Hello! It's Steph, first time Glamper here.
I'll be sharing the things we loved as well as things we wish we had know. We would definitely do things differently next time.
We had the opportunity to stay a couple nights in Bear Lake at Conestoga Ranch a couple weeks ago. I'm so excited to take you on a tour of the Ranch and share the Do's and Don'ts of Glamping.
There are two things I'm kind of obsessed with. Food trucks and Glamping. I don't know what it is, but I'm o.b.s.e.s.s.e.d.! We locked in our date for Conestaga Ranch for July 1st, their opening day. That's how excited I was! First thing, we checked in at the front desk and the staff helped unload our car and haul everything including children, up to our tent in a golf cart.
Glamping a.k.a Glamorous Camping. They weren't kidding! Our Tent/Cabin was straight up legit. We had a queen bed, 4 twin beds, dressers, rugs, lamps, a fridge, and an awesome bathroom. Basically a cabin disguised as a tent. My kids asked if we could live there forever.
The bathroom was stocked with shampoo, condition, body wash, and soap. Also a window so you could watch the neighbors bon fire while you use the loo. You don't have to miss one second of glamping action!
We tested out each bed to find the perfect fit for each kid.
We stayed in the Great Smokie Mountain Tent. It was the first tent on the trail which was great with four littles. We were close to the Ranch Restaurant and the parking lot.
Speaking of Restaurant, we were starving after our long drive so we unpacked and headed next door to get some grub.
The menu was classic American, with an awesome wood stove for pizza. So of course I had to try it out.
I loved everything about this place, everything was open, no walls or windows. Just a roof over our head and amazing views from every side. Basically a five star dining hall complete with twangy country music. Only thing missing was a dance floor.
Our server gave the kids some stickers to keep them occupied while we waited.
Riz declared his meal, and i quote "the best mac n' cheese in the whole world"! I sampled it. He wasn't over exaggerating.
The rest of us got pizza and burgers. Two thumbs up from all.
After dinner we headed back to the tent to hang out and then off to explore the rest of the Ranch.
The game tent, the lodge, the play ground and covered sitting areas. The kids explored every spot.
The lodge had dozens of bathrooms and showers that guests and their friends could use if needed.
After the sun went down we sat around the dining hall community fire and ordered dessert. Strawberry Shortcake in a jar. Of course its in a jar. Glamping.
Then back to the cabin where we had a blazing fire of our own, courtesy of Conestoga Ranch. You ask, they deliver. They charge $6 per bundle of fire wood (which happens to smell incredible) and they will light it for you in about a tenth of a second for no extra charge.
I was a prepared 'camper' and brought s'more ingredients, but forgot the sticks for roasting said s'mores.
Glamping Tip #1
Glamping is still camping, its just... more glamorous. But you still need sticks. Rookie mistake. So instead we sat around the fire and enjoyed the full moon and fireworks (4th of July weekend).
Then we played some card games and watched a movie on the lap top because, glamping.
I was nervous about how our 12 month old ear infected baby would do sleeping in a new place but she did great! We set her pack n' play up behind the forth bed so she couldn't see any one and there was a fan in the room for white noise. win win. And the kids were overjoyed to awake in our tent and find out that it was indeed NOT a dream that we were staying in this awesome place.
We headed back to the dining hall for breakfast because I forgot to pack my cast iron skillet and omelet ingredients (joking)
The yogurt is made fresh 'in house' every day. And local berries!
I always go with the classic eggs, hash and bacon. It was perfect.
After breakfast we spent a few hours at the lake before heading back for lunch and a nap for the baby.
Glamping tip #2
Cut up fruit and veggies before hand and store in a cooler so you don't have to pack and clean knives and cutting board.
Glamping Tip #3
Cheese balls. Lets not carried away, Glamping is extremely glamorous but lets keep ourselves grounded and remember what camping is all about. Cheese balls.
Glamping tip #4
Pack activities and games for the kids. Remember, camping can be boring while you wait for a baby to take a nap so you can go adventurin' again. The kids were playing card games, badminton, and playing at the park down the trail while we waited quietly.
After a day full of adventure in Bear Lake, don't worry we will be covering all of that in another post, it was time to get cleaned up.
