Tag Archives: Airbnb

Glamping in Pismo

This weekend surprised me a little bit. I was excited to experience another California beach town, but was very apprehensive to camp. I have always really disliked camping. I camped every summer for 5 years with my church youth group and absolutely dreaded the week long trip. However, that is why I think I hated it so bad. It was far too long to be sleeping in the Big Bear mountains with 30+ teenage girls. The food was mass produced and my time was based on what was planned by the counselors.

B loves camping. He loves having an excuse to get dirty and enjoy the great outdoors. He loves sleeping in a tent and hearing the whistling of the wind. He loves spotting deer and trying to catch lizards. So when B told me he would like to go camping for the 4th of July holiday I had to go along with it.

I started scouring the internet for campsites in the Big Sur / Pismo Beach area because if I am going to camp I am going to have it by a beach (also note the research process started happening in the end of May). There appeared to be some great state parks but all were filled to the brim. I even looked up north and south of Pismo. Everything was completely booked. I thought, well maybe this is my sign. Maybe we are not supposed to go camping and B could curse fate. Still, in the back of my mind I felt terrible that I was not going to make B’s dream of camping a reality. I searched many hours without any success. After no hope in the horizon I started to look at other travel destinations for our holiday weekend. I guess people plan their 4th 6 months in advance because I was not liking the variety and price of options. I turned to Airbnb in the 11th hour (2 weeks before July 4th) since we previously had such a great experience renting.

And then I found it. The best of both worlds! A post was listed on Airbnb highlighting “glamping” in the Pismo Beach area. It was perfect.

This weekend’s camping (or “glamping”) at Laura and Ben’s farm was such a treat. Their farm is situated in the rural part of Arroyo Grande, which is less than 5 miles from Pismo Beach.
We arrived a little after 7pm. Laura greeted us and took us on the tour of her 4 acre property. There we learned that Laura and Ben also offer lodging in their re purposed water tower and tepee (I would love to have a night in either the next time we are in town).
Their property is so charming and whimsical. Ben mentioned that he designed the property so every corner you turn there is something new and exciting. He said this was the perfect place to let your inner child run wild. And run wild we did.
There was even an adult size teeter totter and swing set! 

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Bonus points if you know where the inspiration of this circular door came from!Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Laura and Ben start a campfire in the evenings for all their guests to enjoy.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

The first night we stayed in their “glamping” tent that housed a double mattress with bench. There is a community bathroom located on their property that provides both an indoor and outdoor shower (and towels! ). The second night, all of their designated lodging areas were completely booked but Laura was nice enough to offer their meadow where we were able to set up a tent (so see I did get a camping and a glamping experience all rolled into one).

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset1404520480.351923.73Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

I can’t say enough good things about the experience we had. Laura and Ben are so friendly and welcoming. The attention they put into the little details of their farm make it magical and picturesque. It really made B want a place like theirs to call home someday. We will see!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

B is already talking about our next camping adventure but I am taking it one experience at a time…

Where is your favorite place to camp?


Mini Guide to Gilbert, AZ

Over Easter weekend, B and I had the opportunity to meet my family in Arizona for a mini family vaca. One of my older sisters lives in Phoenix  and the other lives in San Antonio while my parents and little sister still reside in Southern California so we thought it would be the perfect meeting destination. I don’t remember the last time I spent Easter with my family and had never really explored Phoenix so I was ready for a great weekend!

We decided to rent a house via Airbnb  so that we had the option to cook Easter dinner (and with a nephew almost 3 and a niece almost 1 it just seemed so much easier to have everyone under one roof). It was all of our first time using Airbnb and I can guarantee it won’t be our last. The house was gorgeous, spacious and in a quiet neighborhood (we chose to stay in Gilbert, which is a smaller town located within the Phoenix metropolitan area). Renting a house was also more affordable than 5 rooms at a hotel, not to mention we had a pool + water slide to ourselves! My dad, who currently lives 10 min from the beach, even claimed if he lived in a house like this he could move to Arizona! Never thought I would ever hear my Dad speak of the option to live somewhere besides California!!

The weekend was relaxing and carefree. There was lots of hours spent in the pool and playing games. I didn’t explore as much as I would have liked to (who knew young kids could limit you so?) but it was great to be around family. One restaurant that I did make the group try was Liberty Market.

photo 2

Liberty Market is one of the cutest little restaurants located in downtown Gilbert. It has a farm to table ever changing menu and the perfect ambiance. You wait in line to order and while you are a waiting an employee asks you the number in your party and scouts out a table for you. Perfect right? So once you are finished ordering you don’t have to worry about getting a table — Liberty Market has you covered. There was such a great selection as well– salads, steak, seafood, sandwiches, you name it. I opted for the seared ahi salad with a side of beats and was not disappointed. The only complaint I heard was the mashed sweet potatoes were less than stellar but not terrible (we are somewhat of food snobs). Everything was so fresh and affordable! And don’t forget dessert. We tried their cookies, whoopie pie and a special weekly dessert containing chocolate and hazelnut (wish I could remember the name). It was the perfect ending to a perfect meal.

photo 3 photo 4

Since Liberty Market was such a hit, we decided to try their sister restaurant – Joe’s Farm Grill. Joe’s Farm Grill is also located in Gilbert but in more of the suburbs (in fact we walked there from our house). We went on a Saturday afternoon and it was crazy! The line was in the parking lot practically. My sisters and I just kept telling ourselves that the wait will be worth it! We ordered a couple salads, sandwiches, burger, and milkshakes. All the food was pretty good and it was a fun restaurant, but I am not sure if we would go again. Nothing too memorable. I would definitely say Liberty Market is the fairer of the sisters!

I hope to return to Phoenix someday soon and see the city more! What are your favorite spots in Phoenix?