Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Glamping in Santa Barbara

Neither Kevin nor I are campers.  Well, other than being happy campers, that is ;o)

I've always thought that camping was rather a romantic notion, but when it comes down to the reality of it - I'll pass.  Something about sleeping on the ground (yes, an air mattress on the ground still counts as sleeping on the ground!), in a sleeping bag, in a tent, with no ... ummmm ... potty should one be needed in the middle of the night --- well, it's just not all that appealing to me.  And Kevin says his desire for camping has a closer resemblance to staying in a hotel.  Pretty much any hotel - well, save for say the Bates Motel - but you get the idea.

So.  For our summer vacation, we decided to go ... camping!  Or rather, todays version of camping which actually has the buzz word 'glamping'.  Those in the know, know this means 'glamorous camping' - if there is such a thing.  Well, there IS!  Kinda...

The location is actually quite glamorous - Santa Barbara, California.  Home to gorgeous rolling hills, charming Mediterranean-style homes with red tile roofs dotting the landscape.  It's nicknamed the 'American Riviera' - and it's definitely paradise.  The beaches are beautiful, agriculture plentiful and living graceful.  It also doesn't hurt that it's home to the best ice cream on earth (Island Coconut...mmmmm!), but that's another story.

As for the accommodations, they definitely beat sleeping on the ground in a tent with no ... potty.  Try this Air Stream trailer on for size, baby!

Kinda cool, right?!  It's a pretty amazing place.  It's called the Santa Barbara Auto Camp and it was founded in 1922.  
It currently houses 5 Air Stream trailers that have been completely upgraded and modernized.  Yes, that is a clawfoot tub you see in the bathroom, as well as a glass vessel sink.  The bed was so soft and squishy, you just sank right in - I don't think we moved once during the night.  It was appointed with a fully equipped kitchen, a small deck with a grill, patio chairs and two beach cruisers that we could use during our stay.  It was a really fun and unique place to stay!  We've decided neither of us is ready to give up and begin traveling and staying in one of these full-time, but it was definitely fun for a short time.

There's an old Italian restaurant called Aldo's right in the middle of the downtown area.  In addition to our delicious meal, we were also charmed by its architecture and old world accents

We lucked out in that the most amazingly delicious bakery was on the corner right across the street from the Auto Camp.  Breakfast at this local gem was a true delight.  Almond croissant, locally roasted strong black coffee with sweet, creamy half and half - YUM!  When we left, of course we had to bring a loaf (or three) of delicious freshly baked bread home with us. 

Santa Barbara is also known for its beautiful sunsets.  While it was a bit hazy and overcast, we were not disappointed.  In fact, it's really the clouds and haze that make the sunset more beautiful.  Just a tip: the sun sets in the west ;o) 
If you're headed to SB, wear your walking shoes.  Most things are within walking (or biking) distance and there is a lot to see!

There's also a fabulous specialty chocolatier that had some really interesting selections.  Kevin and I were good and each only had one, but, it was oh, so tempting!

Stearn's Wharf is a fun place to watch the sunset, too.  You can drive onto this pier, but it's much nicer to walk. 

Besides, miss a lot if you drive.  You just never know what you'll see along the way...

As you can see, it was no ordinary 'camping' trip!

1 comment:

Jackie said...

Oh my, that was one lovely camper!!!

Glad you had a wonderful time "camping".

God bless.