Can we talk about the bathroom for a minute! Seriously, this might have been my favorite part about the whole tent. The sink made a perfect tub for our #berdeebath. Aberdeen was covered in sand from head to toe. We put a wash cloth in the bottom of the sink so just enough water filled up to make a nice warm bath.
The shower was in a free standing horse trough! Breckyn had to literally climb into it.
Although the bathroom had a door, one wall was just tent, not wood, and the kids could peek around the side by the sink. So Breckyn opted for showering in her swimmer. Brothers...
Snack time. Gotta have the squeezy cheese.
We stayed in a tent, but there were also wagons that guests can stay in. They can sleep up to 8 people in bunk beds and they have use of the community showers and bathrooms.
Glamping tip #5
Firewood. Its totally worth purchasing wood at the ranch. Like I said before, it smells amazing! Plus, save yourself the space and hassle of packing it.
Inside the lodge there was a cute little shop full of everything you might need from food and snacks to pain pills and sunscreen. They've got you covered.
Also, for you Rodeo fans. Every Saturday they have a rodeo in Bear Lake and the stadium just happens to share a parking lot with Conestoga Ranch. And Friday night they have live music at the Ranch. We are so coming on a weekend next time.
During our day at the beach, we gathered some sticks for our s'mores.
We ended the day with ghost stories, they weren't up for singing any of my cool camp fire songs.
Rise and shine tiny campers!
Here is the pack n' play. It fit perfectly in the back corner of the kids side of the tent.
Obligatory 'we went glamping' photo. Also, the only photo with all 6 of us (fist bump).
Good morning camping pictures are always my favorite. It's like marking a right of passage. You slept outside under the stars... in a tent/cabin. You did it! Lets take a commemorative photograph.
The kids didn't want to leave. Neither did I. It really was magical and amazing and everything I dreamed Glamping would be.
A kind young lad loaded our things and children once more onto the golf cart and drove everything to our car. Service I tell ya'.
Of all the cabins and condos that we have stayed in on our annual Bear Lake vacays, this was by far our favorite.
We have been camping twice with kids in the last 10 years. Both times were in Texas with our 'super camper' friends so we basically showed up with a tent and brought the food that we were assigned and they took care of the rest.
I LOVE camping and had big plans to go for the first time ALONE as a family, with four kids, this year. Truth be told, I know we will forget something vital like sleeping bags or food and the trip will be a bust.
After Glamping, I feel confident that we could actually pull off camping on our own with 4 kids.
This is a sponsored post, but our opinions are 100% our own.
-Pack like you would for camping. Bring everything minus sleeping bags and a tent. I would have loved to roast hot dogs over our fire one night or cook hobo dinners like a few of our neighbors.
-Cut up fruit and veggies before hand and keep in a cooler. This cuts down on space as well as packing and cleaning knives and cutting board.
-Bring sticks or skewers for s'mores, along with all the ingredients (or you can purchase them in the Ranch store)
-Pack games and activities for the kids. Spot It is our favorite game, by far! And I love to play it as much as the kids.
-Don't worry about packing fire wood. Purchase it when you get there. And let the nice fire starting professionals light your fire. Dan decided to do it himself the second night. It took him aprox. 45 minutes! We had no matches, or lighter, lets just say he got creative.
-Don't get caught up in the glamour of it all. You are still camping. Get dirty. Let the kids stay up late. Eat cheese balls. You can wash all your clothes at the lodge before you leave.
-Don't leave the kids home. Yes Glamping would make an awesome romantic getaway but it is just as magical for the kids. I promise you will want them there too!
-Don't forget basics like flashlights, pocket knife, matches, and bug spray.
This all looked beyond dreamy!! What an awesome experience with your family. So many great memories! That place is definitely doing it right. So glad you shared about it! Will be booking a spot soon. :)
We want to hear all about it when you do!
What an awesome experience! I've been looking for the right opportunity to go camping with my family but dreaded the idea of getting a tent, etc. This sounds like the perfect solution. Thanks for the post! Looks like you had a great time. Those beds look real comfy!
Right?! We were just talking about how if you really broke it down in cost, this really isn't a bad solution.
Bucket List! Hubby & kiddos want to go camping so thiis would be the perfect compromise!! So fun!!
This looks crazy fun! Need to do this sometime with our 2 year old and 7 week old :)