Wednesday, August 12, 2009


We interrupt your regular broken wrist programming to bring you news of my weekend in Costanoa. Wendy and I went down there with Matt and Mary on Friday night and stayed for a couple of days; kind of a reconnaissance mission for an upcoming departmental offsite and kind of just a weekend getaway with old friends.

On the web site it says

Costanoa is an eco adventure resort designed to encourage our guests to explore the stunning beauty of our protected California coastline and Discover the Pace of Nature
to which I say
Costanoa is an unusual campsite in a lovely part of California—by the sea, and in a relatively remote area of the peninsula

What makes it an unusual campsite? Mainly that it has pre-built super-comfortable tents for the lazy. Again from the web site:

Bungalows are a wood or metal frame with waterproof canvas tent walls. They have electricity, sliding windows, a locking door and heated mattress pads. These accommodations combine the best part of camping with creature comforts you will appreciate.
So they're more huts than tents. And perfectly nice huts at that, with beds and nightstands and an electric blanket and bedside lights. They have comfy wooden chairs outside, for hanging out in the sunset, and each has a lockable door. No suburbanite camping concerns of theft et cetera:
Remote Hut

Somehow I had visions of actual real fancy upscale camping, though, and on that front Costanoa was a bit of a disappointment (especially considering the rate of $130/night). One has to imagine that there is indeed a market for luxury camping, where the pre-built tents have housekeeping and turndown service daily, a concierge, room service and a white-gloved bellboy to light your camp fire.

But it's not like that at Costanoa. It's just camping in a hut with a bed. Insects: yes. Cold: yes. Dial 7 for reception: no. "Skeevy" (to use Wendy's word): perhaps a little. Bathroom a fair walk away: yes. Skunk hanging out under the hut: yes. Towel service: no. Chocolate on the pillow: no. Communal showers: yes. Complimentary long-stemmed roses and champagne on ice: no. And no cell service, no power outlets; Wi-Fi doesn't reach the huts. You make your own fun, as they say, and boy did we ever:

Forest Path
Cut Here
Angelic Wendy
Flower Arrangement
Racing Car
And so forth and so on.

A wonderful area of California, though. Even after four years here I'd never been on Highway 1 between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz, but it's a lovely scenic stretch of road strewn with farms and beaches and super views. On Saturday we all went down to Capitola; Matt, Mary and Wendy took surfing lessons while I hung out with—ahem—a broken wrist.

Brunch in Santa Cruz on Sunday: also nice.


Jean said...

A few miles north of this is the township of Pescadero, where you will find a little stretch of "main" street, a restaurant called Duarte's Tavern where you get incredible artichoke cream soup, further down is a grocer/bakery that has the best freshly baked artichoke heart bread, heavenly. I plan to pick up a couple on my way down... said...

Genius light painting. Light angels are great!