We all need to recharge. Sometimes all it takes is just a change of scenery. A couple days spent away is good for the soul.
And you don’t have to travel very far to do so. It could be an adventurous road trip within a day’s drive. Here in British Columbia we’re very lucky to have an abundance of places to visit; all unique and super natural.
For this little vacay we chose Nelson Kootenay Lake and spent a few nights at the super relaxing Prestige Lakeside Resort with a room on the boardwalk overlooking the lake. With two restaurants; West Coast Grill, sushi, a great little coffee shop called Junipers & an in-house spa, we didn’t have to leave the property at all. Even a long off-leash dog walking area closeby.
Although Nelson is a quaint town known for friendly people, good eats, cute little shops, hiking trails and a story. It’s a calming part of British Columbia famous for its mix of culture, adventure, history and spectacular scenery. A rare metropolitan mixed with mountain lifestyle. It has been dubbed the number one small arts community in Canada.
A brief history about Nelson: Kootenay is a native word meaning “water people“. Carbon dating provides evidence of a race of men and women who lived, hunted and fished along the shores of Kooteney Lake as long back as when the pyramids of Egypt were being built. These earliest inhabitants, drawn here for the abundance of fish, wildlife, berries and fruits, were later called the Kootenay Indians.
The town of Nelson is renowned for its impressive scenery, lively events, vibrant and inviting downtown, big city dining, and collection of restored heritage buildings and has been voted best ski destination with award winning powder snow and top lake. It boasts a tiny city with a big personality.
Where will you plan your next getaway?Photos: d. king
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
There is a certain style to GLAMPING and it means No Tent Required.
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.
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.
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.