When I was a little girl my Dad would take my sister and I on pretty hardcore camping trips. By hardcore I mean we would have to find a space to poop then cover it with leaves. We would have to carry our kayaks over our heads up steep rocky trails. We would drink powdered Tang and cook hot dogs over an open flame. At night I’d count the spiders crawling up the walls of my tent and the stones under my sleeping bag. I’d come back dirty, covered in bug bites, tired, and hungry but happy. It was great times, great memories, and a truly different experience than our norm. Now I’m older and I like my amenities. I like running water and a roof and a place to relieve myself without getting bug bites on my butt. I was conflicted. I didn’t want my own daughter to miss out on the camping experience, but my GOD I really didn’t want to camp. Enter Huttopia.
Huttopia was about a 2.5 hour drive from Boston nestled in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. We stopped the car no less than 4 times to admire the colors of the hills. October in NH is an experience in itself. We were meeting my friend Jenna and her daughter Teddy for a first time girls-only “Glamping” excursion. We were there for 24 hours…we packed for 24 days.
Huttopia provides everything you need for comfort camping. Our Trapper tent was detailed with cookware, a refrigerator, table and chairs, sheets and blankets, a bunk bed, a full bed, 2 working sinks, and a shower/toilet. This was my kind of camping, people.
Upon arrival the girls were brave enough to take a dip in the heated pool. It was an early October New England 45 degrees outside so even a heated pool was too chilly for the Mamas!
The Lodge tent and terrace boasted ping pong, air hockey, board games, a sitting area, corn hole, and a flat screen TV (which was never turned on). The girls loved the playground and had a lot of fun making up their own version of play at the Volleyball courts.
The reception area had everything we needed and more – firewood, S’mores, local craft beer, and a fun selection of wines.
We noticed a hiking trail book and felt brave enough to take the girls on a 2 mile jaunt to do some up-close leaf peeping. There is just something about being in the woods that makes you feel close to the people you are with. We talked about everything and anything until we noticed we were off the trail. Thank goodness for landmarks (and our 7 year olds noticing everything around them) to get us back on track.
Huttopia is set on the backside of a beautiful lake with a man-made beach so we took advantage of the canoe rentals. The girls had never been in a canoe (and it had been years since we had!) and were nervous about tipping. “It’s good to overcome some fears” my friend told her daughter as we carefully inched away from the shore. I love hearing other good parents parent their children. It gives such great perspective, doesn’t it? “That’s right” I agreed. If you don’t take healthy risks life would be a boring place.”
They calmed down enough for us to grab a photo opp, and when we got back to shore they wondered why the trip was cut short (go figure.) Sunset on that shimmering lake was peaceful and good for the soul…
…and dinner under the stars was magical.
An old school silver Airstream is parked next to the Terrace and offers homemade brick oven pizza and crepes. It’s worth noting that although Huttopia provides so many amenities, they do a good job of blending them into the background so that you don’t feel like you are in the middle of a tourist destination. We went back to the tent to start our fire for S’mores…..30 minutes later: “Have you ever done this Mommy?” We looked at each other and both smiled “Nope! It will be an adventure.” And besides she added, “Between the two of us we’ve had 7 kids so this shouldn’t be a problem for your strong Mamas….”
“Childbirth or fire building?” I asked her with a smile 90 minutes later and still no campfire. We walked over to a neighboring tent and listened to 4 or 5 couples speaking French around a handsome fire. Upon further investigation we noticed they were cooking filet mignon, tossing a salad, and cooking potatoes on an open flame. Glamping, indeed. The friendly French couples helped get our fire started and our girls were finally able to enjoy S’mores. You can find community at Huttopia, even in the wilderness.
That night the girls cuddled on the bunk bed and read their books, falling asleep as bundled up as can be under soft sheets and a comforter. The temperature was about 40 degrees in the tent. Jenna and I sat outside by the now dying fire, our conversation bouncing from houses, kids, sports, and marriage in between the crackle of the flames. We both agreed that years ago we never thought this would be possible. We never thought we’d get to take time out of the chaos that comes from raising multiple young children to spend time with just one of them. Special, concentrated, one-on-one time that none of us will forget. That’s probably the best thing that ever came out of this Huttopia trip.
The next morning I didn’t wake up covered in bed bites or tired or hungry or dirty. I woke up feeling proud. We did it. We survived the night, just us. Okay fine we had a bathroom and nice covers and a tent over our head but still, it was an empowering feeling. Egg-filled crepes and coffee were waiting for us back at the Airstream.
We could already sense the girls getting sad about having to leave.
We get it. We didn’t want to leave either…
Thank you to Huttopia for not only providing this unique experience…but for so much more. See you next October.
We stayed in the Tent. Next year we are going to try the log cabin. Go to YouTube for a great description of boarding options. Bring Walkie-Talkies!