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  • Writer's pictureCabin Caretaker

Our First Trip (Part 2)

Updated: Mar 1, 2019

[This is a series of year end posts about our year in review]

So began the obsession. I poured over listings. I looked and looked. I googled. I researched. I read. I called. Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor were best friends. I could tell you how long a house was for sale on the lake. I knew when a new listing would pop on within hours. I was a woman possessed!

Then I found a house that looked like it ticked all the boxes. And it was for rent!

What better way to look at a house than stay in it? Kick the tires from the inside.

Booked the trip and couldn't contain myself. It was January. The trip was in August.

What if someone bought it in the meantime? I knew this was a possibility as they had me sign a paper saying if it was sold in the meantime that the trip would be cancelled.

So began the long nights only a woman would know of stressing about something you have no control over.

August finally dragged itself to our doorstep after a particularly hot summer. Kids had melted and nothing was more inviting than a promise of a dip in a mountain lake!

We arrived.

It was dark. We slugged in 4 slumbering kids. The small army of suitcases, groceries and started to get settled in.

Put kids in beds. Put away the groceries before they melt. We were sweating.

I turned on the AC was greeted with a puff of old cigarettes and funky dust smell.

Oh what is that?

I know lake houses are notoriously damp. It's part of the charm. But this was not pleasant.

In the pantry was the air filter. Big white grill in a very 70's dark closet. Kinda hard not to notice.

I looked down.

The air duct grill in the pantry. Ewwwww.

I did what anyone would do. I cleaned it.

Scrubbing the grill
Seven hour drive, two hours to unpack kids and car. What do you do on your first night of vacation? Clean of course.

John is such a good man. He drives to Walmart and gets new filters to replace the ones in the system.

We found the one in the basement the same condition. Even the doors had been choked with dust.

New filter, filter upon arrival. YUCK!

This isn't my home. This isn't my job to clean it. I can call someone at 1 am and complain. But I didn't. I just cleaned it, replaced the filters and went on with my vacation.

(Note: I wouldn't expect the same of my guests but I also would NEVER rent our home in that condition either.)

Exhausted we slide into the bed and...

My toe peeks out through a tear in the sheet.

Oh for the love of... No! Lauren, not now. You can change the sheets in the morning, later, whatever time it is. Goodnight.


New morning, new day. First day of vacation! The kids were excited and ready to go a whole lot sooner than we were.

First up breakfast.

John is a champ. He makes the kids pancakes every saturday. He is a great cook and I am so lucky that he likes to cook.

Next up a shower to get rid of road trip grime and get some blood moving for the fun day ahead!

The mold was so thick around the door I thought it was the grout. Ok, I can clean that.

Let me just grab a towel to dry off with.

chewed up towel
Uh, this not a towel this is a rag.

Seriously? I wish I could make this up. But let's move forward. I don't want to spend my trip cleaning. I want to get to the reason we are here. The LAKE.

Let's go!

To be continued...


This is a series of year end posts about our year in review. Missed the first parts? Click to read the whole story.


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