Two City Girls Go Glamping

We just got back from our first camping trip!! I wasn’t sure if we two city girls can handle the sleeping in the tent thing so this trip was for just one night. And we had a blast! But before I share our first camping trip, I need to share our glamping trip. Some of you might be wondering what is glamping? Well, according to the Oxford dictionary, glamping is:

A form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping.

Back in April, we tried this glamping thing near Warner Springs, CA. It was a warm-up for our first camping trip. I figured if we hated glamping, camping was out of the question. I found this place on glampingwithpets.com. I liked the idea of tent-cabin so I booked for two nights. Somewhere between tent and cabin. Sure, that sounds safe to try. 

The place was very cool and had a great view! There was no other campsites around us as it was at the border of the Cleveland National Forest. The host’s house was down the dirt road and we were alone in the woods. It was relaxing and peaceful. 

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0288.JPG

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0277.JPG

20170409_180946

glamping-5

Do you eat or do you dine?

20170409_185910

Daytime was great! Nighttime was definitely out of our comfort zone though. Oh boy, so much for a relaxing getaway. 😅 We maybe had 2 hours of sleep on the first night. It was cold and I couldn’t get comfortable but it was mostly due to unfamiliar noises from the wildlife visitors throughout the night. Who was on the top of the tent? And who came to the deck at 2 am and scratched the outside of the tent? We could hear the nails as it moved. The grill screeched against the wood floor as the animal moved around. I imagined this would be what would be like to do primitive camping. Animals come to your campsite middle of night for food. BUT WE WERE GLAMPING! Xena and I stayed still in the bed in fear. Every part of my body was alert. I watched Xena for a cue but I could see that she was watching me for a cue. Are we in danger? Do you know?  In that moment, it was clear neither of us was brave enough to look out to check out the situation.

IMG_20170422_165743_442

Shouldn’t you go out and check on the noises or something?

When the morning finally came, we were a bit tired but felt better that we had the warmth from the sun and were alone again. After breakfast, we went into Warner Springs for hiking. I will save that for another post. Daytime was great again.

glamping-15

IMG_20170414_145130_129

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0360.JPG

In the evening though, we had a mouse fiasco in the tent while we were lounging. I drove Xena and the mouse into a full panic attack with my screams. I had to force myself to stop screaming because Xena started to shake from the stress. Once I stopped screaming, the mouse found its way out of the tent. It couldn’t wait to get out. Haha. I left the deck light on this time and hoped no creatures visited us at night so we can get some rest. It worked.

glamping-14

“Mo” the lizard. This dude came in every morning when I opened the tent and pooped on this rug. I didn’t realize glamping requires lizard poop scooping.

After cleaning after Mo’s poo, we went for a little hike near the campsite before we headed home. Never hiked on a private trail before. Very cool! Even though I was tired from not sleeping well for two nights, I wasn’t discouraged about camping. A camping tent is totally sealed and nothing can come in once it’s zipped up. We should be able to sleep better as long as I managed the cold temperature.

Needless to say, Xena and I slept like a baby in our own bed that night. Once the shock from the wildlife visits was lifted, I was ready for a real camping trip. In fact, I am actually glad about the experience we had on this trip because it prepared us for our first car camping trip. It made the car camping felt like a breeze!

Never Stop Exploring!

Lake Poway to Potato Chip Rock

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I tackled the next trail on my winter hike wishlist.

Location: Poway, CA

I packed plenty of water for both of us as I knew there would be no shade on this hike. When I arrived at Lake Poway park just little before 7:30 a.m., there were plenty of parking spaces but cars were constantly coming in. After using the restroom, I followed the crowd to the trailhead hoping this would be a better experience than my previous hike in Whittier.

The trailhead was located next to the Lake Poway concession which wasn’t open yet.
Lake Poway Trailhead

Lake Poway Trail is family-friendly and it goes around the lake. Portable restrooms and trash cans were available in multiple locations.
Lake Poway

However, once you take Mt Woodson trail towards the Potato Chip rock, you will be just surrounded by nature.

Even though the temperature was in the low 40s that morning, bright sunshine kept me comfortable. It was a beautiful clear day.

