On Vacation, “Urban Camping” at Courtyard by Marriott

BeFunky_null_2.jpgI really like the idea of camping – getting away from it all, living simply for a few days, enjoying the outdoors, and sitting around the campfire. My wife, Sharon, on the other hand, is more hotel-centric when it comes to vacations. She will not be going camping – period. So, what’s a person to do? Marital harmony is pretty important, and I can’t deny that I also enjoy air conditioning and a comfortable bed, which explains why we’re “camping” this week at a Courtyard by Marriott in Savannah, Georgia on a much needed vacation.

Everyone needs time off to rest and recharge, and that’s what I’m doing. We’re up here together seeing the sights and visiting our soldier son. It’s been nice so far. We’re both enjoying the break from routine. Of course it’s not camping, but since Sharon and I disagree on the allure of a tent in the woods, I’ve decided to bring a camping mindset to our trips together. There are some important similarities.

After all we are away from home for a week with just “the basics.” Yes we have running water, A/C and technology, but we’re staying in a single room with a small fridge (no microwave even) and we haven’t yet turned on the TV or bought a newspaper. This small living space and lack of distractions, enforces a certain physical and emotional closeness, which might be problematic in some relationships, but which I value as part of the experience. Being together with Sharon is important to me, and we have had some good conversations.

Have cofee pot, will travel

Have coffee pot, will travel!

Eating is an important part of camping or any vacation. Sharon enjoys cooking and is pretty creative with picnic menus. So we hit the road with a cooler of healthy snacks and breakfast items. We brought our picnic basket, camping chairs and table, and even our own coffee percolator. (see photo, very retro!) In the mornings, we’ll have our coffee, plus or minus a light breakfast, and chat for an hour before we get the day started. I like that.

We’ve don’t have a big agenda besides seeing our son, and we’ve been roughing out a plan for each day the evening before. Despite the heat, we are spending time in the great outdoors – mostly mornings. We’re “plant people,” and Savannah has amazing oak and magnolia trees! Also the crepe myrtles are blooming. We’ve kept our schedule light leaving a lot of room for spontaneity and afternoon naps, a vacation favorite for me.

Obviously, I brought the computer and I’m writing a bit, but I find writing relaxing, and we do need some time to ourselves. Otherwise on “screen time,” we’ve both been resisting mindlessly surfing the net. At some point I will need to look at my work email, but I’m not looking forward to it.

So in many ways our trip is like camping; call it “urban camping” if you will. I’m finding same sense of simplicity, rest and relaxation, and physical and emotional closeness with Sharon as I would if we were in the woods. The only thing missing is the campfire and the s’mores, but I guess I can live with that.



  1. Gene Truchelut says:

    Have a good time, Pete. Don’t try to make s’mores in your hotel room – don’t laugh, I’ve seen it tried.

    • Peter Weiss says:

      I’m an expert at microwave s’mores, but alas, no microwave. 🙁