The Cabin Experience

 As previously promised, the adventures of our cabin trip!

I think of myself as a fun outgoing mom, ya know? And I want to do things with my kids and make memories with them that they can hold on to forever. So I plan these big fun outings and trips and parties with the intentions of “this is going to be perfect” or “everyone is going to have so much fun” and I never really stop to think about the age variations and lack of common sense my children have.

Now at this point in my parenting career, I should know good and well not to ever think anything is going to go exactly as planned, but still being the optimist I am, I like to hold my breath.

So anyway, I book this beautiful cabin nestled in the woods on a gorgeous creek. There’s a fire pit, a huge deck, plenty of trees, and nature to be in. My thoughts are we are going to finally unplug from cell phones and Xboxes for a weekend and become one with nature and grow closer as family. Finally relax and unwind as I listen to the joyful giggles of the kids and peaceful sounds of nature. Ya know the whole story book movie scenes where families have the magical bonding experiences? Now from the PERFECTIONIST mom view, that is all bogus and soooo not realistic. 

This trip was not at all any of that. Let’s start with arriving at the cabin. It’s like releasing a couple of raged hyenas into the wild. These kids busted straight through the doors and began just running from one room to the next everywhere. I felt like I was watching an episode of the Tazmanian Devil as they dropped their bags all across the living room, ran to the kitchen and opened every cabinet, looked in every bathroom, jumped on every bed, and ravaged the entire cabin to check out its newness. Once they were finally calmed down and I (by myself) had carried all the groceries in and was ready to begin family bonding time it was midnight thirty. So a movie was turned on and to bed we went. End of day 1.

Day 2. A new start. I’m awakened at 6 a.m. to the pitter-patter of little feet everywhere ready to get the day started. I guess vacation does not mean we sleep in these days. But anyway, I start my super strong cup of Deathwish Coffee (best coffee ever!) and do my mental pump up to get ready for a gloriously fun day. 

9 a.m. we decide to go for a hike down the creek as we are promised a waterfall…. Here we go….6 kids (two of which are 4 and 2 and don’t have that sort of endurance) trekking down the creekside to discover a beautiful site. My husband promises me it’s only about a mile walk and it’s really easy terrain. So I’m thinking we will be fine, even though I do only have flip-flops. Life lesson learned here: NEVER take a man’s word for “easy” terrain. Yes, there were no hills to climb, BUT this entire walk is FULL of pointy, bouldery rocks that have to be carefully stepped and climbed over, tons of briars, and millions of trees to maneuver. This hike has now turned into a survival maze where you pray no one slips and breaks an ankle. Was the hike only a mile long? Shoot if I know, but I do know it took us a whole hour and a half to get there and we had to stop at least 80 times to take a break. I was determined to see this waterfall though. It was going to be that magical moment where the whole family stands in awe and just appreciates nature. WRONG again! When I think waterfall I think of this:

A tall, majestic, roaring glory with a calm, sparkling pool at the bottom. I imagine this is what my kids had envisioned as well. So when the men stopped and said “He were are!” I can’t even imagine the look on the rest of our faces as we looked around for this waterfall. I guess we were waiting on them to say “Ha Ha just kidding” or for a tree to move and reveal some precious glory. But instead, we were given this: 

 Now don’t get me wrong, it was gorgeous…but this is not a waterfall to me. This is a rapid. So I can’t lie when I say I was a little disappointed that I just endured an hour and a half, rock climbing, briar scratching hike in flip flops while carrying a two-year-old most of the way all for this site….

The hike back was no better I must say. At this point, all the water sounds and carrying of heavy children has really played a role on my mommy bladder and I am really considering a potty break in the nearby trees. The kids are starving and thirsting as we did not take drinks or snacks because this was supposed to be a quick mile-long hike that only took about an hour there and back…LOL! It’s now getting hot outside and we are all tired. 

We FINALLY make it back to the cabin about 12ish and I don’t even want to think about the next activity on the agenda as it’s probably doomed also. We take a short nap (because we all need it) and then decide to try our hand at fishing the creek. POINTLESS! It hasn’t rained in weeks and the fish are not biting. Back to the cabin we go for some cornhole. This turns into a beanbag fight where 6 of the 8 beanbags end up over the deck rails in the briar patches…

At this point, I abandon all activities planned and just say every man for himself, but like a mom, I keep on going with the plan. Up next: rock skipping. 

It’s now like 5 o’clock in the evening and almost time for dinner. I go into the very dirty kitchen full of at least fifteen bags of half-eaten chips and thirty almost empty juice boxes to find that our groceries that were supposed to last all weekend long are pretty much gone. I swear these kids are like little goats and just eat absolutely ALL THE TIME. But anyway, I make our delicious cheeseburgers and clean up some trash before heading back outside to see how our rock skipping is going. 

What do I see when I go out? Not kids on the side of the creek skipping rocks happily. Instead, I see 4 of the 6 kids IN the creek splashing around like crazy and getting BIG rocks out and plopping them down, and the other 2 kids are throwing a sand hurricane around everywhere. By no means were any of these kids left unattended. Their daddy was with them, so when questioned as to what in the heck was going on, I got the response “well they couldn’t find any good rocks on the creekside..”
Yal it’s the first weekend in March, the temperature is low 60s outside, but this water is COLD! I only packed a couple outfits because this is just a weekend trip. The kids emerge from the water and who would have ever guessed it, but they are FREEZING! Add laundry to the list of things that now have to be done. 

Fast forward to everyone is now alive and in clean dry clothes. We’ve all been bathed and dinner has somewhat been eaten. It’s time to spend some time around the campfire. 

We don’t have smores because of course the savages have depleted our groceries quicker than intended so we decide to just play in the fire with sticks. Smart idea right? Wrong again! Instead we set our sticks on fire and scare another kid by pretending we are going to poke them so naturally the kid being threatened is going to run crying to mommy. Fun times for mommy.

Finally, it’s Sunday morning and time to go home. In two short days, this CLEAN beautiful cabin has been turned upside down into blankets and pillows EVERYWHERE but the beds, chips and juice remnants are scattered from one room to the next, matching shoes are nowhere to be found, and sand is piled all over. Mother Maid begins barking orders to each kid and a military plan is set in place to get this cabin back in shape before check out time. With just thirty minutes to spare we are able to get the car loaded, ten pairs of shoes assembled, souvenir rocks gathered, and all trash out. Homeward bound we go. 

Now this entire chaotic tale was EVERYTHING but relaxing in the moment. But when I got home and started thinking back on the trip and looking at the pictures, I do see that the journey was absolutely everything I wanted it to be. The kids were full of smiles and laughter, we made memories, we embraced nature in our own chaotic way, and we had fun. I wish I could spend more time loving these memories in the moments instead of trying to make sure everything is perfect, but I am so glad that no matter how unplanned and unorganized it gets at times, all 6 of these little monsters are loving life and having fun. That’s what it’s all about. 

Enjoy some of the memories we made below:

One response to “The Cabin Experience”

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