Camping for City Girls (and boys)
I've been dying to plan a fall trip to the Catskills over Columbus Day weekend--actually, let me rephrase that: I have fully planned a fall trip to the Catskills over Columbus Day weekend that is still pending approval from my decidedly more outdoorsy travel companion, who remains unconvinced that staying in a hipsterfied motel and having dinner at a Gramercy Tavern-alum's fancy Phoenicia restaurant is the best way to do a mountain weekend.
I, of course, think my imaginary itinerary sounds like a perfect autumn escape from the city: a scenic drive upstate through the Hudson River Valley, Sunday morning spent browsing the Phoenicia Flea, diner breakfast food comas, afternoon hikes, trees with fire-hued leaves, dinner at Peekamoose, beers by a bonfire, and a place off my dream weekend wish list to rest our heads.
Having already conjured up this very specific vision of the trip in my mind, you can imagine my reaction when it was suggested that maybe instead of posting up at a camp-inspired hotel we go for the real deal and...actually camp.
If you can't imagine my reaction, I'll help you out. Here are some things I like: sleeping in beds, electricity, fancy toiletries in tiny bottles, gazing up at the stars for about 20 minutes and then going inside to watch a Law & Order marathon. And here are some things I don't like: sleeping on the ground, being cold and/or damp, bugs crawling all over me in the night, unconventional bathroom situations. So as you've probably gathered, my response to the suggestion of camping was not terribly enthusiastic. In fact it was more along the lines of: Oh no. I don't think so.
A few days have passed since this conversation. I've given the whole camping idea a bit more thought and have decided that it really isn't fair for me to rule out camping all together. I've dug deeper into the world of outdoorsiness and have realized there is one kind of nature-dwelling I can get down with. It's called glamping.
Glamping is technically camping but minus all the stuff I don't like and plus a lot of stuff I do like. There's a tent involved (see? that means it's officially camping) but inside the tent are beds, real furniture, oriental rugs, pretty candles, even motherf!@#ing chandeliers. One of the glamping photos I stumbled upon (above) shows a tent that boasts both framed art and throw pillows...THROW PILLOWS!
Thanks to the internet and my glamping discovery, I feel like my eyes have been opened to all that camping can be. I had no idea that sleeping outdoors didn't mean forsaking worldly comforts like floor lamps, bedside tables, Egyptian cotton sheets, and hot showers! If somewhere in the Catskills offers the type of camping where I can still return to my tent at the end of a long day of hiking, eating, and taking iPhone photos of mountain-y things, take a warm shower and cuddle up in bed under a down comforter, sign me up! I'll camp every weekend! Hell, I'll sign a two-year lease on a nice little one-bedroom tent. That canvas bungalow at the Four Seasons Tented Camp in Thailand? I could live there forever!
And that, my friends, is called compromise.