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.
I loved reading about all your adventures. I had a great time just dreaming about the places so I can imagine what an amazing time you had visiting them all. Thank you for all the great words of advice while travelling with a big family and for not leaving out the not so great moments. I’m sure someday I will come back to this posts and look for ideas to do in my own or with my family. :)
This looks like the perfect trip! How wonderful to have the entire family together for a week of fun.
Thank you – your trip was inspirational. You have made a lifetime of memories for your family. Isn’t that what life is all about?
Here’s to adventures!
What a wonderful way to end your trip, vacation! I’m sure all of you had a wonderful time with family, and as readers, we enjoyed seeing what you did and where you stayed. We look forward to reading about what happens next in your lives and wish you all the best. Thank you for sharing and taking the time to do it. You made the whole trip sound fantastic and it was good to see the pictures you shared. Blessings……..
A perfect way to end your vacation, trip. And that you all enjoyed it. We readers did, also! Don’t know how you were able to do all you did and then fill us in on the happenings. Thank you and we continue with interest to see what goes on in your life. Blessings…………..
Welcome home to the Evergreen state! It has been so fun to read about your adventures and to see the country through the eyes of your family.
Thank YOU!! Happy y’all made it home safe and have such wonderful memories to look back on for the rest of your lives.
Love it! Love that your family of 6 took the leap and did something fun, out of the ordinary, and amazing. Thank you for sharing it with all of us! What a great cherry on top – to spend the final week with your family. Looks like tons of fun and relaxation was had by all! What great memories you all created.
Loved following along with you guys this summer. Thank you so much for sharing, and I plan to use your blog posts to help plan some trips for my family!
Thank you for sharing your journey and being so diligent about getting those posts in to us all! I took a journal with me on a 10 day trip to Costa Rica and I didn’t last past day 3 for keeping notes so I commend you on 107. Would ❤️❤️❤️ to make a road trip like this happen with our kiddos. The oldest is a freshman in high school so I better get planning?
What a blessing to be able to wind up that wonderful trip with your family and a restful, fun and happy vacation from your vacation! Thank you for bringing us along with you.
Thank you for sharing your adventure cross country with all your readers. This is a trip that I want to do with my small family one day and loved that I have road map to follow with all your stops. Hope your family enjoy their trip and happy to be home for a bit!
I loved every minute of reading about your FAMILY adventures. My family did a similar trip traveling east to west & back when I was 17 and we still talk about it. I have kept a list of several restaurants and places to stay when we travel in the summer. Please, please continue to share your family & home moments in your blog. They are my favorite!! Thank you so much!!
I’ve been following your 107 days of road trip and I must say, it is very inspiring and I enjoy all the photos and stories! It felt like I was on the trip too, hahahahaha!!! Thank you so much for sharing! :)
What a great vacation – I am one of 8 girls in our family –
We look forward to our visits as well, but the best part of all of our get together’s are our kids ~
They can’t wait to be together, and this makes us smile so much.
It’s so nice to know other families are the same.
I love all your pictures. Just wonderful being with family.
Have a great rest of your summer.
What a perfect ending to your summer adventure! An only child, I envy your big, close family. You’re very fortunate.
I love your trip. We have no kids but I’m already telling my husband how I want to go on a trip like this. Let me know when you want to sell your airstream ;)
You should definitely do a trip like this with your husband! Ryan and I said a million times that we would love to do it again just with us. We would pull a big cargo trailer and shop along the way :)
Thank you, Emily. For sharing your heart, your family adventures and letting us enter in. Its been a beautiful thing. My five year old is always talking about camping and going on family road trips and this gives me hope to actually do it someday.
Long time reader, first time commenter…have SO LOVED this series, just amazing! Thank you.
What an absolutely darling family you have! You’re so lucky that everyone gets along and enjoys each others company. As a mother of now grown children, I look forward to future family reunions with my children and their children. How sweet of your mom to get matching outfits for all her grandchildren for a family photo. I’ll have to remember that! Welcome home!!
I’m sad that your trip is over for me :). I’ve actually enjoyed this series the most on your blog and am inspired to do this when my kids are a little bit older!
I have followed and enjoyed your trip from Brisbane Australia. I have learnt so much about your great country and enjoyed your adventures as a family. Thank you for sharing
Oh no, my vacation is over! :) Seriously, enjoying your journey feels like I was right there many times. The house you spent the week with your family is amazing! It looks gorgeous as well as having the beautiful pool and so much space. It looks like a very quiet area ~ great choice! Thanks for allowing us to tag along ~
I can’t believe it’s over! It went fast for me. :) Such an amazing experience and thanks for sharing it with us!
I’ve loved following along on your adventures! I grew up in Milton Freewater, which is not too far from this VRBO, but moved to the Midwest a couple years ago. I LOVE seeing the pictures of the Blues and wheat fields in this post!! You’ve been an inspiration for my family to do something similar! :)
Hi Emily So enjoyed following you through the US. Jim and I have recently bought a 5th wheel and plan to do the same. Would love to have you do an informational on how to plan and what resources you usee to make the trip viable. Jen said the family week was great and loved planning the “special Games”. Thanks Again for sharing your experiences.
Tears! I. Can’t. Even. So excited to see the kids at school on Wednesday. PS. Jack is in Mrs. Sterling’s class. :(
Wow what an awesome house and great way to wrap up your trip of a lifetime! I really enjoyed following along with your family!
My life is not the same since I met you and the family….you are my role model ?
What wonderful memories. ❤
Family time together, such a great end for an amazing trip!! I have truly loved reading about your trip and learned so much!! Thank you for sharing this special time with us, your readers!
L.O.V.E.D it! Such a great experience for your family.
Love your blog and have especially loved your 107 day family road trip!! Thanks for taking us along.
Your family vacation seemed like the perfect way to wrap up your adventure, full of love and laughter.
Looking forward to your Fall posts.
Love your blog and have especially loved your 107 day family road trip!! Thanks for taking us along.
Your family vacation seemed like the perfect way to wrap up your adventure.
Loved being allowed to follow along on your big adventure . You are a delightful family. Makes me want to do it as well. Thanks.
I have absolutely LOVED reading your blog and seeing all the pictures from your trip!!! I have saved all of the emails to reference when planning future trips!!! Thanks for sharing!
I was new to your blog just before you started this trip and I wish you would keep on sharing about new places and touring a new town every week! We saw many of the places you shared about on our trip around the states with 6 kids for a summer and when we got home they all said they wanted to do it again! I also wish I had journaled our vacations like you have. I quess it’s never too late to start! Thank you!!
I loved reading about all of your adventures. Your family has memories to cherish forever. Thanks for sharing with our readers.
Thank you for sharing your journey – it’s been so fun to follow your adventures and has me dreaming about our next trip! Welcome home (also a Seattle-resident).
It has been a BLAST following you on your journey this summer! You have inspired us to put some money away little by little so that we can do this with our kiddos someday. :)
❤️ To you and your family and sharing your adventures with us! It was awesome.
I have loved this idea, nothing on a blog has inspired me more.
What a wonderful way to end your holidays! The farmhouse looks wonderful. Looks like you had a lot of fun! Thanks for sharing.
I love reading your blog and so cool to read about your trip among the way. So cool and thanks for sharing !
I have loved following your journey this summer! People have always given me a strange look when I say my dream vacation would be a family road trip across the country. You and your family have inspired me to make it a reality. I shared your story with my husband and we agreed to make it a goal to take our kids on a similar adventure. Thank you so much for sharing your family and your experience, I am truly delighted and inspired.