'Glamping' Is Camping the Nice Way but This Mom Will Never Do Either

I have a confession: I've never been camping. Not because I haven't been invited, but because I've never wanted to go. In fact, when I vacation, my idea of roughing it is when I'm forced to stay at a hotel that doesn't have an ice machine on each floor. 

Recently, I traveled to Canada and didn't really feel relaxed until I was safely within walking distance of the gentle neon glow of a Starbucks sign

Now, I get it, nature can be absolutely breathtaking. But so can a plush suite with a cavernous bathroom featuring blue and white tile cloud mosiacs and five shower heads. I'll create my own rain forest experience, thank you very much, and I'll probably follow it up with room service.  

But what if you could combine the best of both worlds? Have you heard about the new "glamping" trend which marries the folksy outdoor fun of camping with the "someone else will do the heavy lifting" glamour of a 5-star hotel?

Sorry, I'm still not buying it. Glamping can take a hike.

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Though it seems to be catching on--heck, even the Real Housewives, no strangers to luxury, are (sort of) embracing it--glamping still seems like staying at an upscale but unfinished Holiday Inn and pretending you're one with nature. And the pseudo-backwoods experience costs nearly as much as you'd pay to stay in a room with four walls! Imagine!

Plus, to me it seems like cheating. If I'm going camping, I'm building a fire, toasting some s'mores, and shivering in a tent while I await being sprayed by a skunk--the whole nine. When two hunky butlers hand you chilled flutes of champagne, honey, that ain't camping! 

As a mom of three, I've thwarted numerous camping requests by appealing to my boys' sympathetic side. 

"C'mon, fellas," I'll say. "You know Daddy can barely get the mail without contracting poison ivy. How could we possibly take him into the woods?" 

Plus, I cringe every time they use a port-a-potty at a suburban ball field. I can't image watching them plunk their little tushies down in a forest of who-knows-what??

I've thought about pitching a tent in our backyard -- but it's currently being patrolled by a groundhog the size of a Fiat, so that's on hold for now.

As a child, I'll admit, I was drawn to the green uniform worn with pride by so many of my Girl Scout classmates. Despite the allure of their badges and what I imagined was year-round access to those coveted cookies, it wasn't enough to make me forsake my fluffy down comforter to sleep on a bed of pine needles.

I'm sure I'm missing out, but even as an adult, I have a mini panic attack each time I see a spider in my bathroom. How could I possibly defend myself or my kids against a charging moose, hungry bear, or deadly rattlesnake? Thankfully, as a Hilton Honors member, I'll probably never have to. 

My high school crush, rocker Evan Dando of The Lemonheads, pretty much summed it up for me in the song The Outdoor Type when he sang, "I can't go away with you on a rock-climbing weekend. What if something's on TV and it's never shown again?"

Of course, this was long before the advent of TiVo and DVRs, but I appreciated the sentiment then and still do today. 

I think he really says it all when he warbles, in what has become my personal anthem, "God bless the great indoors!"  

Do you enjoy camping? Would you consider glamping?  


Images © Angelo Cavalli/Corbis and YouTube.

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