He told me that it would be warm and cozy, and that we would be inside while it was storming outside. In my mind, I was almost positive he was taking me to Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood. I asked Brian all the questions I could think of to get some hints, and honestly, all his answers pointed to my hope.
That was it. I knew it...Timberline Lodge. And boy, was I PUMPED.
But, when Valentine's weekend came and we got into the truck to leave, I noticed all our camping gear in back; sleeping bags, groceries, pillows, towels. "Interesting," I thought, "Maybe he rented a cabin instead."
You know, the kind where you have to bring your own pillows...
We headed west.
Not north to Mt. Hood and not east to Sisters, Bend or Sun River where a nice snowy cabin would be waiting. West to the beach, where it is, indeed, freezing cold and very wet in February. As we drove down the 101 I held onto the hope that he had rented a beach house. That would be fun, I thought. We could be all warm and cozy inside and watch the storms roll in on the outside. I could dig that.
But all visions of lodges, cabins, and beach houses vanished when Brian turned the truck and entered the South Beach Campground. Our cozy, romantic, Valentine's getaway was to be, ladies and gentleman, spent in a yurt.
I have to admit. When I first got there, I was a little dismayed. I was in a campground. It was cold and raining and did that thing even have HEAT?
I walked into that yurt, sat down and commenced feeling sorry for myself while sweet Brian trucked in all the gear he had secretly packed.
I may or may not have sat on that green futon and cried for a little while. Bratty? Probably. But I had just had what was the worst week of my life (also the reason why I fell off the face of the earth for three weeks)and all I wanted at that moment was to get into a huge hot bath. I was hurting and I did not want to camp. I did not want a yurt.
Poor Brian did everything he could to make me happy. Piled warm blankets on me, gave me chocolate. He felt so bad. He had planned this whole thing down to the last detail. He had played our favorite songs all the way to the beach, had programmed the location into his truck's GPS under "Valentine Surprise". He told me he could make me tea with honey if I wanted (yes, he even brought that) and handed me tissues.
In his wisdom, Brian let me sit and soak it all in for a while. As I did, he started to make the bed. He zipped our sleeping bags together and piled them high with quilts, quilts that mean so much to me. One made by my mother and that still smells like my grandma's house. It made me feel better. And, it made that cold, hard yurt a whole lot more comfy.
I began to perk up a little.
I remembered that I love camping. And camping in a yurt is like luxury camping. They don't leak, they have heaters, electricity, mirrors, table and chairs, a deck, a bunk bed and a futon. Who doesn't love a bunk bed?
So it was that I started to get excited. There was even a little visitor's center at the campground where you could rent videos, games, and books and buy yourself some snacks.
And we did end up having fun. So much, in fact, that we planned another yurt trip for the early fall to that same campground.
One of my favorite parts of the yurt was that it had a big skylight and in warm weather you can open it up. When you wake up in a yurt, this is what you see:
Brian even prepared me a candlelit dinner in our yurt. And it WAS romantic, even by camping standards.
(sorry this picture is so dark...)
If I had the chance to camp in a yurt again, I would jump at it in a heartbeat.
And Brian, I wouldn't trade you for all the Timberline Lodges in the whole wide world.
(p.s. Sorry for the huge paragraphs in the middle there. For some reason freakin blogger messes with my layouts when I add pictures to my posts.)