Feel-good Friday: Road Trip

Have Van, Will

This had to be one of the more pleasurable road trips I can remember ever having taken from Palm Springs to Vancouver.   

Normally once the decision is made to drive back, we’re anxious to get going and get home as quickly as possible.  Even though you can make the trip in two days we never have.  The norm is a three night hotel stay.  But this time we took a few extra days to take it easy (vacation from vacation?) and explore uncharted territory (read wineries & hotels).

The Dancing Fox in Lodi

Delicato Winery in Lodi with Cher & Jack.  He didn’t like the wine.  And here we look like lumberjacks.

After the first night in Fresno we drove to the cute little town of Lodi for wine tasting and lunch with friends who were also making the trek back to Vancouver in their own truck with their own dog. We stayed close and on their excellent recommendation we stayed at the Gaia Hotel & Spa just outside Redding Ca. by the Sacramento River.  It was very relaxing with great service, a good restaurant and waterfalls. 

The next day we went to the picture perfect artistic little city of Ashland, Oregon for lunch.

Lunch at Louie’s sitting outside by the Ashland Creek.

After spending the evening at a hotel in Salem, Oregon we decided to part ways with our friends because we wanted to check out a rescue dog in the area – a 7 yr. old female sheltie.  Though we never ended up meeting the dog as the lady who had her decided to keep her. I thought it would be a nice idea to get a female to mix with the males but since it never happened – maybe it’s better for both parties.  In the end I only want what’s best for the dog.

So we ended up having lunch at the Willamette Valley Vineyard instead which was amazing. Our charming server Robert looked after us very well.

Willamette Valley  on an overcast day

I had a few good flights to make the road trip easier (happier?)

Lastly, when we were only a few hours away from our destination we decided to spend two nights in a downtown hotel in Seattle and visit with old friends who used to live next door to us in Toronto.  There we used to have dinner parties, always kept in touch and luckily they moved closer to us, to Seattle, Wa. Yay! We have stayed in a guest bedroom before but they have two cats and we have two dogs.

With Miranda who cooked us a delicious dinner while her husband Dave went to get a 2003 Tuscan red from his wine cellar

King Arthur or Merlyn (I can never tell which is which)

They love their hotel sleeps

Why even bother making the bed??

You know the road trip back will ultimately lead you home, but you never know where the road in between will take you.  Writer Henry Miller once said “one’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”

 

 

Somewhere under the Rainbow, way below…there are cows.

And it’s always an adventure to see new things as well as check in with old friends and find out that everything and nothing has changed since you last saw them.

Le Panier at Pike Place Market is a must for pastries, or bread, or sandwiches, or…pretty much anything

Sweet!

Photos: d. king

Travel: On the Road  – The Glamping Life in Style

There is a certain style to GLAMPING and it means No Tent Required.

Photo: Mikael Jansson, Vogue

Photo: Mikael Jansson, Vogue    (OF COURSE, YOU MUST DRESS THE PART)

Nothing wrong with those adventurous, real outdoorsy, down to earth types who lug around a backpack and set up their tent and make a fire to cook their food.  It’s just not for me at this stage (and it never was).  But I love the outdoors, breathing in fresh air and sleeping partially outside.

I forgot my gown for this trip but at least I brought my heels - taken 3 years ago.

I forgot my gown for this trip but at least I brought my heels!

The next step up from tent camping is owning a VW Eurovan Camper that comes equipped with a fridge, a 2 burner stovetop, a furnace, 2 fold down beds (you can call it a two-bedroom but it’s a bit of a stretch), storage space, surround sound for music and a pop top so you can actually stand up and move around a bit.  And a shower…out the back (you have to open up the back so it’s better in warm temperatures and it’s not always the best idea to use it completely naked). Just ask me how I know this!

The best thing about a smaller camper is that you get to park it almost anywhere rather than having to stay in an RV park.  Almost…because many places don’t let you camp overnight just anywhere but there are countless beautiful state parks which means you can drive into a spot either right on, or much closer to lakes, rivers and the ocean.  It feels like camping…just much more comfortable.  That, and wearing my cashmere pajamas. Having a dog or two wagging along is a big bonus.  In fact, I wouldn’t want to do it without them.

The added advantage of a smaller camper is we’ve ended up in places and spaces that could not accommodate a large RV, like the middle of the Redwoods, Ca, the Badlands in S. Dakota and on top of Dead Horse Canyon, Utah (where Thelma & Louise drove off that same cliff, we decided to take the slow road down).  It’s an adventure in itself.

glamping with Debbie & a flask helps!

glamping with Debbie… a flask comes in handy!

Having a luxury RV like a Country Coach or Prevost is a way of life for many people and I can relate to the charm of life on the road and stopping here and there for a length of time.  But you should see some of these RV’s…I’m talking luxury homes away from homes.  Million dollar+ homes on wheels that are nicer than many people’s condos.  I have a few friends who live like that.  They have a home base but drive their luxe coaches from place to place and set up anywhere from a few weeks to several months. The true beauty of travelling this way is that you get to see so much more than if you were to hop on a flight to go straight from A to B.  You must also have the luxury of time.

Owning a vehicle/home like a large RV means that you must reside in RV parks that are setup for that size of home away from home.  There are only a few RV parks that I’ve encountered (one is “Outdoor Resorts” in Las Vegas where our friends stayed – it was beautiful with a  huge outdoor living space complete with tiki hut, living area and kitchen) that I can imagine myself staying in, except no VW’s allowed.  Anyway, it’s whatever works for you.  These people end up paying each night to park, more than some hotels charge.

So even though I love the roominess  of some RV’s I’ve come across, what I really want is…. drumroll…..an AIRSTREAM. Only people who really know me will understand this. Yes, since the first time I saw one I’ve wanted one.  There’s just something about the Airstream. It has a caché of its own.

Owning one for camping purposes is the equivalent to owning a Vespa for scooting purposes.

Allright allright allright… it’s the stylishness I confess.  I’ve been eyeing them for a while now.  One guy even caught me taking pictures of a vintage model in Palm Springs a perfect place for one wouldn’t you say?.. and there I was snapping away and it turned out to be his Vintage Airstream.  Then we had a whole conversation on them becoming more mainstream now (aw, I hate when that happens), more pricey and more exclusive and definitely a collectible.  He owns two but has homes elsewhere….blah, blah, blah…(airstream talk). His name was Matthew.

If you don’t believe me just refer to the paragraph below from a recent article in Vogue Magazine.  I mean….it’s Vogue, so let’s talk about style. 

The first Airstream was built in 1929, and almost 90 years later, the iconic aluminum trailer still has quite a following: Matthew McConaughey and Lenny Kravitz are proud owners, and many restaurants, shops, and hotels have invested in Airstreams as new forms of food trucks, showrooms, or guest room options. And let’s not forget the Airstream’s supporting role in Karlie Kloss and Taylor Swift’s BFF road trip for Vogue back in February.

See? I told you so!

I bought this one in the meantime but it's a bit tight

Mini “V” and  Airstream in Los Olivos, Ca. Adorable, and let’s just say – more affordable!

me driving away in my red pickup truck

driving away in my red pickup truck

Stay tuned for Part Two