We spent Memorial Day weekend at the cabin for the very first time, and the kids came too! It was … an adventure! To say the least. The cabin currently has no kitchen, almost no stuff, no hot water (surprise!), no internet until the company sent an emergency technician out on Sunday when we were on the verge of losing our minds, and, oh great, a leaky roof. This is what family vacations are made of! I wanted to publish this post last week but seriously it took me a week to recover, haha.
On the way there, we did a very smart thing and woke the kids up, changed diapers and got them in the car by 6 a.m., so they were still tired and slept most of the three hour car ride to stop for breakfast in Lansing, Mich., which is halfway, and the three hour car ride from there to our cabin in Traverse City. So we arrived nice and early in the afternoon and had the rest of the day to explore the cabin, get some tacos at one of our favorite places and then try to get the kids to bed at a decent time. However. Sigh. Going to bed in a strange new place is hard and stressful and a little scary. Going to bed in a strange new place where you’re also sharing a room with your sibling for the first time, well that means partyyyyy! Ugh.
Our first night at the cabin was capital T Tough. Andy and I were totally stressed out by the state of the place — boxes everywhere so we could never find what we needed; after a year of being mostly unlived in, everything felt dirty and grimy; some of the previous owners’ stuff was still there, which is just kind of gross, even if it’s not gross stuff, you know? not to mention just almost zero furniture meaning nowhere to sit down and relax, no fridge for kids who constantly want milk. It’s very much like camping. We had two twin beds already set up, which is where Andy and I slept. We brought Joey’s old crib for Olly to sleep in and a blow-up toddler bed for Joey. We were stressed. The kids picked up on our stress, as kids always do, and then they were stressed and it was just… not a good night. We all barely slept.
On Sunday morning I was determined to make a fresh start with a positive attitude and a nice shower… No hot water, none, zero, ice cold. Womp womp. The hot water heater was turned off, but we were too tired, dirty, grumpy to feel like having to figure out how to turn it on, so we booked a hotel just to use the shower!! (Thank you points!!) We spent the better part of the day with an Internet tech who was sent out to do emergency repair — it was a whole thing. So in the afternoon we showered at the hotel, went to dinner, and an EPIC temper tantrum ensued. A child’s, not mine, though I was tempted to join. I ended up rushing said child out to sit in the car while Andy got dinner packed to go, and my poor, poor glass of cherry cider had to be abandoned. We ate dinner on the floor of the cabin, because there’s nowhere else to sit, and the good news: everyone slept MUCH better Sunday night at the cabin!!
Monday was a pretty good day. We packed up at least half a dozen garbage bags. We dragged the old rodent-ridden (eek) couches out to the dumpster that the roofers had left. (Oh yes, by the way, we’re in the process of having part of the roof replaced, the older part above the living room/kitchen.) We had more hot showers at the hotel, no one had a temper tantrum, we all got to bed at decent times so we could turn around and go home Tuesday…
The plan for Tuesday:
- get a good night’s sleep
- wake up at 5 a.m.
- get the kids in the car
- stop for a nice breakfast around 9 a.m.
- be home to Ohio by early afternoon
What really happened:
- woke up around 12:30 a.m. hearing dripping, discovered it was coming from the middle of the bedroom ceiling, the first-floor bedroom ceiling (this is the part of the house NOT currently getting a new roof)
- discovered quite a lot of rain water pouring through the window frames in the second-floor bedroom, which was running across the floor and soaking through to the ceiling of the bedroom below
- ran around getting whatever we could find to catch the water — remember, the house is essentially empty! We had one garbage can and three pots and pans.
- by now, the kids were awake, thinking this is the best adventure ever, giggling and having the time of their lives, which actually made the whole thing SO MUCH better for me and Andy too, and we decided, no one is going back to sleep tonight, so…
- got the kids in the car and started driving home at 2:30 a.m.
- drove through pitch dark and pouring rain (have I mentioned I hate driving in the dark and hate driving in the rain — we’d taken two cars so Andy and I were driving separately)
- stopped at the first open Starbucks drive-thru at 6 a.m.
- got back home, utterly exhausted, at 9:30 a.m
- took turns napping the rest of the day
Silver lining #1: we were aware of water damage near the windows in the second floor master bedroom. Even when we arrived on Saturday we found a bit of water, but without seeing it happen we didn’t know exactly where it was coming from. So now we know. The other good news is the part of the roof that is in the process of being replaced stayed dry, phew!! We were able to text our roofer (at a decent time Tuesday) and he is already working on determining what needs to be fixed. There’s nothing worse than having an issue that you don’t know the cause of, so even if it’s a big, terrible deal in the long run, at least we can get started on fixing it.
Silver lining #2: despite the messed up schedules, the temper tantrums, the lack of sleep and lack of refrigerator full of milk, the kids seemed to actually have a pretty great time at the cabin. Phew. They loved the lake. They especially loved all the wildlife, like a beaver who swam by and a seagull who chose to eat his fish dinner right outside the bedroom window (Olly loved that and yelled “bye bye, duck” for at least half an hour after the seagull flew away, so cute!). Joey started asking when we can go back to the cabin as soon as we got home (the answer: in about a month, yay!). I always think, no matter how difficult it is or how stressful certain moments may be, traveling with kids is absolutely worth it.
Silver lining #3: It was awesome to have an opportunity to get a ton of junk thrown out. One of the things that was making me and Andy really uncomfortable and stressed was just how much the cabin wasn’t feeling like ours, because there was still so much that wasn’t ours in it. Being able to throw away a lot of old stuff, including those old couches, and know that next time we go there, we’ll be filling it with all our own things, that’s just a huge relief. And next time we go, not only are we taking a U-haul full of new furniture, but a whole new kitchen too!! I just can’t wait until we can also give the whole place a really good cleaning. We vacuumed and did a bit but it needs like a REAL good cleaning, which hopefully we can get done soon too.
Stay tuned for an exciting post when we’ll be giving you a tour of the demoed cabin kitchen including what surprises we got when everything came out, a walkthrough of exactly where everything is going, and show you all the NEW design plans because, yes, we totally changed our minds… as we do!