Have you ever taken a country boy to the city? They stand out like hunters orange in a sea of Ponderosas. Well I took my country boy to Miami this week… Let me tell you what…It was pure entertainment gold.
I should have been wiser and checked his suitcase before we left to ensure that he did not have a suitcase full of camo, hiking boots and animal calls, but I didn’t. There is where our story begins.
The day has arrived and it is time to go on our sunny Florida vacation. The outdoorsman is wearing jeans, a flannel shirt and boots. I figured he just was wearing this since it is cold here and he would change upon our arrival to the beach. Wrong, but I didn’t know that at the time. We board the plane, which the outdoorsman really does not enjoy traveling unless he is seated behind the wheel of his mud-crusted 4×4 truck. Needless to say, he was not impressed by the miniscule amount of leg room he had, the half cup of Bud Light or by the teeny, tiny bag of peanuts he received. I think he expected a Lazy boy recliner, a tall boy ice cold Bud Light and a bag of jerky. I’m not really sure where the complaint comes from considering he crams himself into duck blinds, rolls around in sagebrush and hangs out of trees in order to hide himself from wildlife. You would think that an airplane seat would be fairly comfortable comparably. Wrongo…I had to listen to huffing and puffing and ride with half of his upper body overflowing into my seat for the entire ride.
The real fun came once we arrived in the city. We had reserved a rental car and it was not a truck. In fact, the only remaining car was a teeny, weeny BMW. The outdoorsman does not drive BMWs. He grumbled and mumbled stuff about feeling like an idiot as he parked his flannel clad butt in the driver’s seat. I have to admit. He looked a little funny and very uncomfortable sitting there. I usually am a little afraid for my life when I ride in the outdoorsman’s truck, but I know that when we do eventually crash from his deer distracted driving, at least we are in a big truck and we have to be fairly safe. Now we were in a tiny car, and the distractions came from lines of traffic and cars zooming around us going 80 mph. His head was spinning and there was a lot of swearing going on. I was afraid, very afraid. A BMW has very touchy pedals. That little car hauled butt and once the outdoorsman figured it out, I just knew we were going to die. There was no grill guard and we were about a foot off the ground. I kept envisioning someone scraping me off the road. This was no truck and outdoorsmen need trucks.
Now, you can put the outdoorsman in the middle of God’s land and he will be able to march straight to the nearest city, guided by the caveman GPS located in his brain. To me, all the trees look the same and I do not notice the shape of mountain tops and landscapes. I could get seriously lost in the woods. You put an outdoorsman in the city. He is helpless. We drove the same route from our hotel to the beach 4 times a day and by the end of the week, he still had no idea how to get from one place to the next.
We make it from the airport, to the rental car to the hotel and then it gets weird. The heat was sweltering, only to be beat by the severe humidity. I loved it. I had on shorts, a tank top, and flip flops the second we hit our hotel door. The outdoorsman, being a true mountain man, insisted that he was “fine” wearing jeans, a camo t-shirt, and boots. I ask him if he has shorts or anything resembling summer clothing. Nope…I check his suitcase to make sure…Nope; it is full of jeans and camo. He says he doesn’t need anything besides what he has got. Ok…..Whatever you say honey. We head out the door to check out the city and the outdoorsman’s head about snaps off as he sees men in skinny jeans and Speedos. He is blushing and grumbling, meanwhile, I am cracking up. I think he is a little afraid that the men in their shorty shorts are “checking” him out, but I’m pretty sure they are just amazed at the rugged brute wearing jeans in 100 degree heat.
After the outdoorsman has about had a heat stroke, we head to dinner. Lucky me, he happens to spot some pelicans walking around near the sidewalk. He begins “calling”. Someone kill me please. The pelicans obviously do not respond to this strange screeching and continue on their merry way. But everyone around us is staring. They are probably wondering where the hell we came from…Montana. Howdy!
If you have ever been to southern Florida, you know that there are gators everywhere. The locals do not even notice or care. I am freakkiiingg out!! The outdoorsman spots one and decides to go all “Crocodile Dundee” on its ass and tries to chase it down. Of course, it quickly slides into the water and escapes. Thank God! I really do not think that we need to have a gator mounted or get new cowboy boots made from the skin, which is exactly what the outdoorsman says would have happened if he had caught the SOB.
We finally arrive at the restaurant for dinner…the outdoorsman’s eyes are rapidly scanning over the menu and he is near panic. There is an assortment of pates, cheeses, and girly looking dishes. His stomach is rumbling and he wants steak and taters. Thankfully at the bottom of the menu, there is a prime rib with potatoes. Phew!! There might have been a scene and then we would have been hitting up McDonalds for the biggest burger they could muster. Oh, yummy, fine dining at its best…
Well…after a week of days filled with near death BMW experiences, insulated camo hunting pants, pelican calling, unsuccessful gator chasing, and steak only restaurants, we head home.
I am warning you…you can take a camo man out of the woods, but you can’t take the woods out of the camo man.
Kristen Berube lives a crazy, laugh-filled life with her outdoorsman husband Remi and their three camo-clad children in Missoula, Montana. A graduate of Montana State University and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, she loves being a mom and enjoys hiking, fishing, and camping. “Confessions of a Camo Queen: Living with an Outdoorsman” is her first book. –
It is available for purchase at: