Monday, July 28, 2014

Family getaway

Hello my friends! I hope you had a lovely weekend!

We were away with family this weekend and it was wonderful. One weekend a year my entire family -- parents (my dad and stepmom), the kids and all the grandkids get together. It’s a treat from our parents and it’s turned into a wonderful tradition for us.

The problem is finding a location that can fit us all. I’ve mentioned before that I’m one of seven kids – there are full, half and step and I’m the oldest of them all. I was an only child for ten years too, the oldest and only is a dangerous combination. ;)

This time there were about 20 of us – you can see why it’s hard to find a place to fit everyone. Usually we go to southern Indiana in the fall but this year we took a trip down to Kentucky to a spot our parents love.

It’s called Mountain Laurel Lake in Harned, KY and there aren’t any mountains and the lake is really more like a pond, but the name is pretty, yes? We were truly in the middle of nowhere:

kentucky fields

It was SO quiet. And a welcome change from all the activity at our house over the past few weeks.

The main cabin was the biggest so it’s where we ate dinners. The kids (OK, and the adults) loved the horses:

And there was a fenced in area for all the dogs (we are an animal loving family) and plenty of places to sit and swing:

kentucky cabins

Down some steep roads were the rest of the cabins off the lake. We couldn’t swim in it but the view was lovely off our deck:

mountain laurel lake

We sat on the deck during a massive storm the last night and it was spectacular! Actually, we were out on that deck about 90 percent of the time, day and night.

They had little boats we used to just tool around in or get to the other cabins: kentucky cabin

The kids (OK, and the adults) loved them! Since there were so many of us we were in three different cabins and this made it easy to get to each other.

My favorite part was the hike my Dad kept telling us about. I’ve never seen so many mossy rocks!:

mossy rock

They were absolutely everywhere!

Big ones too:

It was really, really beautiful. I eat this stuff up – just love it:

The bugs…not so much. I think Dad was a little over his five girls and our fear of ticks and GINORMOUS spiders on this trip. But seriously Dad. GINORMOUS.

The scenery was just gorgeous though. Dad said there are usually waterfalls coming down but it hadn’t rained much before we went on the hike:

Kentucky hiking

A few of us climbed to the top:

That’s me up there. :)

And we got a hiking selfie while we were at it:

It was another wonderful weekend with some of the people I love most in this world. The only one missing was my husband – he’s been away on a work trip to Singapore for 11 days and is on his way back as I type. We can’t WAIT to see him!!

Did I mention there wasn’t any Internet or cell phone service? Well, we would get spotty service up at the main cabin, but we weren’t there much. So we were forced to bond and the cousins had a ball together. It was nice to get away with my boy too:

family cabin weekend

The heart and soul needs weekends like this sometimes. I love our parents for making it happen for the whole family.

Do you ever get away with your extended family like this? Any favorite spots? Anyone know of a a cabin big enough for all of us within three to four hours of Indy? We’re considering Lake Michigan sometime – that would be spectacular.


  1. That's great that you can do that. We don't have a family that would vacation well together...LOL. But if you're considering Lake Michigan, Traverse City has tons of great (big!) rentals. September/early October are stunning and less crowded. Make sure you get over to Hoxsie's Farm Market for the best cookies, Northern Spy Apples and cider ever should you go!

  2. Yes! You have to do Lake MI. It will be cold and rocky (many parts are). However, MI has sooo many lakes that you can swim in. Use VRBO and look/book early for a home on one of the many lakes. I would suggest Northern MI and my Dad would say Leelanau Penninsula--both referred to as God's country. Sleeping Bear Dunes is near the area and voted most beautiful place in America on GMA a year or two back(?). The kids (and adults) would love that! Northern MI is heaven on earth to me! Yes, I am a Michigander and the tourism bureau. :)

  3. Yes! Traverse City! But I'm from there and biased:). It truly is beautiful and full of things to do. From nature hikes/sightseeing to swimming to has it all.

  4. Looks like a great place!
    LOL can't say that I have any desire to spend vacation time with my husband's FOUR sisters!!

  5. My best family vacation memory is my dad renting a RV. We traveled from Detroit up I75 and around Lake Superior. We even visited an amethyst mine in Canada.

  6. Well if you're in KY again stop at the northern most tip and say hi! I live in NKY right across from Cincy.

  7. My husband's family gets together every summer. There are 22 of us altogether. We always manage to find a cabin big enough for all of, one bedroom per family. Sometimes we use air mattresses. This past month we went and the cabin had a huge room filled with bunk beds that all the cousins slept in. We live in AZ, so I'm not much help in finding a place where you live, though!

  8. Wow that's pretty! I've never been to that area but I hope to visit Tennessee and Kentucky some day. My family reunion happens to be this coming weekend in the Sierras (California).

    This is a little random, but it just occurred to me who you look like: Sarah McLachlan! Yes?

  9. My husband's family (currently 21 of us) has vacationed together every summer for at least 20 years. For the past 16 years we've rented "Chance Landing", near Rocky Fork State Park (apx. 3 hours from Indy). It's a renovated farm house set back off the road on several acres overlooking the lake. The guys fish; the kids ride bikes, play games and swim; the women read and go on walks - and everyone enjoys tubing and riding the wave runner and evening boat rides. Very relaxing!

  10. The first thing I thought when I saw the pics was ticks, spiders and bugs! LOL! Although, it does look like a fun place. That's great you all can do a family trip every year!

