A weekend in a Yurt

A few weeks ago, we enjoyed a short trip to Napa Valley and stayed in one of the large yurts in Bothe Napa Valley State Park.

Per Wikipedia: a yurt is a portable, round tent covered with skins or felt and used as a dwelling by nomads in the steppes of Central Asia. The structure comprises an angled assembly or latticework of pieces of wood or bamboo for walls, a door frame, ribs (poles, rafters), and a wheel (crown, compression ring) possibly steam-bent. 

I don’t believe our yurt was covered in skins or felt, but rather in canvas. The lattice work was indeed a part of it, however, I don’t recall seeing a wheel.

The Yurt was large enough to fit six people with one full size bed and four cots. At night, it would get really chilly and dark (no electricity!) in the yurt, and during the day it’ll feel hot like a sauna. The sun will hit directly on your face around 6am forcing you to wake from your slumber; it was nature’s nice way of providing you an alarm clock.

We came to love our lil home for the past two days we were there. The only down side to it is that there are no keys given for each yurt. You can lock your door from inside the room before you sleep, but we couldn’t lock it from the outside to protect our personal belongings. So, I suggest not bringing anything of high value and leaving only minimal things in your yurt while everyone goes hiking, swimming,  or wine tasting.

If I happen to be in the Napa area in the future, I would definitely like to stay in a yurt again.


How to Make the Most of a Long Layover

Over the past eight years since I’ve left Guam, I have gotten used to layovers in Honolulu, Narita, and now Seoul. I have found that if you do research on the airport ahead of time, you will be able to enjoy the 6 or so hours you have to spend there. The ticket I purchased this time around had a layover in Incheon International Airport (ICN) for 6 hours. I had been in this airport before, however, only had very minimal time to kill. This time around, I had double that time. What to do within those hours? Hmm…

  • Take a shower. I discovered online that the ICN had a shower and massage area. Shower was free for transit passengers with proof of a boarding pass and passport. Upon presenting the staff these items, they then hand you a teeny tiny towel, shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, and toothbrush. You then have your own private bathroom for, preferably 30 minutes only (however, I stayed longer and they didn’t kick me out..)
  • Take a nap. The ICN had specific areas all around the 2nd floor for resting and relaxation. Chaises are scattered throughout the airport for you to rest in comfortably until your next scheduled boarding time.
  • Eat. Many people find airplane food to be bland and unappealing, however, airport food is a different story. You can find a plethora of places to eat at airports. I always go for what’s local. Why eat American Food while in Korea? So, of course I went for Korean food.
  • Buy local goodies. Although, you might pay slightly more for a product inside the airport than outside, I still say buy something different and unique to each prospective country in which you become a transit passenger. This can be anything as simple as a snack or a hair accessory.
  • Explore the airport. At some major airports, there are cultural displays, museums, and other ancient artifacts to purposefully make passengers “OH” and “Ahh” to. So why not go and explore those?
  • People Watch. You know you hate to admit you do that..but its a natural tendency. I especially love to do it when I’m not in my own country or city. I love seeing people’s diversity, fashion, and reactions.

By the time you have done at least 3 of these things…your flight will be boarding.  Happy Travels! 🙂