Let’s Go Camping!!

Let’s Go Camping!!

2020 has been a crazy year….beyond the pandemic, the fact that it’s an election year, Black Lives Matter movement, the list goes on and on, I do feel as though we’ve reached a boiling point where maybe this is the wake up call we needed to go back to the basics. A reminder that we are not invincible and the many things that we were so caught up on means nothing without good health. Back to the basics of caring for and spending time with the ones we love, finding peace and joy in the outdoors and being grateful for the unspoken privileges we often take for granted.

Setting the tone for this blog post because I really wanted to capture the context of our camping trip. After being cooped up for over 6 months, my fiancé and I finally decided to take a little vaca 40 minutes from where we live! Also, it was a great way to celebrate his birthday- surf, bomb food, and family/friends!! To be honest, I wanted to write this blog post mainly for my own sake…it’s like a digital diary, I love having memories to look back on! But hopefully you’ll also take away some tips and tricks for camping because this was our first time camping as adults!

THE PREP

Disclaimer: CAMPING IS A LOT OF WORK but TOTALLY worth it! I’m not going to sugar coat it…it was a lot of work to prep for the trip because unlike normal trips where you just pack your clothes/toiletries and you’re pretty much ready to go, camping is a whole different story! You are bringing EVERYTHING, including your accommodations AND food! Therefore, first tip is, make sure you have a big enough car to hold all your necessities! And don’t underestimate the space you need haha! We had two full SUVs PACKED TO THE RIM and luckily everything fit!

What to bring?

  • Tent, sleeping bag/bedding, pillows, mattress, pump to blow up the mattress AND make sure you have a way to source POWER for the pump! We had to get this last minute because our pump needed an outlet! We ended up going with this power cord shown below, which connects to the car!
  • Bring your kitchen essentials (knives, cutting boards, spatula and tongs (to cook/BBQ with)), eating utensils, plates, cups, saran wrap, ZIP BLOCK BAGS (came in really handy for us!), LOTS OF PAPER TOWELS, portable stove top and make sure you have propane for the stove top, a small little BBQ if the campsite does not supply one! BRING LOTS OF TRASH BAGS TOO!
  • Beauty items: sun screen, BUG SPRAY (lots of it), shampoo, conditioner, face mask (hydrating one if you’re out in the sun a lot! I used a mask on days when my face felt burnt by the sun), make up wipes, sanitary wipes, TP!!
  • Other miscellaneous items: beach chairs or just portable chairs, small portable table (comes in handy if theres only one bench/table per campsite, beach towels or towels in general, HEAD LAMP! (this was so useful in at night- we bought the one linked below), LED camping lamp (linked below as well), special bug candle (when lit, it deters the bugs away), extra portable phone chargers, wood for bonfires, LOTS OF ICE to keep the food cold! BOARD/CARD GAMES are great during camping! (we played Monopoly Deal).
  • Food ideas: burgers, steak, hot dogs, tacos, bring lots of water, canned drinks (more sharable), fruits (we brought peaches, cherries, watermelon), SPICES TO SEASON THE FOOD, eggs, bacon, toast/bread!!!

WHERE DID WE CAMP?/WHAT DID WE DO?

We camped at San Onofre and it is honestly SOO beautiful there! There are 6 trails you can hike down to get to the beach and you feel TOTALLY removed from the rest of the world! We actually didn’t have to leave the camp site ONCE during our trip 🙂 Luckily we had friends/fam that visited and brought us extra ice and fire wood (although they actually sell fire wood on site!).

TIP: LOOK FOR CAMPING SPOTS CLOSE TO A RESTROOM (IF YOU USE IT A LOT) OR CLOSE TO THE ENTRANCE OF TRAILS, SO ITS A SHORTER WALK DOWN TO THE BEACH

The hike down to the beach is pretty easy but the hike up can be a little tiring if its HOT or if you’re carrying massive surfboards haha! But its not treacherous at all (I think anyone can do it)- we wore our sandals and had no issues!! Depending on the time of day/tide of the ocean, where you lay out on the beach matters…have to move closer to the cliffs when the tide is high so you don’t get wet!! And as far as I’m aware, there are no shops on the campsite. So, if you wanted to rent a surf board or paddle board, you might be out of luck!! (Thought I would share this in case you’re interested in doing some recreational activities!)

So you probably already guessed, we went down to the beach.. A LOT, twice a day!!! And my sister, dad and I all tried to surf! We also brought our dogs with us so they were quite the entertainment haha! When we weren’t in the water, we took it easy, chilled at the beach or at our camp ground, played some games at night, and one of my friends even came with a telescope!! We saw Saturn’s rings!! Camping is relaxing because there really aren’t too many activities you can do (at least not where we camped), but it feels nice to just take your time/days slower. Oh and might I add that my dad is hooked on surfing, he is determined to learn it this year!!!

TIME FOR THE PHOTOS!!

