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Glamping this summer? Let RPL and Mango help!


"Cat selfies?  Have we no shame?"Just sitting there at your computer, wishing this winter would stop already, endlessly scrolling through dream vacations you can’t afford to take? Or are you just staring at cat pictures on Buzzfeed?  It’s ok.  RPL wants to help.  I’m going to let you in on a couple of secrets that just might save Spring, Summer, and your sanity. Ready?

Glamping:  A word combining “glamour” and “camping” is apparently a thing that people do according to this article in the New York Times.  Reportedly a more luxurious way of “roughing it”, it can range from a $10/night stay in a VW minibus in Charlottesville, to a $1726/night stay at the “Four Seasons Tented Camp at Golden Triangle” in Thailand and, as you may have guessed, there are plenty of websites to get you on your way.  Fear not, I’m going to stay closer to the $10 side of things for this post. This all started when I stumbled upon the glamping wishlist on Airbnb.com and with some further Googling discovered some really affordable places to stay all over Europe.  I found a $27 a night Tipi in Huetor de Santillan, Spain, a $20 a night stay on a campsite farmhouse in Perugia, Italy, and my own personal favorite, A “Summer Home for Hobbits” just outside of Helsinki, Finland, for $54 a night.  In addition to brushing up on my Russian and learning a little Korean, I may have to add Finnish to the list so that I can chat over fresh donuts with Maija, the allegedly quirky owner of the little café about a 10km walk through the woods from the Hobbit house.  


Armed with little more than some pluck, a sense of adventure, and your library card to access Mango, you could go anywhere and feel right at home under the stars or in slightly more plush digs.  Just visit Richmondpubliclibrary.org and under the Find Information menu, click “online library” and scroll down to Mango Langues.  You can learn a whole bunch of languages, fast, fun and completely free!


Not in the mood to glamp but feel like charging a bunch of globetrotting strangers 15 bucks to sleep in your backyard this summer?  Check out Backyard Structures and How to Build Them by Monte Burch or How to Build Treehouses, Huts & Forts by David Stiles, both freshly shelved at Ginter Park!


Just want to travel through the pages of a book?  These are a few that have transported me: Earlier this year Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk took me to Istanbul in the 70s (I could learn Turkish too!); Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt is one of my all-time favorite reads; A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson took me on the Appalachian Trail (without actually having to go there and for that I am grateful); West of Here by Jonathan Evison looks promising so I’ll add it to my wishlist (I’ve been meaning to get back out West).