Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"This sucks!"

It was 6:30 am and apparently I turned to my husband and said, "This sucks!"

I had lifted my eye mask and the sun was blazing through the plastic window.

I kind of remember saying it. And at that moment it really did suck.

Rewind to last week. It rained, a cold driving rain. I was stuck in winter when summer was quickly approaching the rest of the country. I told Tom that I really needed to get away.

We talked about Palm Springs and Las Vegas--both warm, both a ten hour drive. I surfed through hotels in Napa and Sonoma, everything was either too expensive or already booked.

I became more and more frustrated.

I settled on a day outing. I made a reservation at a restaurant in Napa called Etoile. It is part of the Domaine Chandon winery. It has a one star Michelin rating and I thought that at least we could drive up for lunch and lounge around Napa for the day.
It sounded good until I stumbled upon a place called Castanoa on the coast between Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay. I sent the link to Tom and before I knew it he had book two tents for Sunday night. Tents, yes. We were going camping.

I'm not sure how I got from a one star Michelin restaurant to a camp site but I did.

My friends laughed when I told them that we were going camping. Actually they laughed when I told them where we were camping. Apparently, Castanoa is considered luxury camping.

Luxury camping seems a bit like an oxymoron, but we set on our adventure not sure what to expect.

We had two tents that actually had frames and white plastic fabric nailed into the structure. There was a concrete floor and a queen bed in one tent and two bunk beds in the other tent.

Outside the tents was some firewood and one adirondack chair.

We also had one match.

But my three boys proudly made a fire. The wind was blowing rigorously off the water and whipping around our little camp site. It might have been nice if it wasn't so freezing ass cold and if the RV's were not blocking our view. But we were here and I, for one, was going to make the best of it.

Oh, did I mention the bathrooms were quite a walk from the tent. Now I don't mind peeing in the woods but this wasn't exactly the kind of place where you pee in the woods. So, if I had to pee in the middle of the night I had to walk into the bitter cold and shlep my tired old ass over to the bathroom, in the pitch black night.

I found a plastic plant drainer that looked like it would make a wonderful makeshift toilet.

When we finally went to bed, fully dressed (with long underwear), because it was so freakin' freezing, I stuck ear plugs in my ears and on eye mask over my eyes. Yes, I know, I am a princess.

All night the bottom half of me was sweating from menopausal symptoms but my face was ice cold. I could hear my husband snoring as well as the wind whipping the plastic fabric of the tent through my earplug. When the sun came up and made its way through the cracks of my eye mask, I must have turned to Tom and said,"This sucks!"

When I finally left my luxury cabin, my son had made another fire. He was very proud of his accomplishment.

We spent the rest of the day grumpy because nobody had slept well. I made everybody pick organic strawberries. And Will made us stop at the beach to fly a kite.

We were all together. But most of the time Kyle and Will bickered with each other, especially over the darn fire. Both boys fell asleep in the car on the way home.

We walked into our beautiful home and I wondered why we ever left. But, I felt more at peace. Happy to be home.

Is that why people go camping? Because they appreciate home so much more? I'm still pondering this question.


  1. Oh, I'm laughing over here.

    This one needs to be sent over to LOL. Hilarious.

    Hilarious! Yes. That is THE reason people drag their arses and go camping.

  2. I feel your pain! We went up to Vermont to watch my brother in law run a marathon this weekend. THEY stayed at a campground, in their renovated Vanagan, and we had *wanted* to stay in the campsite next to them, in tents. God was watching over us when all the sites filled up and we never got one.
    Instead we had a nice (warm) hotel with a hot shower the next morning. The walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night was on soft carpet.
    I love the outdoors....IF I've had a good nights sleep in a soft bed. I am with ya on this one, sista!


  3. OMG I'm laughing. And agreeing. It sucks. But maybe you're right. There's no place like home, right Dorothy??

  4. Ha! Reminds me of the good ol' days when my dad first taught me to love road trips. Camping out with his wife and 3 daughters was probably way too many princesses. But he took it in stride, and I'm pretty sure I may be just a little less princessy today because of it. Although my sisters would beg to differ..

  5. God, it does sound awful. I suppose it is a lesson in the grass is not always greener or appreciating what we have. But my question is why as we get older does everything have to have a deeper meaning? Maybe it just sucked and that's all there was to it. Hmmm...I'm still pondering this.

  6. LOL - you're about as outdoorsy as I am. Well, I like being outside temporarily but I have yet to sleep outside. Good for you for giving it a go. I wonder if that is what happens when you live in a household of boys. My husband and son are itching to go camping. I've been curious, but now that I've read your post, maybe I'll leave them to their boys' night out.

  7. I have no idea why people go camping - this sounds as awful as the time my family rented a sailboat (in August, in St. Louis). There was no wind, it was over 100 degrees and my mom and I BOTH got our periods (and were both taken by surprise) We didn't last the night. . .

  8. We love camping!!! But it does make you appreciate your home when you return. :)

  9. When I first moved to California I was swept into the tradition of the family camping trip. The first miserable year was Morrow Bay and by the second miserable night we were in a nearby motel. I was as much the Princess as anyone, but yeah, camping helps remind us why we humans build homes, with heat, and bathrooms.

    As for luxury camping, El Capitan is great (cabins, heat, bathroom) but just as expensive as a good hotel. I think they have some tent options there too, but I've learned my "this sucks" lesson.