Cullen Family Camping Trip
Charlie insists Bella go camping with the Cullens, in order to acclimate herself with the great outdoors. After all, the Cullens are practically revered in town for their family camping trips, so they must know
what they're doing, right? *Post Eclipse
2. Chapter 2
Rating 4.5/5 Word Count 2269 Review this Chapter
The next morning, I was sitting in the kitchen, eating the breakfast Esme had bought for me, waiting begrudgingly for departure. Edward had spent half the night trying to reassure me that this wasn’t going to be nearly as bad as I thought - he was actually convinced we were going to have fun. Another one of his ‘human experiences’ he thought I should have. Hmph.
The night had been nerve wracking; the entire house was full of activity, as everyone was preparing for the trip. I don’t know how I ever managed to calm down enough to sleep - the last thing I remember was Edward humming my lullaby, so I must have drifted off at some point.
Just as soon as I’d managed to fall asleep, I was immediately disturbed when I’d heard a loud, "Beep, beep, beep!" Sitting up abruptly, I’d found that Edward wasn’t in the room, so I’d run downstairs to see what could possibly make such an obnoxious noise. As I’d thrown open the front door, I’d seen Alice, standing in the middle of the driveway, throwing various signals to some sort of large delivery truck that was trying to back in - hence the ‘beeping noise.’ Edward had found me there, staring into the night, bleary eyed, and dumbstruck.
"What’s happening? What time is it, Edward?" I’d managed to ask.
"Shhh....it’s alright, Bella. It’s just a delivery truck. Nothing to worry about," he dismissed easily. "It’s two o’clock, you need to be sleeping," he added, turning me in the direction of the stairs.
"Oh. Wait - what are they delivering? Who delivers things at two a.m.? I questioned again, pausing, sensing that something was off.
Edward sighed, realizing I would keep asking questions. "It’s a food delivery truck, love."
My eyes readjusted as I listened to his reply. I could see it clearly now - the logo on the side of the truck clearly read ‘Schwann’s.’ "What - they ordered an entire truckload of food just for me?!" I exclaimed, shocked. How much did they think I actually ate?
"No, Bella, Esme just wanted to be sure you’d be well-fed on the trip, and Alice found this company on the internet, and said it was the easiest way," he explained quietly. "You really should get your rest, now, love," he said, scooping my up into his arms and carrying me up the stairs.
"Peanut butter and jelly would have been perfectly acceptable," I mumbled, mostly to myself, silently wondering how much this new idea of Alice’s had cost.
Things were no better this morning, as Alice was chasing after each family member with a checklist, making sure everyone had fulfilled the duties she had assigned. I tuned it out; I couldn’t understand how a camping trip had gotten so complicated, and I didn’t even want to hear the things she’d insisted on being done. Rosalie was hissing menacingly at her to leave her alone, and I hoped Alice got the point before she pushed her too far.
Finally, Edward appeared in the kitchen, grinning, asking if I was ready to go. Emmett was yelling in the background for Alice to get off the top of his Jeep because it was already too full, and Carlisle was rushing through the living room to his office, mumbling something about needing more medical supplies just to be safe.
Unwillingly, I followed Edward out to the Hummer, which we would be riding in with Carlisle, Esme, Alice and Jasper. Emmett and Rosalie would follow in the Jeep; there was so much packed into the back of it, no more than two people could fit anyway. As we began down the driveway, Alice began listing off names of camp songs that we should sing on the way.
"Alright everyone, which should we sing first? Alice the Camel, Bear Song, Do Your Ears Hang Low?, Froggy, If You’re Happy, Old Lady Leary, There’s a Hole in the Bucket....." Alice continued, the list trailing on as I did my best to ignore her. Lists of lyrics were being passed to each occupant of the car. She had obviously done her research, and was trying to follow all the typical human camping rituals. I tried to refuse, but Alice promised to make my weekend more difficult if I didn’t play along. Almost instantly, the mood of everyone in the car increased to enthusiastic, as Jasper used his talents to help his wife’s current mission. We hadn’t even arrived yet, and already I was going insane - this would definitely be interesting.
An hour or so later, we seemed to be slowing down. We’d turned off the main road some time ago, and Carlisle had been carefully leading us further into the dense woods. As we approached a clearing, we came to a complete stop. Piling out of the SUV, the last of our lyrics to ‘Froggy,’ rang out in the still air.
Emmett and Rosalie were waiting next to their Jeep. "Damn it, Rose - they got to sing! I told you that’s what we were supposed to be doing. Alice gave me those papers, and some of those songs looked hilarious - we missed out on all the fun!" Emmett whined, crossing his arms.
Rosalie didn’t put much into her reply, other them smacking Emmett on the back of his head. "Shut up, Emmett. I was not going to sing those ridiculous songs," she hissed.
"Jeez, Rose...it’s just music," Emmett muttered back, then skidded away after catching Rosalie’s deadly glare.
"So, what do you think?" Edward asked, motioning with his hand to the clearing, much as a game show host would.
"Um, it’s nice?" I replied, not quite sure what to say - it was a clearing in the woods. I’d be sleeping here. Without a solid roof over my head, exposed to the elements. What was I supposed to say? The last time I’d spent the night in a tent, things hadn’t gone very well, so I can’t say my expectations were very high.
Edward told me to wait by the Hummer, as the rest of them began removing the dozens of bags and boxes Alice had secured to the roofs of the vehicles. Rosalie wandered over to me, clearly not wanting to help unpack.
As she leaned up against the side of the SUV, she flicked off an invisible speck of dirt from her sleeve with one of her perfectly manicured nail. "I hope you enjoy this, Bella. I’m not exactly looking forward to living outside for three days," she said somewhat resentfully. "Although, it will be entertaining to see how you fare," she added with a slight smirk. Our relationship had improved, but this situation didn’t seem to be helping matters. Great.
