Wednesday, September 9, 2009

More Vacation Reading


As a last hurrah before school started for two-thirds of my children, we went on a mini-vacation to a "glamping" spot just north of Santa Barbara. Glamping, in case you're not familiar with the term, is short for "glamorous camping", and you can find it at outdoor resorts equipped with well-appointed tents or small cabins, and in this case a store with a great wine selection.

I hiked, read, and ate too many s'mores. I also spotted a mountain lion! I was safely in my car at the time, as I saw it lope across the road ahead of me, and disappear into the chaparral. Beautiful but dangerous when hungry! The next morning on my hike, I saw mountain lion tracks, and took a picture with my phone's camera. Needless to say, I was happy I had a hiking partner and a big stick with me.

I only brought one book with me, Joanne Harris' Five Quarters of the Orange, which I really enjoyed. It's the only book of hers that I've ever read, but I also have a copy of Gentlemen and Players on my shelf, which I am more likely to pick up now. I loved the author's descriptions of food; of the production of food on her main character's small, French farm, and of the recipes for the dishes she serves in her little restaurant. Harris really transported me to the little town on the Loire, and back in time to WWII. I was also impressed with her vivid descriptions of a woman's suffering from migraines. I get them, too, and so, I learned, does Harris.

16 comments:

Rosemary said...

Glamping is an entirely new concept to me! Must share this goodness with all my outdoorsy/wine loving pals-quite of few of them actually.

litlove said...

I camped once in my life - aged 12. I loathed and detested it and went home with blue legs from refusing to take my jeans off all week because I was so cold! Glamping sounds a bit more like it (although I'll take the five star hotel if it's on offer ;) ). I also loved Five Quarters of the Orange, and it's also my only Joanne Harris. Must read more!

Iliana said...

I think I could do glamping! I really enjoy hikes and being out in nature but I draw the line at camping so maybe glamping is for me! :)

Very cool pic of the lion's paw.

Glad to hear you enjoyed your book. I loved her book, Chocolat, and am kind of amazed at myself that I haven't gone on to read other books by her.

Ti said...

Hey... I read an article about a glamping site up by Santa Barabara and then lost the article. Where did you stay? Perhaps it's the same place. I love to be outdoors but I also love having a restroom and maid service.

Florinda said...

I can't stand camping, but "glamping" just might be my speed! I'm echoing Ti's question about where you stayed.

I haven't read any Joanne Harris, but I keep meaning to. And I did see the film version of Chocolat :-).

Gentle Reader said...

Rosemary--glamping is perfect for me because there are showers!

litlove--real camping is way too uncomfortable, dirty and cold for me, but I can deal with the glamping sort! I was thinking of starting Gentlemen and Players next...

iliana--I want to read Chocolat, too, because I loved the movie. I recommend glamping to all my non-camping friends :)

Ti--I'll be this is the same place you read about. It's called El Capitan Canyon, and they have a nice website. I recommend it highly, if restrooms and maid service are a must!

Florinda--The place is called El Capitan Canyon, and it's very pretty--in a canyon but an easy walk to the beach.

I haven't read Chocolat, either, but did enjoy the movie.

softdrink said...

I've never heard of glamping. Hotels, yes. Glamping, no. ;-)

I hate camping...it's a lot of work for no reward.

Gentle Reader said...

jill--exactly! That's why I never camp. At least, not without booze.

Dorothy W. said...

Glamping! That's funny. I like out and out camping, but I'm coming to appreciate glamping more and more. I'm glad you had a nice time.

Gentle Reader said...

Dorothy--My husband is the camper in the family. One of our first trips together was 5 days river-rafting down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho. I totally appreciate the great outdoors, but I also like my amenities, so I'm happy to combine them whenever possible!

Bybee said...

OMG..those tracks...shudder.

Tara said...

Does glamping involve indoor plumbing? I am NOT a camper! Sounds like a fun trip though!

Gentle Reader said...

Bybee--I was out hiking with a friend after having actually spotted the mountain lion, and I can tell you, with every noise we heard, we jumped five feet in the air, and that was my last hike of the trip!

Tara--Indoor plumbing and real beds with linens are the brilliant things about glamping. That and the wine. I recommend it to non-campers :)

Booklogged said...

I think glamping may still be to rough for me. Give me a glotel anyday. (or night)

Gentle Reader said...

Booklogged--believe you me, I'd rather go to a glotel, too! Lol :)

melanie said...

Loved Gentlemen & Players, and the sequel to Chocolat. Can't wait to see what you think.Need to check out Five Quarters. Thanks!