When A Fulltime RVing Family Encounters A 3 Story Cabin

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The day I was booking our stay at a mountain cabin for my birthday getaway, Marina pointed out the irony that as a fulltime RVing family, our definition of a “vacation” is to go rent a house!

And in this case, it was actually a charming, quaint cottage adorned with fabulous rustic decor and a deluxe hot tub on the deck calling my name – but as we all came to find out, it was still a 3 story house, no matter how you slice it.

Now, we take a lot of trips leaving our motorhome parked, so staying in hotels is pretty common for our family; but until this recent stay at the cabin, it didn’t occur to me how long it’s been since we were in an actual house. Until that is, we all started exhibiting some unique behavior as we explored our temporary “digs.”

Throughout our stay, I made note of some hilarious adventures we had that really drove home the differences that we’ve grown accustomed to, and thought  I’d share them with you today. Keep in mind, we’ve been on the road for 3-1/2 years and our former home was also 3 levels – so we were no stranger to the layout… or so we all thought!

Getting Lost: “Morgaaaaaaaan, where are you?” Reply: “I’m right here” – yes, but where is “here?” Every time we turned around, we were losing one another and no one was ever on the same floor with the person they were speaking with. Which caused a lot of confusion when being used to a family of four that is perpetually in ‘line of site’ inside our RV.

Doors: Yes, those round things are called door knobs. They don’t move up and down though – you turn them and subsequently must remember whether they push in or pull out, otherwise, you bang into the door if you are moving too fast.

Windows: Not all of them open to let in fresh air, and by the time you scale the stairs multiple times to find all the ones that actually open, you are so overheated you are ready to crank up the air. But wait, that would require backtracking to find everything you just opened, so you just go sit out on the deck and hope you can remember where they all are by nightfall.

Fridge/Freezer: Ok – this one I thought through and specifically took advantage of! On our trip into town to get some provisions, I headed straight for the frozen appetizer section and bought every huge, oversized box I could find that normally wouldn’t fit in our RV freezer. Despite the fact that our fridge is a large double-door style, there are still just some boxes that simply won’t fit – and they are normally all those gourmet little goodies and appetizers that take up so much space but taste so yummy! So I delighted in finding the biggest boxes I could locate in the frozen food section and bringing them back to the cabin just for a special treat!

Relaxing: As we all kicked back in the living room after a fun day, I looked at Greg and the girls and busted out laughing. Picture a huge, open air living room with a recliner, love seat, two couches and multiple cushy throw rugs. Then picture the four of us sitting all on one love seat and recliner directly opposite one another with about 2 feet between us. We had a football field of room, and yet we all “assumed the position” of linear lounging. It was so funny, but even after we realize it, no one retreated to finding their own space – we were actually all quite content to be cuddled up in tandem.

Decor: The owner of the vacation rental went to meticulous extremes to outfit the cabin with a rustic decor – from the gorgeous mounted elk, bear, deer and pheasant on the walls to the carved statues and figurines adorning every table and counter top. What he probably didn’t envision though was the amusement that our family would get with lifting up the memorabilia and getting a kick out of things that weren’t nailed down, velcro’d in place or otherwise permanently attached. Once the girls realized that the house didn’t sway in the breeze, they started experimenting with placement and probably left the owner wondering if an interior design team had stopped by and what was wrong with the original locations of the stuff that was moved.

Security: We have to lock how many doors before we go to sleep? And who locked what? Laying there trying to sleep, it got the better of me as I crawled out of bed, scaled the stairs (yet again) to double check five doors – one of which I was convinced that someone probably missed… And what did I find? Marina – coming around another corner with the same thoughts as we busted out laughing (yet again!) Who knew there could be so many exits to occupy our thoughts as we nestled in after a long day!

Shower Time: “Daddy, are you done in the bathroom yet? Oh wait – I’ve got 2 more to choose from…” LOL – Nevermind! Again, with 3 bath/shower choices, did we shower simultaneously? Ooooh nooo, there we were, waiting for each other to finish and worse yet – twice during our stay Marina headed downstairs with all her bath stuff… Of course the devious mommy that I am, I waited until she reached the bottom step to point out that there were no bathrooms on that floor. Which had her racing up the stairs to tackle me for playing yet another stair trick on her!

Stair Tricks: Ok, so I took full advantage of messing with the girls and watching them run up and down to find stuff. But it wasn’t all that difficult, because when we arrived and spread out our stuff, none of us could remember what was on which floor. Fortunately, I have two spry little ladies that did most of my running for me – those stairs were for the birds! Not to mention pack up day, when I made everyone start on the 3rd level and take everything down to the bottom before packing. Who knew in three days things could wind up in cubbys and around corners that we didn’t even use! I think the Morganator was at work in playing hide and seek on that one though!

And at the end of our stay… I have to say it was an amazing, magical birthday – filled with exactly the serenity I’d hoped for in finding a location with no cell signal or Internet connection and becoming one with nature (including a hike through the woods and up a mountain that I would have bet money I couldn’t scale, but alas I conquered on my 47th birthday!) And the mood lighting in the hot tub on the deck was a welcome respite after each day’s activities, as well as a morning dip with my Dutch Bros coffee in hand.

But as we packed it all in and locked it all up, did we feel like we were walking away from the “comforts of home?”

Far from it! We started the engine of our SUV to head back to our REAL COMFORTS OF HOME!

Indeed, I believe we have the better end of the deal…

For as the owner’s mortgage comes due, the taxes need paid, the grass needs cut, the snow flies and needs shoveled, and the maintenance is required… we will be heading on down the road in our “home on wheels” without the trappings of ownership that we’ve delightfully left behind.

It was a great visit, but as the house faded in the distance, we all chimed in with a resounding… “we wouldn’t want to LIVE there!”

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3 Responses to When A Fulltime RVing Family Encounters A 3 Story Cabin

  • ClaireNo Gravatar says:

    As a single mom to a little boy full time RVing sounds amazing. I don’t know how I would financially support us so I haven’t really gone through with it yet.

    one suggestion to fit more food in the RV freezer would be those space saver bags that suck all the air out and preserve the food better. Good luck!

  • ClaraNo Gravatar says:

    What a wonderful change for a weekend trip. I’m glad you found comfort back at home. If you’re ever looking for campgrounds or things to do in the area, check out RV123.com. We are a website dedicated to the RV camping experience. We not only list campgrounds and points of interest, but we also have RVs for sale, dealerships and community forums on the site. Come visit us, its only a click away!

  • Bernard NaughtonNo Gravatar says:

    Stephanie, the intro video for mind mapping was great!
    So clear and combining spiritual principles I can understand with individual responsibility. For me it´s the missing link to manifesting …leaving more space for God to work. Well done . This way there are no limits!

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We went full-time in 2008 in a 37ft Itasca Suncruiser and in April 2010, we upgraded to a 42ft Safari Continental which Greg drives and I now follow behind in an Excursion, towing a 20ft cargo trailer with our ATV & golf cart tucked inside. (More About Us...)
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