Spring Break Getaway

We didn’t get a big vacation this spring break–most of the week has been filled with work-work and homework (which totally stinks, may I say?!), but also with some extra sleeping and reading time, which I’ll always take.

We did, however, escape on Monday and Tuesday for a much-needed break. My son slept in, my husband and I worked till noon, then we pretty much tossed clothes, sleeping bags, and a cooler into the car and drove south. We stopped for a great lunch here in Santa Cruz, bought a couple of paperbacks each here, then hit Trader Joe’s to fill up the cooler. Then we drove another 40 minutes or so further south, to Mount Madonna County Park.

Where they have yurts.

I love yurts. They come equipped with bunk beds and futons, and a light in the ceiling that the ranger thought wouldn’t be bright enough to read by…WRONG! Plenty of light for bedtime reading. Each yurt has its own little wrap-around deck and BBQ pit. We’d picked up steaks and frozen fries (which we wrapped in foil), and we tossed it all on the BBQ to cook. Okay, my husband and son tossed it on the BBQ. I put on four layers of clothing, dug out the copy of Ellis Peter’s Monkshood that I’d read years ago and decided was perfect for a cozy, nostalgic re-peruse, and stayed as close to the fire as I could without getting smoked out.

April is chilly this year, to say the least!

The next morning, we pulled out our map of the park and started off to circumnavigate the whole thing. Mount Madonna is not a big park–the brochure says it has 20-miles of trails, but I wouldn’t bet on that. Still, we hiked and ate and hiked and ate and hiked and snoozed in the sun for close to seven hours, and it was wonderful.

If you’re ever hiking through the park, and you see a little sign in the middle of nowhere that says, “Rest Area,” follow the deer path. Someone (??!!) decided it was a great idea to tote a picnic table two miles from the nearest road and tuck it into a glade totally hidden from the main trail. We agreed. Lunch was secluded and cozy.

I can highly recommend these:

And my son discovered that a Trader Joe’s Triple Ginger Snap on top of a slice of hard salami makes a delicious open-faced sandwich. (Honestly and frighteningly, it wasn’t bad!)

We saw plenty of these, but did not make them part of the dining experience.

It was tough to come back, but “luckily,” I totally overused most of my leg muscles, so sitting at the computer hasn’t been the worst thing I could be doing. It’s not turning out to be much of a week for writing, and next week probably won’t be either, but I’m trying to get work-stuff out of the way so I can return full-force to my WIPs as soon as possible.

Happy Spring to you all!


  1. I have never in my life seen (or even heard of) a yurtz, and I want one! How cool are those?? What a perfect little getaway, Becky!


    • beckylevine says:

      You should google them and “Canada.” Pretty sure there are some up there, although maybe not near you?


  2. We have yurts at Lake Cachuma and I keep meaning to get on the list to stay there, but I haven’t yet. They are on a bluff overlooking the lake, a primo location. We have spring break next week. Now you really have me looking forward to it!


    • beckylevine says:

      Sherrie, we stayed at one of Cachuma’s lakes years ago–did Thanksgiving there. They’re nice, but the one we had was right on the lake and it was a seriously WINDY day. We were using a charcoal smoker for the turkey, and it kept blowing out!


  3. Laura Best says:

    Yurts, you say? I wonder do they have them in Canada? Sounds great though! Glad you got away for a break. We all need that from time to time. I’m heading off this weekend!


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