Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Gone Glamping

It's great that we are a country that celebrates gratitude.  This year, we spent Thanksgiving sleeping in bungalow tents in a place I cannot seem to stop raving about - Costanoa.  For suburbanites who wouldn't have a single clue how to start a wood fire even if our lives depended on it, Costanoa provides an incredible experience of being out in nature without really roughing it out, or starting your own wood fire sans lighter fluid, for that matter. I guess the term they've coined for this experience is "glamping".

Nonetheless, my experience at Costanoa is rather unforgettable.  The camp is located across from the non-touristy side of the California Pacific Coast on Highway 1. At night, when everything has silenced down, you can hear the thunderous waves of the Pacific.  We traded in Black Friday shopping for an early morning run to the beach, and noise and traffic for the sound of crashing waves and unidentifiable birds.  In lieu of the many diversions that include the television, wi-fi, and smartphones, we got to hike miles and miles each day, taking in diverse topographies and wildlife.  A friend posted that gratitude is making what you have enough.  And when you've untangled yourself from the trappings of society and capitalism, albeit temporarily, you will know in your bones that it's true.

I think we might have started a tradition.

[stay: Costanoa]
Costanoa has been the ideal getaway for us suburbanites seeking temporary reclusion from the mundane, from the mandatory routine of suburban life.  Costanoa is located in an obscure location sandwiched between the gaudy and overly touristy Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz.  It rests right across from the Ano Nuevo State Park that the only thing separating you from the Pacific Coast is Highway 1.  

We stayed in bungalow tents that have very little for creature comfort, but do have a couple of lamps and electric sockets for your electric devices (which you don't need here).  Since we went in early winter, what sold us was the heated mattress in the tent.  The bed was very comfortable and was our cocoon from the cold that crept in after dark.  

Some tents have fire pits, but there's always a fire at the courtyard.  There are no ensuite bathrooms in the bungalow tents, but common bathrooms are literally a hop and a skip away.  They're clean and have heated floors.  Yes, there's only one indoor shower, but I only had to wait once in the two days we stayed there.  

There is an onsite restaurant that serves food made of fresh and whenever available, organic ingredients.  The front desk has a roster of activities that include guided hikes and yoga.

Ano Nuevo State Park is right in the whales' migratory path and we're already planning our second visit in May!

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