Weekend at Autocamp

We were out to dinner with two other couples with kids in the boys' class last year when someone suggested a camping trip. We were all hesitantly enthusiastic -- a trip sounded fun, but camping is so much work, especially with little ones. Besides this dinner out, we really hadn't spent much time with these couples, but we did have fun. I had heard about Autocamp up in Sonoma, basically a campsite of luxury airstreams but with the amenities and feel of a hotel. I looked into it, found a weekend in September with availability and sent it over to the group to see if they were interested. It was actually perfect for us as the kids got to play together with lots of space to run around, the adults could hang by the campfire after bedtime, and we felt like we were in nature, but didn't have to worry about no bathroom, setting up tents and lugging all our gear.

Though only about 80 miles north of San Francisco, it took over 2 hours to get there on a Friday afternoon. We used provided radio flyer wagons to get our stuff to our airstream, which was so nicely done with everything we'd need for our stay provided. We arranged it so our friends were on either side of us. Each airstream had a master bedroom with a full bed and TV, then the main room had a microwave, mini fridge, sink and plenty of dishes as well as a cast iron pan for cooking on the camp fire (we never used). There was futon couch that pulled out into a bed that the boys shared. Then a beautiful bathroom was at the far end. It was small and definitely not somewhere we could all hang out in all day, but obviously that wasn't the plan anyway.

I was a bit nervous because it was technically 4 occupancy max and where we'd usually get a suite or connecting room, that obviously wasn't an option here. I was worried about how everyone would sleep -- getting C down for bed with or before the boys in a strange place was likely to be challenging and I worried about her waking others up with the close quarters of the airstreams. I told my mom that if she was a little bit sick or teething at all, I would leave her home as I didn't want to risk her up multiple times at night. Thankfully, her portacrib fit, just barely and sleeping actually went really well. She woke up screaming at one point Friday night and I was able to quickly pat her back to sleep. Somehow she fell asleep quickly that night too. The next day she fell asleep on the 2-minute car ride from the beach, so I carried her in and put her to bed on our bed, which I figured would certainly result in a short nap. Though she did wake up once, as she always does, I was able to pat her to back to sleep and she slept over 2 hours. That night, we put her to bed first, and while she did fuss, she went to sleep before we brought the boys in. That night G woke up really upset from his arm hurting from the flu shot and I thought for sure she'd wake up, but she didn't. So sleep overall was good.

All three kids got the flu shot the day before we left for the trip and I should've remembered how G had a bad reaction last year too. His arm swells up and hurts for up to 5 days. He had a very slight fever that sent him home early from school the next day but besides feeling a little off, luckily he never got sick (until Monday when he started throwing up, but NOT from the flu shot...).

Friday night we ordered pizzas and all ate together. Then roasted marshmallows, but the kids to bed and stayed up drinking wine, chatting and playing games until almost midnight. The next morning the kids were up early but managed to stay pretty quiet before we finally got up to go to breakfast at a place just off property from the camp. We played at a park also right next to the camp before getting our stuff together to go out to the beach down the street (beach of the Russian River). We rented boats and played in the 80 degree sunshine before coming back for a rest. After naptime, we went over to Armstrong Redwood forest for a walk before picking up ribs for takeout. We did smores again and the adults had another fun night chatting by the fire.


The next morning we packed up and went to breakfast, then headed to a nearby apple farm to pick apples, and then into Santa Rosa to go to the great children's museum I'd heard about. It was so fun and nice for the kids to go to somewhere new like that (unfortunately it must be where they picked up the stomach bug).

Such a fun weekend and we loved Autocamp. It really was the perfect balance of camping and luxury accommodation with most of what you need provided. While there were definitely many couples there alone, it's also so fun with families and I think it would be fun to go up with others again.

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