A Cozy Family Glamping Trip Along the Russian River
#PoweredByZappos: A Cozy Family Glamping Trip Along the Russian River
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When blogger and stylist Tracy-Ann Frazier of Knowing Tracy (@knowingtracy on Instagram) moved from New York City to a sleepy mountain-town in Northern California four years ago, it was a serious change of pace—but a good one. “The great outdoors is right outside our window,” she says. “I love being surrounded by towering landscapes and the sounds of wildlife in the morning.” Her husband Anthony, a photographer, agrees: “I like the quiet and stillness.” So the pair try to soak up as much nature as they possibly can, whether that means relaxing on their porch in the mornings with their one-year-old son Kai, or taking off on weekend jaunts. We love anyone who loves the outdoors, so we were thrilled to send them packing to AutoCamp in Guerneville along the Russian River, where “rooms” are individual Airstreams complete with private firepits and beds so comfy you’ll be tempted to hitch up your trailer, drive it home, and park it in your front yard. Below the Fraziers give us a she says/he says retelling of their adventure.
Sunday, 4:30 p.m.
Tracy: “When we arrived, we saw families loading their luggage on little red wagons that were on site at AutoCamp. I thought it was the cutest and most practical idea since the parking lot was a five-minute walk to the Airstreams. Kai loved sitting in the wagon. AutoCamp is nestled amongst majestic trees, and the campground is decorated with string lights and hammocks.”
Anthony: “I loved the homey feel of it all!”
Monday, 7 a.m.
Tracy: “Kai usually wakes up around 7 a.m. every morning, so he’s our alarm clock. It was a beautiful morning! The sun peeked through the Airstream windows and we had a view of the clear sky and trees. We wouldn’t mind 7a.m. wake-ups to that view every morning.”
Anthony: “It was very peaceful and quiet. Honestly, I had an amazing night’s sleep—one of the best in a while.”
Monday, 8 a.m.
Anthony: “We’re vegan, so for breakfast, I grilled pancakes and vegan ‘eggs’ using tofu and vegetables—some might know it as tofu scramble. It was pretty easy to cook vegan at the campsite because the food that we cooked is usually prepared on a stove top and they had grilling grates over the firepit. We brought the herbs, spices, and cooking utensils that we knew we’d need during our trip.”
Monday, 1 p.m.
Tracy: “We hiked at the Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve, which was just a few minutes from our campsite. We only hiked for 30 minutes because our little one-year-old started to get antsy. My favorite thing about hiking is making new memories together, and seeing Kai’s face brighten with amazement as he explores and sees something for the first time.”
Monday, 10 p.m.
Tracy: “We’re super glad we packed winter coats and hats, because nighttime was very cold. Kai was fascinated with the open fire, and s’mores making. His eyes gleamed during the entire time, and he was in a good mood even though it was past his usual bedtime. Quiet hours started at 10pm, and Kai was so excited that he wanted to stay up later than usual. He started yelling ‘Da da da da!’ I told Anthony, ‘Oh gosh we are disturbing quiet hours!’ Then a few moments later the sound of a baby in another Airstream filled the space. Ha! I was relieved to know that we weren’t the only ones breaking quiet hours.”
How to Travel with a Toddler (And Not Lose Your Mind)
Pack For Every Possible Scenario
“I didn’t realize how light I used to pack until we had our first child,” Tracy says. “We tend to pack a lot of ‘just in case’ items for example: extra clothes, Kai’s favorite toys and books, pre-prepared foods, packs of diapers, and his favorite blankets.”
Don’t Forget Road-Trip Essentials
“This drive was four hours, and fortunately Kai slept most of the way,” she says. “However, we brought along foods, and I used my portable pump since Kai also drinks breastmilk. We also jammed to Kidz Bop!”
Hike This Way
"For longer hikes, backpacks are a must—I store camera equipment and snacks for Kai in mine," says Tracy, "and child hiking carriers are great so that your little one can take a nap while you enjoy the trail without cutting it short."
Try This Toddler Sleeping Hack
“A massage before bed helps Kai relax while preparing for bed. He’s trying to walk, so I massage his feet before bed,” she says.
Go with the Flow
“Sometimes we think we can follow an itinerary when traveling with a toddler, but that’s really challenging,” she says. “At any moment your toddler might be sleepy, hungry, teething, or not in the mood. After all, they just traveled for quite some time to get to the destination! Also, being in a new environment can be overwhelming. Try to bring their favorite blankets or toys for a sense of familiarity and comfort.”