From camping to glamping #vanlife style.
Monday we left our $10 a night state campground and headed up north to Monterey/Santa Cruz. We are at our favorite brand of spoil-you-rotten campsites; KOA. We’ve never been to this location and are excited to find it to be pretty and spacious. The birdlife here is shaping up to be something spectacular and we are pretty stoked about it.
After a day of driving through 100 degree heat, then odd bursts of cold, and finally a sudden thunderstorm that hit us with Texas attitude, we arrived in a city. Yup, a city. I was so disappointed. I tried to be positive but I was really disheartened by the mass urbanity until suddenly… it was no longer there. We took a left and the road started to become more and more narrow taking us into a lush, green, rich space that felt mildly closed like a good forest should.
We were eagerly looking forward to dinner & a shower after a brief exploration of the campground. Specifically the giant bouncy jumper thingie.
Everyone wants to play on a giant bouncy jumper thingie.
We wandered about checking out the play area, pool, kids zone, dog run, and mini-golf. Then we looked up.
The storm followed us.
Huge flashes of lightning were followed instantly with thunder that started with long crackling buildups ending in soul-shattering booms. One was so close it left our ears ringing.
We had barely enough time to throw our setup back into the van and then stare out the window glaring at the weather.
Dinner was cold sandwiches and soda.
Tuesday was much better. Relatively speaking. Ducky and I went and got firewood preparing to have a mean marshmallow roast. We took Princess to the doggy play area and tossed her ball for about an hour. Next we checked out the climbing wall, camp fun-train (free & goes around the entire upper site,) and the arcade. (After which we were down $5 and all we had to show for it was a plastic finger puppet and toy dinosaur.) A heated game of ping-pong was on until we lost our ball and decided it was time to finally play mini golf. We’d already been to the office and rented mini golf clubs for a buck each.
Oh, but first we decided on a quick trip to the log hop. Upon our arrival I turned to go up and heard a huge scrape-crash-blam from behind me. Ducky had somehow managed to attack the course and fall at the first stump.
He was gashed up ALL the way down his left leg. He was fine until I had him lift his shorts to get an idea as to the extent of the damage. At the sight of multiple (multitudes of, really,) blood droplets, he decided a quick squall was called for. Can’t say I blame him. He needed his 60 seconds of crying so we could get to the fun stuff that I was still sort of certain we were going to do. After 60 seconds turned to 90 I had to physically restrain myself from blurting out years of BS society has drummed into my head. “Oh, come on you’re a big guy, this is no big thing,” “Come on, buck up, hurry up, let’s get past this…” I was able to just hold him and say, “Yup, it sucks, get it out so you can get to what you want to be doing.” (We both find this matter of fact approach comforting and it gets the feels over quicker without him how to respond.) Finally I grew concerned. This is an “even year” which means we are due a broken bone. So I asked, “Okay buddy, I need to know: Golf still on?”
With gritted teeth and a growl Ducky pronounced, “YES.”
“Okay well we have to get that ish cleaned up. The sand you landed in is beach stuff which means it’s composed largely of sodium chloride. I’d imagine it’s stinging like a mother-trucker ‘bout now. I know you don’t want to take the time to head all the way back to the van… Oh! I know.”
“What?” Ducky asked in trepidation.
In an area of the doggy play space there is an honest-to-god full canine shower. In what can only be excused as a moment of mother lunacy, I dragged Ducky over to said bathing area, had him hike his shorts up and sprayed him down with the hose attached to a giant cartoon Rover. There was even a little leftover soap from who-knows-what-I-probably-don’t-want-to.
We then played mini-golf. Ducky looked pretty damn hilarious when walking around the little green holding his shorts off his left leg but he still managed to play a mean game. He walked out saying “worth it” and “magic spray* now please.” He hobbled over to a bench while I went and fetched peroxide, neosporin, and as requested *Dermoplast.
His leg looks amazing now. It’s developing bruises and the bright red scrapes combined with the green splotches make him look like a Christmas tree designed by Salvador Dali.
We went to bed after roasting marshmallows and watching the bats play. The next day was a huge day after all.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium. As done by Buggy & Ducky.
There were Jelly Bellies. Everybody wants Jelly Bellies.