Sunday, July 31, 2011

Our Vacation at the Cabin

*Fair Warning: this is the longest post ever* 

So I don't know if you know this about me, but I'm a bit of a hermit. 

It's true, I like my house. 

If I were an animal, I would be the sort that lives in a den and stays there. 

A lot. 

However, a couple weeks ago we made an effort to be adventurous and spontaneous and we went on vacation! Kira the Hermit actually researched rentals on Craigslist and found a cabin on a nice little lake about an hour away.

See, sometimes I am brave and leave my den. 

I mentioned in my 'Fess Up Post  last week that while we (especially the kids) had a great time, it was also a bit of a lesson in 'What to Ask Before Renting a House Off Craigslist.' 

Then one of my brilliant readers said, "Well, what do you ask?" 

And I realized this could be educational for all of you. 


For future reference, before renting a cabin off of Craigslist, you should ask:

  • Hey, is that cabin owned by the people right next door, like five feet away, and am I going to be sharing half of their backyard for the week? 

  • Is there an actual beach or just a sheer dropoff from which toddlers may plunge? 

See all those bushes and stuff? 
In my head, that was going to be sand like Hawaii. This is the Northwest, after all. 

It could happen. no it couldn't.

And that is why I brought loads of sand toys and not a single indoor toy. Silly me. 

  • Also ask, "What do I do if someone is parked in the driveway, sleeping it off in his truck?" (This really happened. When we arrived at the house for the first time, there was a big white truck in the driveway with a pair of feet hanging out the window and a snoring man attached to those feet. We just tip-toed past and pretended like we didn't notice him. Eventually he went away. Who he was and where he went remains a mystery.)

  • Lastly, make sure and ask if there is anything, anything at all, that you can do in the house with a stir-crazy two-year-old if it rains for three days. (Answer: Watch out for flying matchbox cars)

And those are the tips I have for checking out rentals on Craigslist. 

You're welcome. 

In spite of these little snaffoos, oodles of fun was had! Allow me to tell you about it.

There were afternoon popsicles. 

And there was swimming. 

With little sprinkles of pouting thrown in just for kicks. 

My oldest boy spent five days learning to string a pole, tie a knot, bait a hook, and cast a line. 

This big fish lived under the dock and did regular "swim by's" just to laugh at him. 

Fishing is great because it  teaches life lessons:  

Patience, determination, strategy and sometimes, when you stand in the hot sun all day and don't get a bite, resilience.

It also teaches small children about the food chain. 

I heard a blood curdling shriek from the dock and I burst out the door ready to rush someone to the hospital with a broken leg.

It was Rowan, sobbing huge alligator tears, crying, 

"But WHY are you hurting that worm?! He's a nice worm! He won't bite you!" 

Rowan had a meltdown when he heard we were going to use that lovely tub of worms to catch fish. 

My tender-hearted bug-and-critter loving boy. 

I totally get it and I don't like it either.

Some mornings were thick with fog.

And some days filled with rain. 

One of the days we even drove back to our den house to get toys and extra socks and miscellaneous stuff we didn't really need just because it gave us something to do. 

I actually really enjoyed that day. Riding around with my fellas, drinking a latte, listening to Selah.

 My kids are in love with the African-sounding song "Esengo." Not a word of it is in English but they sing along anyways. We looked up the meaning on the internet, and Greyson loves it even more now that he knows it means "Glory, glory, glory to God." 

There were also new friends to be made.

Taylor was four years old and lived right next door (literally)

She was a sweet pea and having a girl around was quite the novelty. 

Rowan the social bug *loved* having someone to play with.

This is him all fancied up to impress his lady friend. 

They fed ducks and ate popsicles.

(Haydn is pretending to be too cool for duck feeding and popsicle eating, but he secretly enjoyed every second.) 

They also spent hours jumping off the dock, practicing 'cannon bolts' (he has no idea what a cannon ball is and that is what he calls it)

They pretended the hammock was a big ship, and later in the week, after Daddy's boating mishap, they pretended over and over again that the motor fell off their ship in the middle of the ocean.

They also started to bicker like an old married couple. Rowan met his bossy match and could not believe she wouldn't play everything he wanted to. 

One day he marched up the stairs, obviously upset, and when I asked him what was wrong he huffed,

"Girls, don't wissen (listen) to nuffing! Dey just yell at me all da time!" 

Let's hope he remembers this in the future. 

My favorite part of the trip was when we did some hiking.

The boys got to try out their "Man VS Wild" skills and immediately set to work accumulating weapons and staffs. 

While Greyson proclaimed several times, 

"Remember! Never give up, never surrender. Also, watch out for strangers and weirdos in costumes." 

Duly noted.

Notice his footwear choice for hiking. Clearly we are city folk. To his credit, though, there was never a peep of complaint and they didn't seem to slow him down any. 

Taylor came along on the hike with us, and when Greyson told her she looked pretty she tossed her little head and said "Oh thank you. It's because of my red hair." 

Me thinks someone has told her that a time or twenty. She is pretty darn cute though. 

Yeah, this was definitely my favorite thing we did all week.

It certainly wore everyone out, especially the littlest, which is tough to do. And if you noticed, there was one picture of me in there. My husband did manage to pry his eyes away from the lovely native vegetation.... 
...long enough to get that one, and I love it. He did good.

All in all, it was a really nice, quiet fun-filled week. 

It was also

We came back to our den home a couple days early just so we could rest before our vacation ended, if you can believe that. 

I think most of that was due to Brecken's age. He's a bit of a whirling dervish and was up every morning by 5:30 a.m. and proceeded to wake all his brothers up as well. Getting trapped in the house for a couple days was hard on him too. I think if we did something like this again in a year or two, we would have an absolute ball. 

So even though the house wasn't quite what we were expecting, and it was a lot of work, and B wore me out, spending time with all my handsome fellas and watching my boys have such a good time was a priceless experience.  

So thankful we were able to go.


  1. It looks like fun (mostly). I think you're pretty brave renting from Craig's List. Trips where everything doesn't go quite as planned are usually the ones talked about and laughed at years later.

    I have girls. I know bossy. : )

  2. You are definitely brave Kira for renting from Craigslist. Not sure I would have done that. But at least you all had a ton of fun. I would have just loved being by the lake. :)

  3. Those pictures are glorious! Baby B's eyes are too adorable (so in focus! i can't stand it when I look at my pictues and the eyes are out of focus, which is almost every time) And the textured pictures were beautiful....I love the one of G on the dock with the does make the trip look like an adventure.

  4. You are such a gifted photographer! I love how you capture your family in photos. Beautiful!

    It seems like almost all my pics are taken on my iphone that has a broken pixel (right in the middle of the screen - so it usually looks like the subject has an unsightly blemish on their face!!)

  5. good for you to be brave! i think we'll be waiting at least another year to enjoy some 'great outdoors' type adventures due to our youngest as well. :)

    looks like you all made some fantastic memories. :)

  6. Wow! What a fun time! I know there were some things that made times not so great, but just getting know. So glad you got away and had such a great vacation!

  7. Your pictures make me miss swimming in clean lakes that you can see through and cool, crisp Idaho mornings and nights!!!


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