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A couple of weeks ago, Joe and I went to dinner at my friend Cat’s house. We were in the middle of eating the amazing dinner she had cooked, when she asked us a very normal question, “Do you guys have any fun travel plans this summer?” Joe and I just stared at one another.
“Well… no… we don’t,” I said, and I tried to remember the last time we took a vacation.
Later that night, after wracking my brain, I came to realize that the last time we took a vacation… a real vacation – IE: not a trip for work, or to visit family, or for the blog – was our vacation to Italy.
LAST APRIL — That was well over a year ago.
To be fair, we had a toddler, AND I got pregnant last spring, AND I HATE traveling while pregnant… but still. My husband and I work extremely hard – every single day – and to think that we hadn’t taken any time for us, OR for our little family — was kind of crazy. So I set out to plan a relaxing weekend that the whole family could enjoy.
As many of you know, we live in Reno, and we have a small family home up in Tahoe. We have been renting out our Tahoe home A LOT recently, so although it would have been nice to go up there, we had rented it out for the next two weeks. That got me thinking… why not rent someone else’s home in Tahoe? Why not get to know a different part of the lake? I knew I wanted a vacation where we could all be outside, where William could run free, and where we could spend equally special time with David… so Tahoe seemed like the perfect place.
After a short search on VRBO, I found this charming little lakefront townhome in Glenbrook. For those of you who don’t know, Glenbrook is a beautiful little gated community on the eastern (Nevada) side of the lake, and picturesque is really the best way to describe it. After talking briefly with the townhome’s owner, Kathy, I knew we had found a match. You can check out the listing >>> here. Kathy and her husband are the original owners of the home, and when I spoke to her, I felt like I was speaking with one of my Aunts. She was so kind, so helpful, and she was so excited to be renting to our little family.
Just so you know – Joe (my husband) fought me on this trip – tooth and nail. “We go to Tahoe ALL the time, Emily… Why are we renting someone else’s house?” He was relentless about how stupid he thought it was. Something you may not know is that my husband is a realtor, and he works pretty much every weekend. He has to. So I knew he was anxious about taking a weekend off – but deep down, I knew it would be good for him and for all of us. So against his wishes, I went ahead and booked it… myself.
Sometimes when you know you’re right – you just gotta go with your gut.
So last week, on Friday afternoon, I left work at 2:00pm. I spoke at KSutherland PR (a lovely PR company in town) about influencer marketing, and at 4:30pm I headed home to finish packing up our cars. Joe went to school to get the boys, we packed everyone/every thing in, drove up Highway 50, and by 6:00pm we were standing in the most beautiful little cottage I had ever seen. The view of the lake was stunning, the yard was perfect for William to run around in, and the deck that overlooked it all was more than I could have imagined. Joe and I couldn’t stop smiling. It was just what we needed.
The whole weekend was absolute magic. The house was incredible, the community was charming, and really it felt like our own little fairytale. The first night we were there, two little girls that were staying in the cottage next-door, released a bunch of ladybugs into the front garden. William was obviously curious as to what they were doing, and they waved us over to come see their little pets. You should have heard William laugh with delight as the ladybugs crawled all over his hands. The light in his eyes was something I will remember for the rest of my life. It was like something out of a movie.
Over the next two days, my mom came up to spend time with the boys. We had friends over to enjoy the beach. The kids played naked in the sand. We sipped cocktails. We laughed. And we told stories as we watched the sun set. It was everything.
As we packed up on Sunday night to head home, Joe gave me a big hug and a kiss, and he said, “I thought you were crazy when you told me you had booked this… but I am SO happy you did… it was the perfect reset.”
I think he put it perfectly.
This past weekend reminded me that vacations don’t have to be to the ends of the earth to be “vacations”. Vacations are about relaxing, making memories, and soaking in the goodness of the people you love most. That was exactly what this past weekend was, and I can’t wait to do it again.
Happy almost summer to all of you, and I hope this inspires you to take your own “vacation” – however near or far that may be.
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