Soon enough, Edward came back to collect me. All the boxes and bags were separated into different piles, and he led me over to where we would be putting our tent. All the others were heading over to different piles of their own, and Edward said he had to go check on something, so I started to work on our pile - the least I could do is set up the tent. How hard could it be? I began rifling through the bag that contained the tent and instructions, removing various items, and setting them aside.
The diagram was fairly clear, but the instructions were definitely not. Pole A goes through loop C, crossing at midpoint with pole D, making sure it stays under the crossing point for poles B and C...... This was like a foreign language. Sighing loudly, I reached up to rub my temples, when I heard the low chuckle from behind me.
"Would you like some help, love?" Edward asked, doing his best to hold in his laughter at the scene in front of him. "I leave you alone for five minutes, and you manage to turn our tent into some kind of unrecognizable object."
I turned, ready to tell him exactly what I thought of his critique. "Well if you’re so great at it, why don’t you -" I stopped mid-sentence, completely stunned. I’d been so absorbed in my project that I hadn’t noticed anything going on around me. "Five minutes? You were only gone for five minutes?" I squeaked, taking in my surroundings.
There were tents all around me. Carlisle and Esme were on the far side of the campground, relaxing in chairs set out in front of their tent, as if they’d been done for hours, each reading a book. There was even some sort of carpet on the ground underneath their chairs.
Emmett and Rosalie were to the right of us, their site complete as well. Emmett was sitting on a beanbag of sorts, playing his Nintendo DS, and Rosalie was flipping listlessly through a fashion magazine. Their tent had a huge orange and white flag streaming from the front of it, with a big "T" on it in, presumably representing Emmett’s favorite Tennessee football team.
My disbelieving gaze turned to the left, where I was simply stunned into further silence. Alice and Jasper’s side of the campground was by far the largest, apparently with good reason. There were four separate tents there. The first was a rich magenta color, and had a sign above the entrance which read, ‘Wardrobe,’ and had glittery silver stars surrounding the letters. The second, a deep blue, held a similar sign that read ‘Dressing Room.’ The third, a sparkling emerald green , had a different sign above it - it was much larger, and read, ‘Alice & Jasper’s House,’ and had tiny hearts drawn all around their names. Jasper was lying in front of this particular tent, looking very comfortable on what appeared to be dozens of oversized pillows, in various shades that coordinated with the other tents. Alice was currently pushing a rack of clothes into the tent labeled ‘Wardrobe.’ The fourth tent, a simple white, was labeled ‘Bella’s Kitchen,’ with little apples drawn around it.
"Bella? Are you alright? Breathe, Bella," Edward urged next to me, shaking my arm gently, snapping me out of my state of shock.
"How on earth did they do all of that in five minutes? I know they have vampire speed, but come on - that’s just insane," I managed, still lost in the sight before me.
"Well, they would have helped you, but Emmett wouldn’t let them - he was having too much fun observing your efforts," Edward chuckled. Sure enough, Emmett was sneaking glances over at us every few seconds, shaking his head in laughter.
How embarrassing. "Hmph. Fine - you set up the stupid tent. I’ll be at Alice’s house," I added, stomping over the few yards that separated our camp sites. Disgruntled, I threw myself onto the mountain of pillows, while Jasper looked at me sympathetically. Edward’s laughter echoed in the silence as he began setting up our site.
Later, after Alice was satisfied with her setup of tents, and Edward rejoined me, we were all lounging around, tossing ideas out for the afternoon’s entertainment. I’d voted for staying where we were at and reading, which made everyone roll their eyes. Carlisle was adamant that it should be something real campers did - human campers.
"Well, before we do anything, Bella should see where the food and everything is in case she’s hungry," Alice interrupted. She hopped up, eager to show off her work, and dragged me toward the white tent. As we stepped through the entrance, I gasped.
There was a mini-fridge set up on one side, stocked with fresh produce, eggs, and cheese. A small microwave was next to that, as well as a table stacked with paper plates, utensils, and cups. There was a pile of pots and pans off to the side, and what appeared to be an unlimited supply of bottled water, soda, and other various drinks. A small freezer was set alongside the microwave, which contained all the meals they’d purchased from the loud Schwann’s truck.
Alice pointed out a chest with a lock on it, explaining that there were assorted cereals, chips, and other snack items in it, but to keep it locked, because of attracting animals. That almost made me laugh - like that would actually be a problem given my company. Well, one thing was clear - I certainly wasn’t going to starve.
"Alice? Half of these things need electricity to run, and we’re in the middle of nowhere. How are they working?" I asked, confused.
"Silly Bella...they’re running off a gas generator. We’ve got a few of them set up behind this tent - don’t you hear the humming sound? We got the quietest ones we could, but we had to have them - there were too many items that require power," Alice explained, as if it were a completely rational part of camping.
"C’mon guys! Hurry up - I want to go canoeing!" Emmett complained loudly from outside.
"Canoeing? I don’t think that’s a very good idea," I mumbled. I’d probably drown myself, or knock myself out with the paddle. Reluctantly, I followed a very excited Alice back out to join the others.
"Bella, you’ll be fine - I don’t see anything happening to you, so just be careful, and don’t make any last minute decisions," Alice chirped, laughing lightly.
"Don’t worry - I wouldn’t let anything happen to you, love," Edward murmured softly into my ear, as I reclaimed my place next to him. "So then - are we all decided? Canoeing is our choice?" Everyone nodded eagerly, except for myself and Rosalie, who didn’t appear to be looking forward to it either.