To most of us, modern day life comes at a cost and to me, that cost is a lack of quality time with my son. Sure we bounce around each other at home, spending limited time chatting after school ‘How was school?’ ‘Alright’ or maybe a few more words in between X-Box levels – sigh. But I’m aware that I only have a limited amount of time before he becomes a teenager and hates me for a while. (Hopefully, that’s a joke) which is why we booked a boys camping weekend away with one of his closest friends and father.
As luck would have it, Mercedes-Benz had given me their new X-Class V6 to review, so even with a full complement of camping, fishing, bikes, scooters and additional underwear on board, we still had enough room for 2 adults, 2 8-year-old boys and of course a Soundcast VG7.
Admittedly we didn’t travel far (to Orewa) but this was to be more about the connection than the destination – although I have to say that the Orewa holiday park is outstanding. Our site faced the sea and was plenty big enough for two tents, a Ute and even a wooden picnic table. As the adults off-loaded the gear, the kids set off on their bikes – and so the weekend began.
First things first, tunes and refreshment. Taking up pride of place was the Soundcast VG7. It’s a hefty piece extreme audio that is great indoors but as we found out, at the push of a button, excels outside. With a 7-inch long throw woofer and 4 3-inch full range drivers, it offers 360-degree of sublime sound. I’m a bit of a Bluetooth connection type of guy but thought I’d chance my arm with NFC (Near Field Communication). Enabling it on my phone and then a quick dab on the VG7 had my 80’s music up and running in no time – it was simple.
We don’t have what you’d call a large tent but even so, erecting it was still easier with two. My son was surprisingly happy to help. Sun shining, chips and dips out, beverages flowing and music piped around our newly formed area of the world we all sat around and talked. Nothing earth shattering just four ‘guys’ sharing stories and telling tales – amazing. We spoke of school, of family and of things both good and bad. Likes and dislikes without a device in sight (I’m discounting the Soundcast as it simply added to the atmosphere). We did talk music though and I think I’m finally getting my son to appreciate the fine lyrics and beats that the 80’s decade provided.
We wandered around the Orewa Hot Rod show admiring the Classics, we swam in the sea, we fished at the inlet (but only caught the sea bed), we jumped off the dock and floated back round to the site. The boys scootered and biked around the site and on the beach, played mini golf, cricket and football. We ate BBQ ribs and talked until the stars shone brightly in the sky (the VG7’s battery life kept up too).
The two nights and nearly three days of father and son bonding was quite simply magical and an event that we are going to repeat annually (maybe even more). Being device free enabled a deeper, undistracted connection and something I highly, HIGHLY recommend.