For the most part, the hikers and trail runners were friendly and considerate for others but we did run into couple of hikers playing music loudly on their phones here too. At one point, we were followed by these two girls chatting up loudly about the date one of them had the night before in details. TMI! Oh gosh, I really didn’t need to know that! 😳 From what I can tell, the friend wasn’t comfortable with the details either. 🙂 Luckily, we were able to either pass them or let them pass us and didn’t have to run into them again. That is a good thing about hiking a trail rated moderate to difficult. Everyone has their own pace and luckily our pace was faster than theirs. We weren’t always surrounded by other hikers either. I was able to enjoy the scenery, peace and tranquility.

When we reached at the Potato Chip rock, there was a group of people on top of it. Perfect. I was going to see someone jump over the gap like I read in the reviews! I am afraid of heights so I was anxious to even watch someone jumping over the gap. Why..

Potato Chip Rock

My plan was to see the Potato Chip rock and turn around. According to the reviews, the peak was anticlimactic so I wasn’t interested in going up another mile or so for no good reason. The views were amazing on this hike from beginning to end. This is not an easy hike but doable. I think the most challenging part of the hike is the heat. Just bring plenty of water and you will be fine! Overall, I enjoyed exploring Lake Poway and its trails. The 2nd trail on my winter hike list was a winner! 😄

More details on this hike:

  • Trailhead:  14644 Lake Poway Road, Poway, CA 92064
  • Distance:  6 miles total – Out and back
  • Elevation gain:  1454 feet

Happy Hiking!

Eat, Play, Relax in Del Mar

Driving to San Diego on Black Friday wasn’t so bad. I set the radio station to 103.5 and sang along to the Christmas songs for 2 hours. First stop was Burger Lounge in Del Mar. It is in a strip mall so I was worried that I would have to fight against mad shoppers for a parking space. I ran that morning so I was especially hungry when I arrived at the mall. I want FOOD! As I turned into the parking lot, a space just opened up. Score!

I asked a staff if they had a little bowl for Xena and this is what he brought out for her! He must have checked on us 3-4 times. I was happy with both food and service at Burger Lounge but I found the place too loud and busy..

Next stop:  Del Mar North Beach (aka “the dog beach”)

After paying $1.50 for an hour parking on the street, I grabbed Xena’s favorite orange ChuckIt ball (the kind that whistles) and we headed to the beach. Xena was so excited, she couldn’t contain herself.

Throw it! Throw it!! Throw it!!!

At first, we played fetch away from the water. Tide was still on the high side. Xena’s not a water dog yet (even though she is part lab) and we ALWAYS lose a ball to the ocean. No joke. ALWAYS. This time wasn’t any different. Xena thinks the game we play at the beach is, I throw the ball and she rescues it from the ocean before the waves swallow it first. She wanted me to throw the ball close to the waves. First two throws, she won. But the 3rd time, the ball bounced off her nose and fell in to the ocean. She ran around to see if she could get closer to the ball but the waves kept taking the ball in to the ocean further away. Within 3 minutes arriving to the beach, she lost her favorite ball. We both stood there silly just staring at the ocean. I couldn’t believe it! We walked back to the car and I felt bad for her.

Amazing thing about dogs.. They truly live in the present. Sure, they are emotional creatures but they mastered the art of letting go. She was not fazed by losing her favorite ball. I was more upset. She had already moved on. Her tail was wagging and she was smiling up at me. She was just happy to be spending time with me. Such love is simple yet very powerful because it’s pure. I had a moment of reflection.

I grabbed a plain old tennis ball from the trunk. Good thing I packed multiple balls! Once she saw another ball in my hand, she was super excited again! We went back to the beach and played more. I will learn to truly appreciate the simple things in life.

Next stop: HYATT house San Diego/Sorrento Mesa

For guest staying 1-6 nights, there is a $75 non-refundable pet fee.

The hotel was located in the business area. Since it’s a holiday weekend, the nearby streets were empty and quiet. Vincent at the front desk welcomed us and kindly reminded me of the pet policy. He handed me a door tag to use when Xena is in the room by herself then he added with a smile, “We’d like all our hotel guests to enjoy their staying here at Hyatt house.”

Xena was allowed everywhere in the hotel except the restaurant. Even though she wasn’t allowed in the bar, Vincent called the bar ahead (without me asking first) so Xena can accompany me to the bar to get a glass of wine to-go in the evening. Thanks, Vincent!! The room was clean, modern and comfortable and the bathroom was luxurious. I will definitely stay there again! My only regret is, I missed their free full breakfast buffet next morning (7am – 10am) due to my plan. It is supposed to be great accordingly to reviews on travel websites. Next time!