“Pack your guitar, your swimsuit and maybe a book…anything that helps you relax,” I told the Urban Farmer.
It was time for Experience #2 in my series of Surprise Anniversary Adventures!
A staycation at Choderwood was just the escape we needed!
If you were going to beach bum and surf through South America, as the Urban Farmer had once intended to do, you might find yourself on a houseboat. This was my inspiration for Surprise Anniversary Adventure #2. (Surprise #1 was all about Star Gazing.) We were only driving a few miles from home, but once we arrived at the surprise destination, we may as well have been a continent away!
“This is Choderwood, and we’re going to stay on a houseboat!”
After a very short car ride, we arrived at the entrance’s wooden gate. “Do you know where we are?” I asked the Urban Farmer, who “jokingly” had guessed I was taking him to the wave pool. He still had no idea.
For a city so branded by its rivers, Pittsburgh offers so few chances to interact with the riverside.
What Steve and Jody Choder, owners of Choderwood, offer is both a chance to escape and to celebrate the city in one revitalizing experience. They have transformed what was once a private, lock master’s riverside home into an urban retreat, with beautiful gardens, a pool, a hot tub, chickens, ducks, hammocks and two houseboats- Namaste and Boho. We arrived at Namaste, our floating home for the night, shut off our phones and lost ourselves in much needed r&r!
We stayed at this oasis for a day and a half, but my mind, body and spirit felt as if we had escaped for weeks! Time seemed to move more slowly, as we let ourselves just stare into the distance. There were so many beautiful details, and each scenes changed with passing clouds and breezes. Even the rainy spells were mesmerizing.
Without schedules or to-do lists, we set about exploring our floating home and then sipping the more extravagant cold-brew coffee I had packed in my “glamping” arsenal.
“Namaste” felt so expansive, with smart space-saving design elements and just the right finishing touches by Steve and Jody. Plus, what other B&B in this city is going to offer river views like these?
The boat even had a bathroom! I had mentally prepared to “rough it” on this front, but much to my surprise, this really was glamping in all its plumbed glory.
We almost missed the most efficient use of the boat’s space. What I had assumed was a small cabinet turned out to be another bunk!
The Urban Farmer did bring his guitar, his board shorts and an intense desire to nap, which are all the goals you need when visiting a place like Choderwood. I’m not as naturally gifted when it comes to daytime snoozing, so I’m lucky to have such a talented master in my midst.
We were uniquely in Pittsburgh, but we were also rootless. It was just the escape I needed to quell some of the wanderlust inside me. Stay tuned for dinner scenes and more glimpses into this magical riverside retreat!
ps: If you want to experience this for yourself (and I hope you do get the chance!), check out Choderwood’s Air BnB listing. Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Choderwood, but all opinions and states of relaxation are mine!