Six Favorites for Glamping {and why Splendid Spoon is at the top of the list}

First of all, I should very clearly define this upcoming road trip + week-long fishing experience as MY version of camping. David continues to correct me:

“We are GLAMPING, Honey. We have a cabin and a few basic amenities like electricity, a limited indoor kitchen, and some indoor plumbing conveniences.”

From my perspective, though, there is no A/C and the Minnesota days are HOT and HUMID. The state bird is a swarm of mosquitoes plus the intermittent mean, biting fly. Internet access is limited or non-existent. The closest small town is an hour away. Bears and moose are camp-site threats. I am as close to camping as I prefer to ever be in this season of life that also involves two small children, a crazy puppy, and all my infertility injections and medications. I am just a ton of funย  ๐Ÿ˜‰

BUT…

I’ve also glimpsed the Northern Lights up in the dark sky above the water at this near-the-border-of-Canada lake…

I’ve heard the loons sing to one another on the glassy water at sunset…

I’ve watched fireworks reflect on the waves…

David and I introduced our parents to each other here 14 years ago, and David asked my Dad if he could marry me…

I’ve stayed up late playing cards and woken up early to go out on the lake…

David is perhaps as happy here (or even more) as I am at a tropical beachfront resort…

And it is probably one of the safest possible places to be during a pandemic. This was going to be the summer that David and I traveled a bit more, and we took the kids on a bigger vacation like Disney. With those plans thrown out the window, I’m still grateful that David will have the opportunity to disconnect from work stress, my kids will get to see their amazing grandparents and aunt who are meeting us up there, and I can pack all the bottles of wine + good books that our van can hold. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I reserved this cabin for David last year as a surprise without having an inkling of what 2020 would hold {Keep scrolling to the end of this post for a walk down memory lane when he and I were just BABES and traveling here}. Now I just have to prep myself this week for a 20+ hour road trip and a week without our normal resources. Until having children, that was no big deal. But it’s a little bit of a different story these days…

So without further ado, here are some of my favorites on my packing list:

SPLENDID SPOON smoothies and grain bowls.

I realize this one disqualifies me from the group of campers who truly love to rough it and cook everything over the campfire, but I would offer up that you COULD still warm up the grain bowls that way and really enhance their flavors with a bit of smoke and then keep all the delicious smoothies in the cooler for healthy breakfast and lunch options. As it stands, we will have a refrigerator, so I’m transferring a week of smoothies and bowls from a cooler in our van to the fridge in our cabin. And, honestly, I couldn’t be more excited.

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As I referenced in the first blog post I wrote reviewing Splendid Spoon (Click HERE to read), this company was founded by a chef and mama who wanted to provide other busy women with healthy, delicious, on-the-go meals that are packed with plant-based nutrients. We so often neglect ourselves and our own health and end up grabbing meal replacement bars, all the crusts from our children’s sandwiches, and lackluster options throughout the day. Splendid Spoon set out to change that.

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I love the variety (each box each week is customizable to your taste preferences) and how easy it is to grab a smoothie for breakfast and then a bowl for lunch. Sometimes I add more protein or throw in an extra banana or greens, and sometimes I just eat them straight from the recyclable containers they arrived in.

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The Dragon Fruit Berry Smoothie is definitely a favorite, and one that both my children have stolen a time or two. It is packed with pineapple juice, dragon fruit, raspberries, avocado, pea protein, chia seeds, vanilla powder, and Himalayan salt.

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And since the company creates seasonal recipes as well, I’m always excited to try the new meals that they concoct such as this month’s Mango Guava Smoothie. Yum. So, yes, perhaps Splendid Spoon is not normal on aย  camping packing list, but it is also such an easy way to keep my nutrition on track during a week of wilderness relaxation. Plus, with all my IVF meds, I’m a nauseous cook and an even more nauseated eater some days. Having easy meals that I don’t have to smell or prep is a lifesaver. For one reason or another, I feel like many moms right now find themselves in a similar boat. I have a special discount for your first purchase that you can use by clicking HERE and by creating your first week’s order (full disclosure…I do make a small commission on each new member, BUT this review would read exactly the same whether or not that was true. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

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Young Living Waterless Hand Sanitizer + Essential Oils

Road tripping with kids is always a brave endeavor, but I think this year the odds are even less in our favor ๐Ÿ˜‰ We are adding a 3.5 month-old HUGE puppy to the mix, plus I’m too tired on my medications to be as much of a help as a driver. So, David will shoulder most of the driving load, and I am blessed with the job of in-flight entertainer, mediator, snack-provider, and (as my children are now learning) the FINAL WORD during all debates.

