Glamping in Wine Country

Glamping in Sonoma Valley, California

They say that your thirties are the best years of your life… which may have something to do with why I saved a trip to wine country until I hit my thirties. Because, oh my goodness. This trip definitely wins the spot of #1 vacation I have ever had. Perhaps it was the combination of the wine, the scenery, the California weather, and the great company of friends, but I’m certain that it wouldn’t have been as fabulous if it weren’t for our amazing glamping accommodations!

For the second leg of this Ohio gal’s very first trip to California, I stayed at a fabulous ranch in the heart of Sonoma Valley. (Check out the first leg of the trip at this mid century cabin in Big Bear Lake!) The grounds are lush, immaculately maintained, and furnished with a group of bell tents that make even those who are camping-shy eager to brave the elements in luxury. (Uh, brave the elements…. I mean, look at these tents— you certainly don’t need to be brave, but that’s the whole point of glamping, right?) It was such a thrill for me, and just wait until you see some more of the grounds! It was such a nice experience, I’d like to go back soon with Phil.

Glamping in Sonoma Valley, California

Glamping in Sonoma Valley, California

Glamping in Sonoma Valley, California

Glamping in Sonoma Valley, California

The family-owned ranch has a couple of public spaces available to guests, including a large pool, hot tub, massage hut, massage hut, cozy living area, and public hall. The staff was always available, and as friendly as can be. Meals are served in the dining hall (no cooking over a fire— unless you want to!), as well as snacks throughout the day. Wine, refreshments, and other treats were available for for purchase in the dining hall. Let me just say I was never wanting for more wine. :)

Meals were optional, and because my friends and I ventured into the downtown Sonoma area during the afternoon and evening, we only enjoyed breakfast at the meal hall, which included a large spread with lots of delicious and healthy options, even options for those with dietary restrictions. But we did take advantage of the fresh coffee available throughout the day.

A highlight of my visit was playing games around the campfire at night, where we met other guests and enjoyed our wine and treat purchases from earlier that day. Hanging out with my friends in the tents was a lot of fun too. Never wanted that night to end!

Glamping in Sonoma Valley, California

Glamping in Sonoma Valley, California

Glamping in Sonoma Valley, California

This was the first trip I packed everything I needed into a carry-on. It was really nice not worrying about luggage getting lost, or taking time at the baggage claim area at the airport. I decided to buy this new suitcase so I could travel in style, and it’s a decision I certainly do not regret. Look how cute it is! Fits right in with the stylish tents, eh?

Glamping in Sonoma Valley, California

Glamping in Sonoma Valley, California

While we didn’t visit any vineyards, we did visit some of the restaurants and wine shops in the town square of Sonoma, which is such a charming area— and I don’t think that’s just the wine talking. I really can’t wait to return and do it all over again!

Glamping in Sonoma Valley, California

Glamping in Sonoma Valley, California

Thanks to Glamping Hub and the hospitable staff at the ranch for hosting me and my friends! I truly cannot recommend this spot enough. Book your own trip in the Sonoma bell tents at the Glamping Hub website right here.

Glamping In Big Bear Lake, California

Modern Big Bear Lake Rental Cabin

I always thought California would be such a cool place to visit. But so, so far away, the idea of visiting intimidated someone like me who isn’t exactly well-traveled. It turns out, though, that I was right! California is so cool! And I got to see so much of it in my recent trip with Glamping Hub.

I flew from Ohio to LAX, met up with three of my dearest friends, and drove up through the mountains to Big Bear Lake, where we had the chance to stay in this amazing mid century cabin. We enjoyed the view of the mountains and forest, but also the amenities of a modern home with civilization just down the road. What a fun trip it was!

Modern Big Bear Lake Rental Cabin

Glamping in Big Bear Lake, California

Glamping in Big Bear Lake, California

If this place seems pretty grand for a cabin, well, that’s because it is. The airy great room and openness of the stairs and walkways makes the home feel airy and modern. But somehow it felt cozy and homey as well. My idea of a mountain cabin, that’s for sure!

We played games, cooked food together, explored the town and antique shops, soaked in the hot tub, and tried to watch movies (inevitably talking overtook the movie-watching experience.) Such a couple couple of days in Big Bear, and a perfect way to recharge without kids or responsibilities to worry about for a bit.

