Broken poles. Bent stakes. Leaky floors.
To be honest, I've never had very good luck with camping.
But I love the outdoors. And I have kids who are now old enough to crave the crunch of fallen leaves, the thrill of reeling in a big catch and the delight of biting into a gooey roasted marshmallow.
So last month my husband and I packed up the car and the kids and headed 45 minutes down Texas 71 to try "glamping" inside one of the five brand new 25-foot Flying Cloud Airstreams at LCRA's Lake Bastrop North Shore Park.
"Whether you're looking to book just one Airstream for a romantic weekend for two or book all five of them for a gathering of family or friends, we're delighted to offer this new option to our park guests," said park operations manager Marcus O'Connor in a statement.
As we took an initial spin through our Airstream, I was shocked by the variety of amenities offered, which were more akin to an upscale hotel than a campsite. There was a shower, a microwave, a bathroom, two TVs, a DVD player, a refrigerator, a stove-top, cookware, dinnerware and, my favorite, a Keurig coffee maker. Outside we discovered a fire pit surrounded by Adirondack chairs and an outdoor gas grill with granite countertops. All Airstreams also have air conditioning and heat.
After a full afternoon of fishing in the adjacent lake, playing tetherball and swinging in the park, we fired up the outdoor grill to make hot dogs and quesadillas, followed by s'mores under the stars at the fire pit for dessert. As the kids' eyelids started to get heavy, we went inside the trailer to relax with our first viewing of "Elf" for the holiday season. In the morning, we enjoyed pancakes on the outdoor grill with hot cocoa made from the stove-top, followed by more fishing.
At $225 per night, the Airstreams are not cheap, but for us, it was still more affordable than buying all of the camping equipment we would have needed for a successful trip. And because all of the comforts of home were already there, we were able to focus on the most important thing — making new memories as a family.
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