So there will be masks worn, essential oils applied, hand sanitizer distributed like candy, and noise-cancelling headphones all the way from Texas to Minnesota. I love Young Living’s hand sanitizer because it is non-toxic, all-natural, but still kills germs. It smells lovely, doesn’t dry out the skin, and is safer for consumption if one happens to have a toddler that likes to lick his hands. For the love.

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I’m also bringing a diffuser and about three bottles of Citronella to diffuse in the cabin to keep away bugs. Battery-operated diffusers are also an option if you don’t have access to electrical outlets. Other oils I’m bringing include lavender (sunburns/skin irritation), peppermint (energy/respiratory), thieves (a blend for immune systems), purification (a blend that helps purify the air of yucky smells like wet puppy odor), deep relief (a blend for sore muscles), and paragize (a blend specifically made for dogs to keep away digestive bugs). I seriously can’t travel without my oils. You can order as a retail customer or member with this link HERE.

Lots and Lots of Bubbles

A friend recently mailed my children a collection of bubble wands from Amazon, and I’m packing those plus concentrated bubble mix for all those moments when tensions are high, everyone has been out in the sun on the boat all day and are tired, and who doesn’t love chasing bubbles? As long as you have some outdoor space, I think bubbles are a must. Always. And bigger wands that can be waved around in the air help threenagers not get frustrated when they can’t yet blow bubbles. (Bubble gloves are also great.) And when they are done playing with soapy bubbles? Just rinse in a hose, shower, or lake, and your children have essentially had a summertime bath. Win. Win.

Wine.

Need I say more? Pictured here is my current fave. But just about any wine will do.

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Yoga Mat + 3 lb. Hand Weights

There is a chance that these will go unused the entire week. I realize that. And yet, by packing them, I feel better already about late night snacking AND am able ahead of time to paint this picturesque vision of leisurely barre/yoga/WHATEVER TYPE OF EXERCISE (GOSH) sessions while the kids happily play nearby and the puppy naps. Once again, I realize these items may go unused the entire week. This is not my first rodeo.

Grocery Pick-Up

Honestly, Covid-19 has greatly influenced my grocery shopping habits, and I am planning on scheduling a grocery pick-up at a store about 1.5 away from our cabin on our way through the nearest small town, so that we limit the potential catching of germs as much as possible. We will ideally not return to town for the duration of our trip, so being able to logistically think through and purchase everything we need is essential. Plus grocery pick-up saves so much in-store parental shopping frustration while in the presence of minors. Minors who touch EVERYTHING. Now, I’m wondering why we don’t use this handy time saver more often when traveling? Lessons we are all learning in 2020.

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So there you have it. My top six musts for glamping/camping. Now for that walk down memory lane… David and I started coming here right before we got engaged 14 years ago, and I think the entire campground feels like nostalgia to me (if such a thing were possible, which it IS if you believe). So here we go. I had to dig deep for some of these photos.

2006. A view from the boat the year we were dating and I learned to fish. I also went home in a wheelchair from this trip after a boating accident. I’m blocking that memory ๐Ÿ˜‰ …

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2007. We had been married for six months, and David had officially turned 21…

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2008. We had just graduated college together and were about to move across the country to Colorado for our first teaching jobs. I had turned 20 and David was a grown-up 22.

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Not sure what happened to 2009, but here is 2010. We were deep into teaching jobs and I was earning my master’s, while David was leading high school trips to an foreign exchange sister high school in Senegal. This was an AMAZING year with lots of family and ice cream runs to a little gas station that no longer exists…

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Plus, in 2010 we took the scenic route home and visited Mt. Rushmore and the Badlands…

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2012. Our final trip before IVF and Abby in the years that were to come. So I’ll leave you with this last photo and a cheers to 2020 memories and my babies first time on this water this next week…

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