have gone out a mile or so. I couldn't believe it, but I was enjoying my time camping with Jenny.
Later in that trip, we also took a hike to Sol Duc falls, spent some time at a hotspring (that was commercialized to be populated more like a water park), and went cliff-jumping at beautiful Crescent Lake.
When it was all said and done, I had to admit that I had a really good time and loved Jenny even more for it. Camping still isn't my preferred weekend activity, but if it's with Jenny, I know I'll have a good time. In fact, if any activity is with Jenny, I know it will be fun. She has a way of waking me up to new experiences that I learn to love.