36 – glamping

Right after coming back from Portland, the whole family went glamping. Let me explain glamping – it’s glamorous camping. It’s camping for people who don’t really like camping and like conveniences like indoor plumbing, a mattress, room service…or as Shannon likes to say, it’s like a nice hotel room in the middle of nature. It’s also convenient. It’s great for when you want to rough it, but not really. This is roughing it for those whose sheets have threadcounts north of 300.

Let me preface everything by saying that prior to kids and marriage and general adulthood, my idea of camping either involved a battle buddy and FTX (field training exercise, for you non-Army speakers) or a backpack, a sleeping bag and small shovel (the bathroom key) followed by a hike to BFE (yet another Army acronym, but you’ll have to figure it out on your own).

So, instead, we went glamping in Santa Barbara. What follows is the travelogue again. Next week, I swear, only one picture.

Anyway, I think that if we’re going to ‘rough it’ once a year, then glamping rules. It was a bit pricey, but it was comfortable, far enough away that we couldn’t just drive back home, and the kids had fun. Here they are enjoying the loft in the cabin (they’re looking down at me – and I was looking up):

We explored a creek on our first night and Matty only kind of fell in because a fly was buzzing around him. Before that though, he was quite the intrepid explorer and managed to hop from rock to rock without getting wet. Sara, on the other hand, had me puckered up because she was trying to copy her big brother. Here they are before the rockhopping curiosity manifested itself:

We also had smores that night. The kids loved being by the fire and making smores. I loved eating them. I should mention that our glamping included a “smores package” consisting of everything required to make smores – including firewood, matches, and a blanket.

We also managed to have a quick hike and go to the beach on the next day. It was nice to have El Capitan Beach within walking distance and it was nice to enjoy the sun and sand before Autumn comes and it gets too chilly.

The second evening was topped off by an early campfire with smores. Since the sun was still out, it was much easier to start the fire and the kids got to explore around our cabin. They had fun collecting acorns and making the ‘perfect’ marshmallow. I burnt all of mine, which is just fine, since I like burnt marshmallows with my smores.

We then finished our trip by going up to Solvang and getting Danish pancakes, cookies, and olives. The trip to Solvang was a fitting end to our glamping and this is why – Solvang isn’t really Denmark. I highly doubt that every street in Denmark sells overpriced trinkets, but for someone whose only knowledge of Northern Europe comes from Ikea, then Solvang makes for a pretty nice day trip.

Similarly, glamping isn’t really camping. Everything was made to give the illusion of roughing it, but the amenities and the rustic accoutrements were too sanitary – kind of like the fence in front of our cabin:

Sure it looked old and well-worn, but upon closer inspection, the screws in the fence posts looked new and those leaning fence posts – they were put in that way.

Whatever. We spent time together as a family and it exceeded our usual 20 mile radius from Irvine. Would we do it again? The 25% off coupon for the next stay makes me say that I’m 25% more likely to say yes.


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