Since my childhood, big family vacations have been part of my summers. We took a short break between college and our first babies, but since then my parents, sisters, husbands, kids and whatever cousins or aunts and uncles that can make it spend a week together in a big rented house the second week of August.
In previous years, we rented a darling Farmhouse in Eastern Washington (see more about that one here) but have outgrown the space and needed to find something new.
Last fall, we searched and searched for the next ‘Farmhouse’ and came across a new-to-the-market vacation rental about 4 hours from Seattle in a tiny town just on the other side of the Washington/Oregon border. We snatched it up for our designated week and marked that day as the final day of our 3 month long road trip.
To say our kids were excited for our week vacation with family is a crazy understatement. These kids have been talking about ‘The New Farmhouse‘ since Christmas and it was truly the perfect way to end our travels.
We hopped in the car for our final leg and snapped a picture to remember:
We were the first to arrive at our vacation rental and couldn’t wait to spend the week at the most wonderful house on the top of a hill with all our family!
You never really know what you’re getting when you book online and after just a few minutes of exploring, we were so happy with our choice. It is hard to find a big house that sleeps as many as we have, with a kitchen that can accommodate lots of meals and a big pool to keep us entertained all week. This place delivered on it all.
(Here is the VRBO listing if you are looking for something wonderful to rent).
This pool and that view. So wonderful.
Want to know what the very first thing I did was?
Bake. I have missed baking.
And so I made my delicious chocolate chip cookies (here is the recipe + cute recipe card) and then we turned them into ice cream sandwiches for a celebration later that night.
We made it 107 days! What an amazing trip and I’m so grateful we finished it all up by celebrating with our family.
Sweet reunions with a few tears.
Remember that pretty, tranquil-looking pool? Shortly after arrival and for the next six days, it pretty much always looked like this:
We had great intentions of going into town to visit a few local wineries, but when it came down to it, no one wanted to leave the pool.
In the mornings, we sat out on the deck for breakfast, reading, phone-looking and guitar practice.
In the afternoons, we sent the kids inside for ‘happy hour’. They play, snack and stay out of the sun for two hours while the grown ups had the pool to ourselves. It’s the most brilliant thing we’ve ever done and a tradition that we established long ago so the kids know nothing different.
In the evenings we shared dinner-duty, played cards, watched the Olympics.
On our last night, my cousin (a local event planner – hire her! she’s amazing!) set up the big farm tables on the lawn for dining al fresco. It was gorgeous!
My dad brought along his good camera and took a few family photos and my mom brought along matching outfits for them :)
These kids are just the best. Our son, Ethan is the oldest (12) and my little sister’s son, Griffin is the littlest (4). This year was our first time as moms to chill by the pool without caring for babies. It was delightful.
Also, if you want to be entertained for a second, check out this video of Griffin. He wanted to be like his big cousins diving through the pool-noodle-hoop into the pool and he surprised us all by just going for it. Love that kid.
I’m the middle of three girls who are my best friends. Their husbands and kids are awesome. I know how rare it is to want to hang out with your family for a week and we truly do.
This summer was unlike any other.
We took action on a crazy dream and it was everything and so much more than we could have ever wished or imagined.
It forced us to spend dedicated time together – just us six – and I will forever cherish this time.
Thank you, sweet readers, for following along, for your suggestions and encouragement, for your compliments and questions. I wasn’t sure how things would go with me taking time away from normal blog topics to share our long trip with you and it has been awesome. Thank you, thank you, thank you.