All in all, it was such a fun trip!! A little bit physically exhausting because I attempted to surf and we hiked down to the beach twice a day but it felt so good to be active and OUTSIDE! We also had DELICIOUS FOOD and my fiancé said it was one of his best birthdays yet!!! (p.s. mom is not in any of the photos because she only came to visit us for a day or two!! Camping is not for her! haha but she did bring us a delicious cake!)

Stay safe and I hope this blog post inspires you to explore your own backyard!!

Love,

Kat

Seattle and Vancouver

Seattle and Vancouver

Hello Babes!

I wanted to share some of my Seattle and Vancouver adventures with y’all! Although I was pretty much off the grid for the long 4th of July weekend, I did capture a few highlights from my trip! We were only in Seattle and Vancouver for 3 full days and LET ME TELL YOU….we were DEFINITELY too ambitious! Although we packed in quite a few activities, it was still an extremely fun and eventful vacation! We went to Seattle because my little sister is interning at Amazon this summer (smarty pants–software development engineer!) and we wanted to pay her a visit! This was also my first trip traveling as an engaged couple with my fiance and family!!!

Don’t worry, on the 4th, we were actually in AMERICA haha! We checked out the Pike Market place, purchased a few goodies and enjoyed walking around in the city. We’ve all been to Seattle before so we skipped out on some of the touristy spots. The weather was beautiful as you’ll see in the photos!! Luckily, my sister lives 10 minutes from the Space Needle and the view from her balcony was INCREDIBLE! I was pretty happy that we didn’t have to head to Lake Union to grab a spot in the crowd to watch the fireworks!

Being the patriotic Americans that we are….haha we went to a baseball game on the 4th! It was such a fun experience because the stadium is absolutely beautiful, with amazing views and the energy of the crowd was great! (although there were more Cardinal fans than the Mariners?!)

Seattle Skyline from my sister’s apartment rooftop!

And of course… I got some photos in!! Not too many because the weather wasn’t GREAT in Vancouver but I was just happy I got to wear the dresses I brought!! (no rain on the days we were in Seattle!) On the 5th, we headed up to Vancouver- which is actually only a 2.5 hour drive. TIP: LOOK UP DIFFERENT BORDER CROSSINGS TO SAVE TIME! On the way to Vancouver, we took the route that most people take (thanks to myself not having done research), and had to wait about 1.5 hours in the car to cross the border!! However, on the way back to Seattle, my genius fiance looked up an alternative route and we crossed the border within 15 minutes!!!

In Vancouver, we stayed downtown at the Sandman Hotel (pretty good bang for your buck because the location is central). We explored three main attractions in the 1.5 days we were there. Sadly we lost half a day driving up and waiting in line to cross the border! First we visited Granville Island, which was filled with cute shops, specialized markets, amazing food and just all around great vibes! Musicians were playing music and it was just a very relaxing and hip place. Definitely worth paying a visit: https://granvilleisland.com/

Although the weather in Vancouver was quite….WINTER LIKE (even in July!)…I fell in love with the abundance of plants and flowers there! The hydrangeas were INSANELY beautiful!!! And there is greenery everywhere you walk! That was probably one of my favorite things about Vancouver- the lushness.

Granville Island

Next, we visited Seawall! Essentially its a beautiful trail (for walking or biking) with amazing views of the city skyline. The trail is surrounded by water on one side and green lushness on the other. It was so so peaceful! I would definitely recommend biking there!!! I believe Seawall and Stanley Park are essentially in the same area and be sure to check out the totem poles there! Definitely unique and not something you would see everyday! https://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/seawall.aspx

Totem Poles at Stanley Park
Seawall

And last but not least, we went to the Capilano Suspension Bridge! It was sprinkling/raining that day but a little rain didn’t damper our mood. It was absolutely beautiful and it felt amazing to be so close to the gigantic trees. I love breathing in fresh air like that!!! The bridge was not wobbly or scary…unless you have a fear of heights of course! But be warned, there is an entrance fee (I believe about $50) and it does get crowded. So if you’re looking to get a shot on the bridge with no photo bombers… I’d suggest going EARLY. The park had multiple sites (similar to a theme park) and we even got to see an owl! We walked through the tree top adventures and living forest! Be prepared to do a lot of walking but its 100% worth it! https://www.capbridge.com/explore/

After the Suspension Bridge, we went to a mall to do some shopping, ate some food and headed back to Seattle. On the way back, we pulled over because there was an INCREDIBLE LAKE and I just had to stop! The weather blessed us that afternoon, and we finally saw some sunshine!!! This was probably one of my favorite parts of our trip! Taking an unexpected stop for this beauty!! It was memorable and magical–will always remember it!!

Jam packed 3 days… with a 6am flight on Sunday, which got cancelled (won’t go into that..!) BUT we spent the last night in Seattle, ordered in Uber Eats and watched STRANGER THINGS!!! What a great way to end an amazing trip!

Hope you enjoyed the read!

xoxo Kat