Sunday, October 10, 2021

Family Vacation

NOTE: This a family post about our recent vacation. If you aren't interested, just scroll on by. Quilts will be back with the next blog.

We were supposed to go to the beach last summer. Obviously, that didn't happen. So last week we finally got a family vacation at a Cabin in the woods in Tennessee: 

Find the link to the property here: Airbnb  It is really out there, away from any town. But only 2.5 hours from home.

A large cabin that will sleep 20, if they are all friendly, it was a good size for the 8 of us. The young family, our son and his wife, and the two grands, 6 and 3, had the lower level. A home theater room, a game table, two bedrooms--one with bunk beds, a twin, and a double bed and the other with a king bed, and a full bath. I told Stella this was their "apartment". It kept all the kid stuff contained and the kids were happily entertained with the big screen TV when the adults wanted to talk upstairs. 

My older son and his woman had the upper floor--two bedrooms, each with 2 queen beds, and a full bath, giving them privacy and comfort.

We had the  main floor bedroom, quite large, with a king bed and full bath with jacuzzi tub:

a quilt from home

lots of space in the master

So many wonderful experiences, I'll just touch on a few. 

1. The first and last night we had great weather for an incredible night sky. No ambient light for many miles, made it possible to see so many stars, planets, the International Space Station (ISS) and other satellites. We sat on the deck for a long time enjoying this:

2. The kids got to go on a long hike a couple days, down the steep, curvy drive, to the creek way below. They enjoyed their "adventure":

Their uncle Josh, our eldest, has always been a collector of cool things like rocks, arrowheads, and fossils. Some of his finds:

While we were there, a new swing set was installed, giving the kids some extra fun:

3. We ate very well. All provisions had to be brought with us and the two refrigerators were full the first day. I made breakfast each day, the other two families were tasked with dinner. Lunch was whatever each family brought. Joshua has mastered the art of the smoker and his two meals were pulled pork and smoked salmon. Both were SO AMAZING! He declared the salmon the best he has ever done and it was fine dining worthy, the best I have ever had. There were NO LEFTOVERS of salmon.  Our grands are great eaters--I credit their Mom for that. They both loved the salmon dinner:

Smoked salmon, roasted broccoli, roasted homegrown carrots

Tuesdays' dinner, smoked pork--wish you could smell this

4. We surprised my husband with an early birthday celebration. His birthday isn't for a few more weeks but this was when we could all be together. The first night was the cake and ice cream:

The last night was the BIG SURPRISE.  A few months ago he told me "someday" he wanted to taste Dom Perignon champagne. As he rarely asks for anything, I knew right then I would bring a bottle to the family vacation. Joshua sourced it for me, and it was hidden away until the last night, the fine dining salmon dinner night:

Of course, he was given the honor of the LAST DROP: 

It was the perfect surprise, he was so touched and happy to spend this special birthday with his family.

5. We had a couple days of rain but that made for conversation time, jigsaw puzzles, naps and music. Joshua had recently received the brand new Recording King Justin Townes Earle signature guitar--a tribute to his friend, JTE, who passed away a year ago. Joshua got the kids strumming and they  loved it:


Joshua's girlfriend, Cait, had a great time, especially with the kids. We don't get to see enough of her so it was really nice to have the whole family together, including Cait:

6. The last night was perfect for the long-awaited "s'mores at the firepit" event. It's a bit of a long walk down to the firepit from the cabin and an even longer walk back up in the pitch dark:

View from the deck

Sam supervising PopPop make the fire: 

When it got dark, it was time for Ghost Stories. Stella made this up on the fly, she is destined for the stage, don't you think?! Worth the less than 2 minute view:

After a quick jacuzzi bath for the kids (better check for ticks) they were ready for a long nights' sleep.

Up early the last day, we all packed up after breakfast and headed for home. It was truly great to have all this family time together, I just wish I had taken more photos, especially a group selfie with us all. 

Four days was just about the perfect amount of time. No one was grouchy and the food was just about gone. Except for the leftover BBQ pork--I brought most of that home!

Now, let's quilt.



  1. Thank you for sharing!! I read every word! Family is so important! I also appreciate the link to the air bnb.

  2. Your little grand is absolutely precious! Her story was wonderful and she’s so dramatic!! I loved it. Beautiful house you all stayed in, it looks like you really had fun. Hugs,

    1. Her second one was longer and more dramatic! I can see her now in Drama club in high school and college--she gets into it.

  3. The pandemic has taught us to treasure time together with family and friends

  4. Looks like a wonderful place to get away with the family!

  5. Sounds like a perfect family vacation :) being together and enjoying each other's company :).