Thursday, January 6, 2011

Winter camping for the spoiled rotten.


You may recall that I went camping for the first time ever last April. FWT took me, and I tried to smile the whole time so as not to appear too prissy. Truly, I don't require much. I spend a great deal of time in tour vans and on people's couches, so it's not like I need a jacuzzi tub. I just don't like to be cold. (I also don't believe boys when they tell me that you can stay warmer while 'winter camping' by taking off your clothes.) Although I slept in ALL of my clothes and was still freezing cold, so those Boy Scouts might be right about sleeping naked after all.

Anyway, when some friends of ours invited us to spend New Year's Eve at their "cabin" in Gatlinburg, I figured I could handle it. Last April's foray into camping had sufficiently prepared me for sleeping in the mountains.

Was I ever wrong.

It wasn't the camping trip that prepared me. Rather, it was those times I got bumped to Business Class on a flight. It was the times I used to nanny in NYC and was the babysitter at fancy UN dinners at the Waldorf Astoria. It was attending a gala or two. It was getting sneak peeks into a lifestyle I couldn't afford on my own, and -- sadly -- getting a bit used to it.

This "cabin" was indeed built entire of logs, albeit the logs were 2-3 feet in diameter and covered three stories, thousands and thousands of square feet, seven bedrooms, six bathrooms, a game room, oodles of fireplaces, and better water pressure on top of this mountain than in my house in the city. There was an unbelievable kitchen complete with an eight-burner stove and a microwave that was smarter than I am. The hot tub (part of the wraparound porch that featured built-in speakers connected to the amazing sound system) was unfortunately out of commission because the bears apparently found it before they went into hibernation, leaving claw marks and fur everywhere. (I bet the bear that stumbled upon the hot tub got HUGE props from the clan leader.) Also, there weren't any quirks like squeaky floors or doors that don't close properly or windows that provide a crisp breeze when entirely shut. Basically, there was no need for any camping gear whatsoever.

The only time we needed a Swiss Army Knife was when we were too lazy to go up two flights of floating spiral staircases to find scissors, so we could open the butter package to make movie popcorn in the game room. (Yes, it was one of those fancy old-fashioned red rolling movie popcorn machines, like you see in SkyMall.) There was a pinball machine, Golden Tee, shuffleboard, a pool table, a TV in every room, and flawless WiFi.

I was almost able to actually relax and not do any work for a day or two. Almost. But I did learn that I like cabin-camping more than tent-camping. I think my standards may be abnormally high now though.

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