July is an expensive month for Chris and I. Our birthdays are about one week apart and our anniversary is at the end of the month. We’ve decided on no gifts for our actual anniversary (besides small crafts and thoughtful momentos), so that we can spend the money on little getaways instead. Last year, we had a beautiful trip to Napa for wine tasting at Beringer Vineyards. This year, for our 3 year anniversary, we headed to Santa Cruz for some glamping.
Before we made our ways to the campground, Chris and I got lunch in Capitola and walked around the beach. Neither of us had been before and we wanted to see the charming painted houses and eat fresh seafood to kick off our weekend.
We’ve wanted to go glamping for some time now but didn’t realize how fast spots got booked! Being glamping novices, we checked way too late and most of the nice places have been reserved already. Some of the bookings, such as the popular Big Sur locations, even suggest reserving up to a year in advance! We kept searching the internet and came across a newly renovated glamping cabin owned by KOA Campgrounds.
They essentially own this HUGE multi-level campground with different options for camping: different sized cabins, tent rentals, and RV parking. Their new glamping cabins had their own private patios and fire pits, making them perfect for picnics and s’mores! Since it was brand new and we were some of the first people to stay in them, we got a discount. It was about $250 for the night (including amenities such as a private parking lot, pool, outdoor theater, park, and recreation center) and was literally the most charming experience. I’ve recommended a few of my friends to come here already!
After stopping by the main office to pick up our keys and buy ice cream sandwiches, we drove up to our little cabin for the night:
The exterior was a tiny pale blue structure with creamy white pillars. Mini farmhouse vibes if you ask me. The interior was modern and aesthetic. Anytime I see an Edison bulb lamp, I know I’m in for a treat. Y’all already know I am a hoe for West Elm. I also loved the simple four post bed that framed the room and the wood paneling for the back wall. The room was quite comfortable and equipped with a queen sized bed, mini fridge, coffee maker, mini vanity corner, counter space and sink, two nightstands, and even a TV! The bathroom was shared with other people on the site, but it was pretty clean. The showers were placed in individual rooms with an actual door for privacy. They were located a few steps away from our glamping quad, so it was still convenient.
After checking out the room, we explored the campsite and was surprised to see the place fully packed with families. But given that summer is the best time to go camping, that makes sense! There was this huge park area with different outdoor activities where we enjoyed a game of corn hole:
As we walked around, we stumbled across this beer garden on wheels where a staff member drove around in a golf cart filled with kegs…while wearing an Oktoberfest outfit. Cabin camping is a lot more fun than I remembered and it would be so cool to get a group of friends out next time! I can already see us BBQing and playing games.
After we got back to our cabin, we wanted to take some pictures to remember the weekend and for our annual cheesy Instagram post. There was no one around so we relied on the iPhone’s self-timer! Woohoo!
We did a quick little grocery run before driving up and easy pre-made food for dinner. We bought food for our charcuterie board and a nice bottle of wine from Whole Foods. Chris and I have been in a charcuterie phase and we literally make a board for every possible occasion.
After dinner, we started up the fire (after calling our Boy Scouts friend for help) and got the s’mores going. Everyone knows gathering by the fire and roasting marshmallows is a MUST DO for ANY type of camping. After we stuffed ourselves with way too many s’mores and wine, we headed back into our cozy cabin to watch TV and get some shut eye. We had an early morning the next day since we wanted to make a visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Although camping purists may scoff at our very extra getaway, it’s just a preference and we still love the outdoors! We’ve both done regular camping before and I think having a variety is nice. For a more romantic occasion such as an anniversary, glamping is the perfect medium.
Chris and I seem to feel closer after every trip we go on. I love my dude and it’s been a great three years. We’ve had our ups and downs but everything has been a learning process. Relationships are hard but it’s easy when you have someone by your side who understand you inside out and vice versa. Not a lot of our more recent friends know this but we’ve broken up before and I think that was the healthiest thing to happen to us. The time apart really helped us grow individually and practice real self-care. I don’t think either of us were ready to be in a relationship yet because we were immature and wrapped up in important transitional periods. Now, we’re thriving and happily navigating the ebbs and flows of life together. I’m happy to have Chris as my partner in crime ✨