Camping in PA

When P and I first started dating, I discovered he had never been camping before! I grew up camping and had always loved it, so the first Memorial Day weekend we were together, I planned a little camping trip for us up in Maine, and ever since he’s been hooked!

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Unfortunately with work and life and all the things, we haven’t made it camping in two years! The first years we were together, we went as often as we could and camped in Vermont, Connecticut, Texas and Louisiana in addition to the first trip in Maine.

This year for hubby’s birthday one of the only things he had on his list was to go camping. I really didn’t know if we were going to be able to get the same time off together, but not only did it work out, last minute we ended up with a fourth day off and were able to leave a day early!

We headed out to Raystown Lake in PA for the first night (the bonus night) and it was a beautiful spot to camp. The restrooms were a little less than desireable for a campground (no running water), but considering we were only there for 24 hours we didn’t really need much.

The scenery was gorgeous and Brantley even went into the lake with us and attempted swimming for the first time. He had so much fun splashing in the lake even though he kept at least his back feet firmly planted the whole time! It was great!

Our second stop was at Keystone State Park about an hour east of Pittsburgh. We chose this destination specifically for it’s proximity to Pittsburgh as we attended a pup night at PNC Park while we were on our trip.

The first night we set up camp and explored before dinner, and of course ended the night with a campfire and s’mores.

The second day we walked be all around the grounds over to the water and back up to our campsite. No swimming for him here, but still nice to see the water. We headed back to camp and made lunch before some rain rolled in… we ducked into the tent and played a card game, read a bit, and even snuck in a nap.

Then we headed into Pittsburgh and we had such a fun time with the pups in the Park! Brantley met 3 other wheatens, which he’s only ever met maybe one or two before ever and it was cute seeing them together. We (or at least I) didn’t really watch the game because there was too much going on with the dogs, but it was a really cute set-up and everyone had a good time. That said, we both agree that we will have to get back to this ballpark sans Brantley to actually enjoy the park and the game, but it was definitely a fun detour!

The third day, we slept in! I haven’t slept in in ages and I got over 8.5 hours of sleep (I’d like to have that again right about now)! We took B on another walk around the grounds, had breakfast and got cleaned up (the bathroom facilities here were great), and then slowly but surely started taking down camp.

We made lunch at the campsite, finished loading the car and were on the road home by 1pm. I had a serious hankering for ice cream and P knew that there was a creamery at Penn State which we were going to be driving within spitting distance of, so we added it as a detour and we were all happier for it–even Brantley!

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The only other stops we made on the way back were for gas and bathrooms, and we spent the car ride home reading through our travel guides to plan our next adventure (which I will share more on later). But all in all I’d say it was a great trip!

Always good to be home, but now the camping bug has most definitely bit us again, and although we likely won’t be able to go at all for the rest of this year, we are already thinking about next summer!

What is your favorite type of family vacation? Do you have any fond memories of family trips you took as a kid? Are there any great places to camp that we should put on our list for the future?

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Glamping | The Perfect Girls Getaway!

Glamping 3

When life is hectic and you are running around nonstop, sometimes all you need is a little getaway with your girls, and I’m telling you, let your men go camping, while you all go glamping.

Glamping is camping in a typically picturesque setting with real beds, mattresses and linens, charming decor, full standard bathrooms and then some of the charm of camping: campfires, s’mores, reclining in campfire chairs, etc., It’s basically all the beauty Mother Nature has to offer without interfering with your personal beauty routine.

I set up this little glamping photo shoot in the most scenic setting I know: on the same lake where P & I got married. I also included all the key ingredients to guarantee a fun girls getaway.

A cozy place to kick back, the tent provides a great shade structure to beat the heat during the day and a good place to gab and gossip while doing manis and pedis. After all, what’s a girls weekend without nail polish?

It’s important to have delicious treats, like these s’mores cupcakes, in case you and your friends aren’t the fire-starting types. They pair well with boozy camping concoctions. I like to pair the liquor of choice with something bubbly and all inclusive that adds some fizzy refreshment to the drink without having to measure and pour a laundry list of ingredients… after all, your bar cart is not included in the getaway, so keeping it simple is best. The easy margs I shared yesterday would be perfect!

Make sure you pack protein-filled snacks to keep your energy up through the days, and drink plenty of water! Adding citrus slices to your water makes it taste so much better — you might actually be able to choke the recommended eight glasses down. Prep is key to a successful camping menu. Plan out what you will be eating, stock your cooler with plenty of ice and pre-cut and mix everything before hand. I have pinned some good camping foods here for reference.

The last key ingredient to a successful glamping getaway is entertainment. You want to make sure you have things to do that are not related to your wireless devices, just in case you don’t have the best service out in the woods. Our favorite game to bring along is Cards Against Humanity, it makes for long hilarious nights. Corn hole, or just a good old-fashioned Frisbee are fun for the daylight hours, and there are plenty more ideas on my Pinterest board here.

Sources: Tent by Canvas Camp (which we will re-use as a shelter or awning when we go camping next), Quilt (gifted by my Mama), Pillows from Target (Blue Square, Blue Oblong, Coral Square similar, Coral Oblong), Weighted Table Cloths from Target (similar), Flower from Trader Joes — styled by yours truly, Mani/Pedi supplies from Target (Babe Blue, Mint Sorbet, Coral Reef) , S’mores cupcakes recipe made on the fly and will be blogged soon, travel tumblers & water pitcher from Bed Bath & Beyond.

Photography is all my own, please cite sources if you re-use any of these images! This post is not sponsored.