Glamping in Big Bear Lake, California

This was actually my first experience flying alone, renting a car alone, and organizing a trip on my own. I guess this is what being a grown-up is like! Ha! It was a great experience, and working with Glamping Hub to find cool places to stay in California made the experience even more exciting. The hosts of the cabin were very helpful, providing useful information about the house we were staying in, and the best places to visit in the area. I’d love to head back soon, and am already planning my return!

After staying in Big Bear, we drove up the Pacific coast to Sonoma, which was also quite an experience. I’ll share more about that part of the trip soon. For now, check out how cool this cabin is! And you can book a visit this this Big Bear Lake cabin right here, if you’re interested.

Glamping in Big Bear Lake, California

Glamping in Big Bear Lake, California

Glamping in Big Bear Lake, California

Glamping in Big Bear Lake, California

Glamping in Big Bear Lake, California

Glamping in Big Bear Lake, California

Glamping in Big Bear Lake, California

Glamping in Big Bear Lake, California

Glamping in Big Bear Lake, California

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Glamping in Big Bear Lake, California

Magic Mornings = Successful Days

Successful morning makes for successful days!

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s that a lingering sense of inadequacy is always present. Regardless of what stage of life you or I are in, we’ve probably felt overwhelmed and under-equipped at some point, if not at multiples times each day. As a mother I’ll often stop and think, what on earth did I do with my time before kids? But the fact is, I remember feeling overwhelmed and frazzled before kids. Is it just me, I wondered? I doubt it.

But lately I’ve discovered the magic of changing my morning routine to positively impact my mind and how I’m able to handle the rest of my day— as easy or as stressful as it might be. What’s my secret? Getting up earlier, actually! Who knew?

my morning routine

I’ve discovered that an extra hour each morning can work wonders for the rest of my day. Maybe this is no revelation to all of you morning people out there, but for me, it has taken a huge sacrifice each day to get there. To get up before a work schedule dictated the beginning of my day. To get up before Lucy was whining for me to make her breakfast, and then a different breakfast because she changed her mind. To get up just for the sake of having an easier morning has been no easy task, but it’s done wonders for the success of my days!

Let me tell you, waking up earlier will do nothing for you if you’re sleep deprived. So I suppose the first positive change starts the evening before— turning off electronics, saying no to “just one more episode” urges, and making needed changes to prepare for a restful night of rest in order to be able to function the next day.

But once I’m there in the morning (alongside my go-getter husband who has been my biggest inspiration), getting up earlier gives me much needed alone time to contemplate my dreams and goals (for life, or just for my day), or just to catch up on some reading. There’s nothing quite like being able to drink all of my coffee while it’s still hot, savoring its creamy deliciousness, and just sitting completely still if that’s what I feel like doing. This time makes me feel rejuvenated, but also starts my day with a sense of accomplishment and pride, knowing that I got started earlier than I actually needed to.

starting off the day on a productive note

When I don’t carve out this time at the beginning of my day (which is the last thing I feel like doing when my bed is so cozy and warm!), I’m awoken by a screaming baby (who’s been crying for who knows how long?) or a yelling toddler (who’s awoken a screaming baby) who is ready with her list of demands for the day, starting with breakfast because she is STARVING (she’s probably yelling this in my ear which is covered with my bed sheets). Not exactly the chill and empowering start to the day I really crave, is it? This is what I try to remind myself during the mental battle each day to get my bones out. of. BED!

So I wake up early and make the magic happen. What do I do first? I’ll drag myself into the kitchen and get a pot of water onto the stove. As the water reaches its boiling point, I’ll challenge myself to accomplish as many little kitchen/home tasks I can in that amount of time. Usually I can get a load of laundry started, unload the dishwasher, and water my plants. Then, I’ll pour the hot water over coffee grounds in my french press and set the timer for another four minutes. Time to scurry around getting my gym bag ready, putting away a few stray toys, and maybe if I’m quick, I can clean a bottle or two. By now my coffee is ready and I already feel accomplished and ready to attack the day. But this is my moment. My coffee is ready. I’ve got my special Simply Pure Hazelnut creamer. It’s just the beginning of my day, but I have accomplished tasks already and can fully rest, relax, and contemplate my plan of attack as I sip my coffee in silence. I feel equipped to start the day on my own terms. I feel ready to adult! And it’s magic. Until I hear Lucy’s bedroom door squeak open and the chaos begins. But I’m ready. Bring it, sisters! What do you want for breakfast?!

here come the monsters!

beginning my days on my own terms, not theirs.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

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