WHAT TO DO THIS WEEKEND? THE END OF THE WORK WEEK IN SAN FRANCISCO OR OAKLAND CAN BRING MANY OPTIONS. In each direction you’ll find somewhere that could blow up your Instagram and leave friends jaw-dropped.
Every direction you’ll find something to consider. Of course there’s Lake Tahoe. You then have the experience of the Russian River, Sonoma, Napa, and neighboring wine country towns that are all a B&Bers Disneyland. Head East? You’ll find the famed Yosemite National Park and ancient sequoias trees, ripe for hiking and camping and climbing.
Been there, done that?
This past weekend we mixed it up and decided to head south down Highway 1 and do a bit of Glamping. Yes, that’s Glamping with a ‘G’ and there’s a whole website directed to this new form of outdoorsy travel without sacrificing luxury (no joke). www.Glamping.com
You want to turn off the cell phones. You want to get away. You want a small slice of Freedom….You do not want to pitch a tent (or poop in the outdoors, for that matter). Hooray, Glamping is for you!
Michelle did the searching and booked a few nights at the Costanoa Lodge, an eco adventure resort, as their webpage states and had me pick her up after work on Friday.
The first thing I needed to do was get some wheels, so we rented a Zipcar for the weekend. The Suburu Impreza AWD got the job done and was much more fun to drive than a mini-van or anything Hyundai.
The drive from SF or Oakland is nothing to bash your head about. If you leave before rush hour you can head south, pass through Half Moon Bay and keep following the rugged coastline and admiring the crashing waves. Door to door, we arrived under 1.5 hours.
Once we arrived at the Lodge, we checked in and took a look at our bed / cabin / tent / house, or whatever you want to call it. The bed was flat out comfortable and it sure beat camping. There was also a heated electronic blanket so no suffering was endured.
The lodge had a couple of fireplaces, a hot tub, a restaurant, a small shop for groceries or trinkets, and the site itself was sprawling: a mix of an RV / camp site, many of these little tent / house things, and a few larger actual hotel rooms connected to the main lodge.
But like I said, we were looking for a laid back and rustic weekend and our bed hut did the trick. So on Saturday, we grabbed a coffee and looked over the hiking trails. We picked the Ohlone Ridge Lookout trail and it did not disappoint. The hike is only about 1.5 hours but the views were kick-ass and it felt good to get away from it all, and feel the sun and the crisp breeze off the Pacific Ocean mix.
At the top, we found a stunning 180 degree vista and four chairs placed perfectly for a bit of sun bathing. You can take a look at the Instagram worthy pic I snagged here.
But sitting in the chairs and reclining back was exactly what the doctor ordered.
When we got back to the lodge, the next plan was to head to Pescadero, the neighboring town with a self proclaimed historic feel – a small grocery store, local bakery, and a restaurant famous for a soup.
All around the town there was a craze – nearing all out madness – for the local bakeries prized staple: Fresh Baked Artichoke Bread.
I know what you’re thinking. Bread? Artichokes? Calm down. But when you mix the bready, doughy goodness that is fresh baked bread, and fold in a few fresh artichokes into the middle, prior to baking, you start to get a whole ‘nother animal. When you then add drips of olive oil as it leaves the oven and place all of this goodness into the hands of a young, famished, hiker, lookout. I mean lookout fingers! Because that is a delicious and you want that immediately.
But I digress, we grabbed this wonderous bread, some goat cheese, sliced turkey, and a few beers and hit the beach to get our grub on.
As we left Pescadero, a grey smattering of clouds, fog, wind, and salt water, all rolled into Bean Hollow State Beach. But we had beer, we had bread, and we watched local fisherman stand around and catch something that I am sure was mandated to be returned to the sea on account of it’s puny size and ugly face.
Back at camp we took it easy, reading books and kicking back the rest of the afternoon. But at night before dinner, we walked from the Lodge, across Highway 1, and took a beach path all the way to the water and found a pretty incredible beach with no one near and a lighthouse in the distance. Highly recommend this walk to anyone who visits.
Sunday was time to pack up. The girlfriend got a massage, we made a pit stop for some flower picking (definitely not my idea!) and then we headed back along the coast and back up to the real world.
The whole trip was a nice respite from the Bay Area and the weekend was a success. Really anytime you can get to the coast or beach, get some sun, you are hitting all the high notes. If you can add in somewhere new and exciting then great!
If by chance you are able to enjoy wine and Doritos, then my friend, you have done it incredibly right!
Until next time,