Mom to the rescue

I am DEATHLY afraid of spiders.

It’s been this way all my life, ever since my dad INSISTED on catching the spiders in my bedroom in a plastic bag which he SHOOK IN FRONT OF MY FACE before depositing them “safely” outside.

You can imagine my youthful horror.

My mom, on the other hand, is DEATHLY afraid of snakes.

So is The Swede, for that matter.

And just like I’m sensitive to even LOOKING at a picture of a spider, they are sensitive to looking at a picture of a snake.

The other day I was with my mom and we were inspecting the backyard shed, looking for my camping equipment.

It drives me crazy that she RELOCATES all my gear all over the place, but since it’s free storage, there’s not much I can do about it.

So there I am, digging through conduit, pool covers, and tarps when I come across my tent.

Pete (as I like to call my tent) has seen better days.

He’s been to four burns, two unSCruzes, and countless other minor camping trips.

I fear this may be Pete’s last hurrah.

So I haul out Pete lickety split and that’s when I see it. . .

A snake?

A spider?

A mouse?

What was in the shed?

It was a spider.

A big, knobby black widow.


I immediately freaked out.

I told my mom to back out of the shed slowly and I followed her.

She, thinking it was a snake because who would freak out over a teeny tiny spider, backed out rather quickly and asked, “What is it?”

It’s a BLACK WIDOW! I practically screamed at her.

Oh, is that all?

She casually takes off her shoe, steps into the shed, and beats the black widow with her shoe.

There you go!

Just so you know, you can be 44 years old, have two kids of your own, a college degree, and be a relatively accomplished camper and yet MOM STILL HAS TO COME TO THE RESCUE.

Just sayin.

Cheap booze but top shelf ambiance

The Swede is not coming to unSCruz this year.

Yeah, I cried like a baby when I found out.

It was SO MUCH FUN last year.

It was especially fun having him there for the wedding, my strip tease to George Michael’s Freedom, and all the costumes!

AND, I got laid A LOT, so there’s that!

This year his daughter is having knee surgery so his absence is understandable.

I hope she has a speedy and peaceful recovery.

But planning for unSCruz and the Pagan Bunny Burn with or without my Swede has got me going through all my camping totes and organizing ALL MY SHIT.

And wouldn’t you know it, I’ve lost my stove!

How a person loses a stove, I will never know.

It’s BRIGHT RED, after all, and takes up a considerable amount of space.

Fortunately, I found my backup one, but it’s EVEN BIGGER and takes up EVEN MORE SPACE.

The irony is, I’ve also lost my flatware and dinnerware.

I suspect they’re off partying with my stove.

So I got replacements – new flatware and new dinnerware.

And because I’m neurotic, I also bought placemats.

Who in their RIGHT MIND eats off of placemats when they’re camping, I don’t know?

But I can tell you I drew the line when I was tempted to buy chargers for meals (the plates that go UNDER your dinner plate and only serve the purpose of being pretty and dressing up the table).

That impulse buy I resisted.

But I did get a paper towel holder, a flatware caddy and a collapsible kettle.

It’s ironic, isn’t it?

We go camping to get away from it all yet we haul all this CRAP out with us to make it more like home.

Don’t even get me started on lighting and music.

Fortunately, that seems to be Tejas’ area of expertise, so I’ll just leave him to it.

We’re sure to have a nice little shady patch of ground with slick lighting and mood music.

We may buy cheap booze, but we have top shelf ambiance.

Sneaking around naked

This may or may not have happened at Mercey Hot Springs:

After imbibing MANY gin and tonics with FRESH lime juice, an entire bottle of champagne, AND a few glasses of red wine, two women decided to sneak off to the “CLOTHING OPTIONAL” soaking tubs to take a dip in the hot water.

The hot tubs are empty and have to be filled with hot water for each user.

The hot tubs are also crawling with black beetles that have to be flushed down the drain BEFORE you can use the tubs.

So the women rinsed out their hot tubs, got rid of all the beetles, and filled their tubs with water.

Then they carefully removed their clothing, placed everything on a nearby chair, and stepped into their hot tubs to soak.

The water was hot and enveloping.

The night breeze was warm and relaxing.

One of them turned off their Coleman lantern so that they could see the lights from the stars.

As soon as the light went off, the women were cloaked in darkness.

The light from distant starts started to appear before them.

It was the Milky Way, almost close enough to touch.

So beautiful

So striking.

Before long, the women were joined by two other couples, who each snuck into their own tubs to watch the star show.

And then, one of the women started snoring.

She was sleeping in her hot tub.

Her friend, realizing it was time to take her back to the tent, rustled her awake.

“Time to go to the tent.”

In order to not put on a peep show to the light of a Coleman lantern, the women opted to wrap their towels around themselves and sneak back to their tent, hopefully avoiding staff.

The woman who was awake had a yellow towel and she wrapped it tightly around her body.

The sleepy woman did not do very well wrapping up her nudity. She was losing her towel right and left, so much that the other woman had to turn off the lantern lest they be seen in the light.

