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Have you ever been camping? How about glamping? GLAMping pairs camping and luxury and it’s just what we did this past weekend. I asked my boys if they wanted to get away overnight and go camping, eat s’mores and pizza. They said yes before I finished explaining. I know…what sweet, self-sacrificing boys!
So we headed out to the Florida Keys to a campsite inside Long Key State Park. This is about an hour and half from our home. We invited my parents to come along and they didn’t hesitate. So we (as in my husband) loaded up the car and headed south.
This is the famous road leading to the keys.
And my awesome, hardworking husband who doesn’t mind driving, setting up camp and grilling up a storm.
Before arriving at our campsite, we stopped by another state park to look around. It’s so much fun to leave the house and explore places that you didn’t know were right around the corner. Seriously, there is always something to do and sometimes we have to press the pause button and get away.
My lovely Mom enjoying the scenery.
And my sweet “baby” that was so happy to go on his first camping trip. His older brother and my husband camp often, but he stayed behind because he was too little. Until today!
We got back on the road and finally arrived at our camping spot. I was happy to find out that the bathrooms were very close. That’s an important “glamping” tip. I have been to campgrounds that don’t have bathrooms and … yeah, bathrooms are better.
My boys immediately wanted to check out the spot.
Checking things out with Grandma.
Before the car was even unloaded, my husband turned on the camping grill. We were starving! We didn’t have lunch before leaving the house and we were ready to tear into the pizzas.
And then everyone pitched in to build the tents.
And there they are! They built them in no time because they are so used to it.
My little explorer in the background.
While the boys were building the tents, I got to work with setting the table.
These were paper plates and real utensils. I can’t do plastic utensils when we are camping because while plastic works for some food, it’s not sturdy enough for everything. I would dispose of the plates, but I would wash and re-use the flatware. I always bring a small bottle of detergent and a sponge to wash things. There was a nearby water pump that made it really easy. Running water — glamping must.
I also picked up some broken branches and used them for my little centerpieces.
Some even had little wild flowers. Aren’t they sweet?
The pizzas were still frozen so we took them out of the box and got them on the grill asap. We have grilled Freschetta® Naturally Rising pizzas before and we love them. Their crust is made like fresh baked bread with only natural yeast and no chemical leaveners. As far as grilling, a closed grill will work better and will yield that beautiful browning of the cheese. This kind of open grill with the breeze, yielded a perfect crust and taste without too much browning. I assure you that the taste was amazing and it was so cool to be making pizzas while camping!
- Preheat grill on high for at least 5 minutes
- Remove pizza from carton and clear overwrap film
- Place double layer aluminum foil large enough to cover the bottom of the pizza on center of grill (we cut out a piece the size of the pizza and placed underneath to protect the crust).
- Cook for 13 to 16 minutes and allow to stand 2 minutes before serving
Hot and ready!
As a dipping sauce, I served an olive oil and roasted garlic sauce. We used this sauce for dipping the pizza and also the meats that we made for dinner. It was delish!
Part of the Glamping experience is to know what to make ahead of time and what to make on the spot. I made this sauce earlier in the morning before leaving home. I heated up a 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil and I peeled a whole head of garlic. Over low heat, I allowed the garlic to “roast” in the oil until it was this caramel color. Of course, you can roast garlic in the oven or even over the campfire, but it takes longer. Everyone loved this sweet garlic sauce, especially to dip the pizza crust!
I also used some of the little broken branches to decorate my table.
And some chocolate chip muffins that I brought from home. We actually ended up eating them for breakfast next day.
Because we devoured these! In little mason jars, I placed two chocolate cream cookies and crushed them. Then I topped them with some cold whipped topping and finally some crushed Honey Maid crackers. Just for the boys, I added a few gummy worms.
We all loved them!
Then my little one asked if he could eat pizza again — while holding onto dessert. I’m thinking you have to finish one before you can move on to the other.
After lunch the boys played and got in the water for a little bit. These smiles don’t lie. They were having so much fun just being out there!
So I placed my attention to the tent. I made the inflatable bed with a bedspread that I found at Wal-Mart and it was perfect for camping.
Then I took out another glamping touch – my little chandelier. I have to admit that I got a few eye rolls from the boys but they had to concede that the outcome was really cute — or as they say “really cool”.
The candles are battery-operated so there is no danger there.
We enjoyed the rest of the day talking and watching the boys play. It is so important to unplug sometimes. Unplugging from the little picture and plugging into the whole.
These moments give you life.
And these moments feed your belly. Dinner time was here and we cooked up some chicken and churrasco. They had been marinating since we left the house.
Our courteous chef did all the cutting for us.
We also cooked some baked potatoes at home and wrapped them in foil. We heated them up on the grill and added some butter and that was dinner!
The first day was so much fun and I was fully aware that I was making memories, with my husband, parents and boys. I was so grateful!
We tried to stay up really late so that we can keep chatting, enjoy all the stars and of course – eat s’mores!
S’mores are so much fun and no camping trip is complete without them.
So this made me laugh when I walked into my tent to finally sleep…
Before we left, my husband starts researching how to make an AC for the tent. He purchased a styrofoam cooler (maybe $5.00), a little battery operated fan ($6.00) and some pipe (a few dollars), and a frozen gallon of water. He placed the gallon of ice inside the cooler, cut out a place for the fan up on top and cut out the two holes for the pipe. When he turned on the fan, cool air naturally emerged from the pipe. Genius idea but I had to laugh when I saw the contraption. But hey, if he overlooks the chandelier, I will overlook this thing by my bed.
This may seem silly but when you live in Miami, you fear the heat, not the cold during the camping evenings. So did it work? It did, but it wasn’t as powerful as he wanted. He thinks next time he will try with a more powerful fan.
The night was beautiful and the next morning I went for a stroll down the beach and got these beautiful shots.
Breathtaking Florida Keys mornings.
When everyone woke up, it was time for breakfast.
After lunch we started getting ready to leave, but the boys (“aka” the chocolate inventory keepers) alerted us that we still had chocolate, Honey Maid graham crackers and marshmallows left over.
We decided to make skillet s’mores on the cast iron pan. One layer of Hersheys chocolate bar, one layer of marshmallow, place pan on the grill and let the magic happen!
Ooey and gooey and Delish!
This little one enjoyed his first camping trip so much that he kept saying in as we drove home, “Mommy, that was the best (only) camping fun ever!”
You can make camping as simple or as posh as you like! Here is a free printable list (that you can add to your basic camping checklist), that will add some glitz to your next camping adventure!
I purchased these products in my local Wal-Mart, along with a lot of the glamping items pictured above. For some more great ideas, check out the Glamping Social Hub !