A mind stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensionsOliver Wendell Holmes
I started a new job as a personal trainer a few months ago at a new gym and love it. However, getting a lot of new information at once and a ton of new clients then a promotion and new responsibilities left me wanting a vacation. Will worked almost 6 weeks straight without a break working 12 hour shifts. We were TIRED. We were burned out. We booked a mini vacation.
Our friends had recently stayed at a glamping site, Airydale Retreat, and loved it, so we decided to check it out. We fell in love with their Cardinal sites because it was 1. dog friendly, 2. had a freaking SLIDE, and 3. looked super cozy and had great amenities.
Our weekend for a cozy, mini road trip, super fun getaway was booked for Halloween weekend and we couldn’t have been more excited. Below are all of the things we got to and what what we thought about them! Spoiler alert: we had a fantastic time and would absolutely do this again.
Friday, October 29
It’s raining, it’s pouring, it’s… the perfect time to take a road trip… Yeah. To say it poured down raining would be an understatement. However, we got the car packed, the pups in the car, and we were off to our first stop also known as lunch! We stopped in Harrisburg, PA to visit Ever Grain Brewing which is a favorite food stop for me and a favorite beer stop for Will.
We rolled up to the entrance which was nestled in a super cute valley with a view of the mountains in the distance.
It stopped raining for the most part so we got to explore and settle in without getting drenched. Oh. My. Goodness this campsite was adorable. The tent was massive, the fire pit and cooking area was huge and well provisioned with a skillet, dutch oven and some utensils, and there were plenty of spaces where we could curl up and relax.
Atlas loved getting to chase sticks and roam around and Mickey had some great new smells to explore. Inside was just as cute! Yes, I brought too many books to a weekend vacation. I’m living life to my fullest.
It started pouring again, so we opted to get takeout instead of trying to light a fire in a torrential downpour. Will got us pizza from Speck’s Deli & Gourmet Pizza and it hit the freaking spot.
Supreme pizza from Speck’s = supremely delicious pizza experience. That night was pretty cold, however we took full advantage of the heater the campsite provided and we had brought our own heater and extra blankets. We were pleasantly surprised at how well the tent held heat and honestly the slight chilly room that morning was the perfect excuse to stay in bed a little longer.
Saturday, October 30
The rain stopped overnight so we wanted to take advantage of the kitchen area below the tent. They had a kettle for coffee and a mini stovetop where we could heat up the meal-prepped breakfasts we brought with us.
We can’t go to the mountains or even on vacation without some sort of hike. Will found a trail called 1,000 steps that looked fun, so we set out immediately after breakfast. The trail takes its name seriously and does indeed have 1,000 steps that let you climb the mountain almost vertically. There are plenty of places to take a quick breather and while it was challenging it was a lot of fun.
Sadly, I forgot to get a picture of our lunch from Taste of the Valley. I had a fantastic shredded bbq chicken sandwich and I ate it so quickly I forgot about the picture. I also splurged on a pumpkin whoopee pie and oh my goodness it was next level good.
The rain picked up again by this point so we went back to the campsite, showered, and relaxed. If we had come to Airydale in the summer, the shower would’ve been perfect. I’m a huge wimp in the cold and while the shower did have hot water, it just wasn’t substantial. It did what it was intended and I appreciated that.
We decided to beat the rain and visit a local brewery that was dog friendly. We ended up at Shy Bear Brewing and were so happy we did. Our dogs were allowed in their enclosed patio so we were all super warm, the staff loved on our dogs, and the food/beer selection was so diverse and tasty. I honestly will plan another trip back to the area just to eat at this place again.
What do you do after eating delicious food and enjoying a date with your boyfriend and dogs? You go back to your campsite and take an hour to light the fire because everything is soggy and appreciate the effort he makes to give you a cozy campfire experience. In the end, we got it lit and enjoyed hanging out and reading by the fire.
Sunday, October 31
Sunday morning found us sleeping in again and loving life. Unfortunately the weather decided it didn’t love us and started to rain…again. We hung out for a bit, but decided to pack up early and find breakfast somewhere on the way home. One of my biggest regrets from the trip was not being able to go down the slide because it was soaking wet. Next time!
We found a cafe called Standing Stone Coffee Company that looked good and told us their patio was dog friendly. Win! We drove there and basically had the hardest time choosing just one meal from their menu. They might be a small town cafe, but the space had a giant personality that was welcoming and fun. The food was just as great.
We would 100% go back and honestly wish they had a location in our town. After we enjoyed our breakfast we drove back home. Keeping up with the fact that it was Halloween we listened to the true crime podcast called Morbid. Because what better way to end a weekend in the woods during spooky season than with a scary recounting of serial killers?
Ever since we moved to Lancaster we love handing out candy to trick or treaters. We are lucky enough to be friends with all of our neighbors so we sit on the porch, chat, and have a great time together with all of our dogs. This year Will found matching pajamas for us and the dogs. Trick or treating in the city was supposed to be the Friday we left, but because of the weather it ended up being Sunday so we could participate! The pjs were a huge hit.