“Pretty soon I’ll be getting on my first plane. I’ll see the veins of my city like they do in space.”
I remember the first time I flew into New York City. I was a junior in college heading to New York for my first internship. Looking at the city below, I was in awe of the never-ending grid of iconic buildings, overwhelmed by the bustle in the streets below, and invigorated by the boundless opportunities that lied ahead. Despite many trips to and from NYC since then, I still get chills down my spine whenever the view from the airplane is clear, revealing the city standing fiercely below.
Last year, a few friends spent New Years Eve camping just north of Santa Barbara. Well, camping…with a few extra comforts, yet all of the benefits of disconnecting and enjoying nature. Officially, it’s called Nature Lodging, but you may have also heard it referred to as “Glamping.” Our friends had nothing but good things to say about their experience and we couldn’t wait to give it a try.
Over the long President’s Day weekend (which also happened to coincide with Valentines Day!) we made the 2 hour drive to El Capitan Canyon. Over the next few days, we hiked, biked to the beach, cooked by the campfire, watched old movies in bed on our laptop (there was no TV), and hiked some more.
For the two of us, who are constantly connected and creating, it was a bit odd to slow down and really disconnect (there was no WiFi and spotty phone service). I found it peaceful, but effortfully so. The next time we go, I’ll be sure to invite a crew of friends and family with whom we can take over a few cabins, play bocce ball and tour the local area; a variety of services offer wine tours, jeep excursions, whale watching, kayaking and more.
In the meantime, here are a few highlights from our stay:
- Canyon Cedar Cabin: While the tents and adventure yurts looked charming and cozy, we opted for a queen-sized cabin…purely for the privacy of our own bathroom. The cabin had a sleeping loft with two extra beds, a small kitchen and sink, a table and chairs and a fire pit with picnic table outside. I’d recommend trying to book a cabin in the Upper Meadow as it’s a little further away from the noise of the highway.
- Canyon Market: The market had a great selection of local wines, snacks and toiletries, and the kitchen served breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- Grill Dining Kits: The market delivered food to grill over the fire pit. We ordered the “kit” with salmon, grilled vegetables and s’mores…yes, s’mores. It was all delicious!
- Bikes and Hikes: Many outdoor activities were just a short walk from the main grounds. We hiked to the llama farm one day and along the canyon pass on another. In addition, we checked out bikes and explored the nearby beach with oceanside rocks covered in mussels.