  11. You obviously have not been to Oregon because in the mountains you see mossy rocks, mossy trees, mossy moss everywhere! Heck, I even have it in my backyard on rocks and trees! Washington state has an amazing park--Olympic National Park,,which has moss hanging from trees in the section called Hoh rain forest. So cool!!!

  12. That sounds SO FUN!!! I'm with you about the ticks, too- so many people are struggling with Lyme Disease, and the effects last for years! (We use a few drops of tea tree oil in a spray bottle filled with water and mist clothing/skin- ticks hate it...well, anyone with a functioning sense of smell will hate it, ha!) Glad you had a great time, and that your husband is on the way back. =)

  13. Good for you guys! My family vacations together quite a bit, actually. As we kids have grown up we just love spending time with our folks. Turns out your parents can be pretty cool! :-) Our annual trip is a trip to Aruba in March. We love it and for 11 years now I haven't missed a trip!

  14. You could check out the Hocking Hills in SE Ohio, that would be about a 4 hour drive from Indy I believe. I know the Grand Butte Lodge sleeps 20 and there are likely others that do too, it's a really beautiful place for hiking in the woods. Old Man's Cave is really neat too.

  15. I second the Hocking Hills idea. Trust me--it is like NOTHING you think of when you hear the word "Ohio". I swear, some of our walks throught the woods, cliffs and waterfalls reminded me of our honeymoon in Maui--almost a rainforrest type feel. Google "Hocking hills ohio" and then look at the images. :)

  16. You definitely have to visit Michigan. It's so beautiful, esp our Great Lakes. We lived in Traverse City for two years back when my husband was in college. Sleeping Bear Dunes is only like 30 min away and that's a National Park. Just simply gorgeous! Liz VanKirk

  17. My family takes a trip to Ludington, MI every summer, courtesy my parents! It's the best week of the year, and always revives me. Ludington State Park has GORGEOUS hiking trails, the beaches are white and sandy, there are yummy restaurants, and House of Flavors has the best ice cream. Sauble Resort, just north of Ludington on Hamlin Lake, has cabins for rent (though it's usually by the week during the summer), and there are lots of other "resorts" with cabins in them for rent all around Hamlin Lake and Lake Michigan. I love it there!

  18. We don't get away with extended family, one of the downfalls to being the black sheep in the family. But, we have been making a conscious effort to take a family vacation each year with our little family and build some memories. I haven't traveled much in my life, but love it when we do. Most cases, we have stayed within 3 hrs of home, hanging around the North Shore of Lake Superior (Duluth area). But last year, I talked my hubby into driving the 5+ hrs up to Door County, WI. I loved it up there. Touristy, but neat. Fun little shops. No chain stores. :) Lot of good eateries and gelato! Then this year, I talked him into driving 13 hrs down to Nashville. I think I could live down there. We rented this wonderful little house for the week about 25 mi. north of Nashville. It was perfect. So much history down there, which we loved. We stopped in Springfield, IL on the way down to take our 7 yr old to all of the Lincoln sites we could squeeze in in our short time frame we had there (he is obsessed with Abe Lincoln and the Civil War). We came home up through Louisville, KY, going through Indy. :)

  19. KY is beautiful even if it is hotter and more humid than all get out. We lived north of Bowling Green for 5 yrs. Didn't get to see as much of it as we'd like but did take some trips around KY. One thing I do know is it's heaven for thrift store shoppers and antique shoppers. I Miss the great stores all over KY that have awesome bargains
    Our family is pretty spread out, two kids live in Grand Junction, CO area and two live in east county of San Diego. My youngest son that lives in G.J. goes to Singapore all the time to work for weeks at Hamilton Sunstrand. Don't know if that's what they call it over there. He's in Singapore lot more than home.
    Hope your husband got to meet you at your family vacation to enjoy some of the fun. Where you were looks like such an awesome place to stay. It looks like perfect place to enjoy family and being outdoors.
    Four years ago was first time we'd all been together (except for oldest child/daughter). It was so nice to see my kids together. Glad you had such a great time, important memories were made. Happy summer days

  20. We have had reunions at Hueston Woods State Park, near Oxford, Ohio. They have a big lodge and cabins too. There's a lake and you can rent pontoon boats. It's a great place for tooling around on your bike.

  21. Lakeside, Ohio! It is on s peninsula on Lake Erie in northern Ohio. We loved it so much we bought a cottage here and the kids and I stay all summer:). There are lots and lots of rentals and many family reunions here because of the accommodations and the numerous onsite activities. In our little community we have: putt-putt, a beach and dock for sunning and fishing, an art center offering multiple different art classes for the 10 week season, shows each night such, dancing, ventriloquists and magicians-, tennis lessons for kids (free), swimming lessons, sailing classes, sailing and kayak and paddle board rentals, a town for shopping, parks, volleyball, shuffleboard, and I could keep going! It us a throwback place...we call it a modern day Mayberry. My kids can leave on their bikes and be gone playing for hours. It's a magical place! Check it out;).

  22. I know it's already been said, but I want to put in another vote for Sleeping Bear Dunes and Glen Arbor in Northern Michigan. Hands down the best and most relaxing vacation I ever had (aside from my honeymoon). It's cherry country, too, so if you go in the summer it's like cherrypalooza. And I bet the Bub would love climbing up the Dune!


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