They carefully made their way, giggling loudly, in the dark to the campsite.

Home sweet home!

The Weekend Boyfriend

For the weekend of unSCruz, I had a boyfriend.

The Swede went with me and basically admirably filled the position.

  • He helped me load and unload my truck.


  • He helped me get Tejas back to camp Friday night (after we lost him for 4 hours).
  • He helped cook and clean.
  • He wore costumes.
  • He held my hand and told me I was beautiful.
  • He kept me warm on the cold nights in Watsonville.
  • And he gave me a thorough tongue lashing.

Yes, that means EXACTLY what you think it does.

The Swede was sweet.

For all my worries that he would have trouble fitting in, The Swede did JUST FINE.

Better than fine.


He even let me take post-coital photos of the two of us.

unSCruz was a blast and I can’t wait to blog about all the things that happened.

But by and large, the BEST PART OF THE WEEKEND?

The Swede.


A Good Night’s Sleep

I’m OBSESSED with UnSCruz!

Can’t wait for it to get here.

As it turns out, I am so impressed by UnSCruz, I’m inviting all my friends to come.

Toni, Kimberly, Tejas, Yvonne. . .

I have a BIG tent.

It says it’ll accommodate 8 people.

Not that I’d want to pack 8 people in my tent.

There’s a little matter of stuffing my queen size air mattress bed in it.

Hey, I like comfort!

It’s not EXACTLY glamping, but it’s close.

The tough part is, I think I’m going to have to share my bed.

I know, I know!

But WHO should I share it with?

My girlfriend?

My friend from Sweden?

Or my best friend?

If I had my way, it’d be my friend from Sweden.

Basically because I wouldn’t mind snuggling up to him.

But perhaps he doesn’t want to.

And that’s okay.

I’m fine sleeping by myself.

It’s been so long since I shared a bed with someone I’m afraid I really won’t get a good night’s sleep.

But that’s the whole point, isn’t it?!?!



2017 Adventures

glampingI’ve been thinking about what I want to do for 2017 (besides hide from our social media-challenged, egomaniac President). I’ve come up with a short list of 10 things I’d like to do over the next year (and more, of course):

  1. Go glamping in an Airstream trailer at the Russian River. Autocamp has drool-worthy Airstreams with walnut cabinetry and the fanciest bathrooms ever to grace an RV. FYI $200 – $350 per night.
  2. Visit Bodega Bay. Check out the views along Bodega Head and grab some fresh seafood along the coast. Can you say fresh crab, straight from the sea?
  3. Spend a few hours exploring Cornerstone Gardens in Sonoma. Maybe stop at Taylor’s Refresher in St. Helena for a fresh blueberry milkshake and a sushi-grade ahi tuna burger.
  4. Wine tasting trips with friends to Paso Robles, Sonoma, the South Bay and Livermore. Pick up some 2013 Malbec at Concannon Vinyards and Winery.
  5. Check out the Ferry Building in San Francisco. Maybe stop in to Cowgirl Creamery and get some delicious melted raclette cheese on pickles and bread.
  6. Apple picking at Apple Hill. Be sure to fill a growler with fresh apple cider, preferably the fermented variety. Visit my aunt and uncle and cousins at the cabin and have some family fun.
  7. Spend the weekend in Half Moon Bay and Pescadero. Eat at Duarte’s Tavern and be sure to order a cup of their cream of green chile soup. Also go to Harley Goat Farm to buy goat cheese and related goat milk products. Hit the Highway 1 Brewing Company for some brews and stop at the haunted Moss Beach Distillery for a sundowner on the patio watching the sunset.
  8. Go on the Napa Valley Wine Train with friends. Make a weekend of it and go on the Napa Art Walk the next day. Check out Napa’s funy, hip boutiques and art galleries. Saturate with wine. Repeat.
  9. Camping at Grover Springs Campground. Take a soak in one of their simmering hot springs tucked away in the middle of the pine forest.
  10. Hike to Feather Falls and see the three tiers of the falls plunge 640 feet into the Sierra foothills. Go in the spring when the wildflowers are in bloom for maximum loss of breath.

So there’s my list, now who wants to do these things with me? My Facebook friends better be prepared for me to hit them up to go these adventures with me!

Now that I’ve made a list, it’s time to start checking off things.

But first, make the rain stop.

Farewell Dolly

IMG_0170I just sold my lovely little tent trailer, Dolly.

I’ve had her for 10 years and used her on numerous camping trips.

Sadly it’s time to say goodbye.

What with my son buying a car (he’s 17) there’s no place to park my tent trailer at home.

I have wonderful memories of Dolly.

  • Eating pancakes with Jay and Mac (my white GSD) at Coastanoa.
  • Taking my boys to the Delta with Luke and going tubing.
  • Camping with my family on the Yuba River.

So many memories are wrapped up in that tent trailer.  It’s hard to let go.

Just cleaning her up for sale reminded me how much fun I’ve had with her.

Check out my baby:

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