How I Camped, And Lived To Tell

I am a city slicker, the city cousin, Anne Marie from That Girl, you name it, I am a city lover. I want to live full time in the city, walk everywhere, go to art galleries and coffee shops, and live amid diversity.

But we can get in a vacation rut. Sandy and I have always stayed at the Hilton in St. Petersburg when we take in a Tampa Bay Rays game. It was my bright idea to try “glamping” this last trip. I was seduced by pictures like these:


Romantic, even sexy! And you can still call it camping. Well, there were no places that resembled the above anywhere on the Gulf Coast of Florida. I scoured the ‘nets and came up finally with: KOA in St. Petersburg Beach.Β  No tent there would suit me: they were all of the Girl Scout variety and pretty rustic. And we don’t own an RV, so it was cabin (“Chalet“) for us.

Let me first insist that everyone we met at the campground was kind and helpful. The Chalet was clean and bug-free, and had running water, clean towels, and air conditioning (yes!).

We felt welcome right away.

But I’m just not a country kind of woman. I was lonely for the bright lights and pounding music of the big city. The nearest place to get even a glass of wine was a long drive. No tapas for miles. Sad and lonely.

Our chalet. It was cozy and clean and the toilet backed up only once, quickly fixed.
Master of Disguise: can you see the heron?
At the game, surrounded by Yankee fans. We yelled for the home team, but lost 3-2. Found comfort at the pub.

So lesson learned: I can endure any kind of urban hardship, I am not afraid of rats or noise or $8 lattes. But give me a quiet, peaceful night in the country and I go slowly nuts. To thine own self be true – but try new stuff too, ’cause one never knows till one tries.

Are you a happy camper? Love to hear how rustic you’ll go, in comparison to my wimpy adventure.

Have a glorious day and stay fabulous,

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  1. Oh, Patti … I so get your dismay in the wilderness! I'm urban to my core, and the last decades here in the American rural wilderness have been a constant series of adjustments, to be done again and again, starting every morning when I wake up. Media and technology are my lifelines, and with them I survive. My idea of camping is a view of the wilderness from my hotel room window.

  2. I like the bush, but I hate camping. So we've compromised and camp in a shed set up with beds, potbelly stove, gas lamps, and tank. My hubby is a real bush person, being a forester, so we had to compromise!
    I'm glad you have tested the waters and now know you're not missing anything!!
    XO JJ

  3. I would love to try glamping, and your cabin looks pretty fun too. As the mom to two boys, I've had my share of very rustic camping. I won't scare you with the stories!

  4. I would love to go camping again – it's been years – but only if I have a comfortable air mattress. Even better would be a cabin on a lake. But I'd also be happy with a city apartment. πŸ™‚

  5. I wouldn't even consider going camping. I know myself what too well. Nobody who knows me would suggest including me, either. ☺

  6. I like to visit the countryside, I can appreciate the beauty of landscape and nature, but I have little desire to stay there for long, and NO desire to camp at all! I've done it, a long time ago, but it's just such hard work, and the British weather is too unpredictable for comfort. Your cabin looks lovely, and the selfie of you and Sandy is fabulous, but get yourself off for a city break next time – you know you want to really! Come to think of it, you would adore London (or any of the UK's cities) – perhaps you should come to the UK? Please do! xxxxx

  7. haha funny story. I like a bit of both. I want to live in the city but sometimes I'm happy just to get away from it all for a few days. But these days more so in a nice hotel, not so much camping anymore!

  8. Hate camping but i love the country – I could easily spend a week in the country in the proper accomodations of course! But no, no camping!


  9. Yes, I remember that episode – I always felt an affinity for Miranda : >

  10. you're so right about the hot and sticky. New Hampshire is lovely and cool; I've been to the White Mountains and it is beautiful there.

  11. Patti, your story reminds me of the Sex in the City episode where Miranda and Steve go away for a romantic weekend, and she can't handle being away from her cell, the city, etc. πŸ™‚ I used to love camping g as a youngster, but now my ageing bod couldn't handle sleeping on the ground in a tent, and I'd be scared of being eaten by bears. πŸ™‚ xo

  12. Only the first "glamping" for me please πŸ™‚
    I have done everything from camping, caravan to holiday homes. Now all I want is to relax and don't care about the dishes or making beds while on holidays…

    Annette | Lady of Style

  13. We go camping in New England with family. It helps to have the right stuff. The platform tent in your photo would be hard to put up and take down and heavy to pack up and is missing an important element – a screen over the entrance!

    Over the years we've gone to equipment that's bulky, but lightweight and pretty easy to assemble. Don't let anybody tell you that camping is about minimalism! I have a propane stove and a big thermos. In the evenings I boil water (very easy to do), put coffee in my french press, and pour it into my thermos. First thing in the morning, I get up early to go for a walk, I pour that steaming hot coffee into a cup.

    I don't know that I'd go camping in Florida. When I've been there it's been hot and sticky. The cool nights in New Hampshire make things quite pleasant. One night I even slept in sweat pants.

  14. Air conditioning? We don't even have that at home! How fancy!
    That looks like a gorgeous location and don't you pair look beautiful together? I'm a city girl, too but love a camping trip as long as I'm prepared – loads of pre-packed booze, good cheese, some olives, crusty bread and a really warm blanket to wrap myself in when it gets murderously cold at night! x

  15. I love camping. But am very happy that we have now upgraded to a pop-up camper. Because my back can't take sleeping on the ground anymore.

    If you want to try canadian glamping. My friends' own this lovely farm where they rent out this Prospector tent. But if the quiet in Florida at a campground is too quiet – then this tent in the middle of the Canadian woods would be really too quiet. πŸ™‚

  16. You're adorable. Both of you! We used to camp a lot when I was younger, but I haven't been in years. I like it well enough, I guess, just not enough to actually go. πŸ˜‰

  17. I seriously want to go to that first camp! Wow! That looks just about right for me : ) as long as there is a butler included! LOL

    I'm not much of a camper person myself but I can enjoy the quiet solitude of a great lodge in the mountains though. Jasper Park Lodge is like upscale glamping in the Canadian Rockies. You are never too far from a well mixed martini (all be it super expensive!) and there are gorgeous mountain views all around with little or no noise.

    I found that when I was in Holland I loved the fact that there was no city "buzz", I'm referring to that hum you hear from all the traffic/planes/people. I really noticed it and appreciated the quiet of Haarlem where I stayed.


  18. good point about housework. I don't care for loads of it on my vacation either.

  19. wow, three nights is a leap! best to you, I bet it will be a blast.

  20. We have an RV – it's actually my dad's but he lets us use it in exchange for storing it. I think you would like RV'ing much more. You can pick where you want to stay (within reason) and all your creature comforts are at your fingertips including a shower, microwave, blowdryer, fridge and tv (though we don't have a tv in ours that works which is fine by me!). I used to love Rv'ing but over the years it became more like housework on wheels for me – cooking and cleaning are not my favorite vacation activities. The packing and unpacking alone is enough to drive me nuts!
    You gave it a try and that's what's important!

  21. I do like camping, but haven't been in probably 20 years. My non-negotiable is coffee in the morning. City or country, I need access to my brew when I wake up. πŸ™‚

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