Sunday, March 27, 2011

Trips to Live By

This past week, my husband, my son, our doggy Maizy, and I went on our first family vacation. We visited Union Creek Resort in Union Creek, Oregon. Joe and I have been looking forward to our quiet vacation since we booked it a month ago. The trip started out a little iffy and ended with a longing for more time. We chose this specific vacation spot due to it's remote and peaceful location, but we soon realized how remote and peaceful it would be. The drive to Union Creek took about 5 hours and with an 11 month old and a very active dog, this was a challenge all it's own. When we finally arrived, we were so happy to be out of the car, stretching our legs, and getting settled.
We unpacked and took a little walk around the resort which includes a resturant, lodge, gift shop, creek, and a small group of cabins (which is where we resided for the duration of our vacation). After this, we went to Becky's resturant for something to eat. By the time we went back to the cabin, it was only 5:30 and I began to worry about the boredom that was looking inevitable. Another reason why we picked Union Creek, was that there is no distractions of any kind. No TV, no cell service, and only a few other occupants at the resort. It took some time, but we grew to love the quiet, laid-back feel. We spent hours, hanging around our one room cabin.
As I said before, the first day was an interesting one. Between the initial shock of nothing obvious to do and the unexpected guest and late-night trip that would come that night, we had no idea what we were in for. The evening was long and when Liam finally went to sleep Joe and I played card games for a while, but Joe soon took advantage of the silence and went to sleep. I on the other hand, found it too quiet and layed in bed for a while trying to sleep. About 10 pm, I heard what sounded like someone trying to open the window in the bathroom. I thought that I was just hearing things and laid there listening. Then the sound moved to the roof and a scratching sound began as well.
Finally, I woke up Joe and we laid listening while my utter fear continued to grow. Eventially, I couldn't take it anymore. I grabbed some of Liam's things and Liam and said we had to leave. Now, in hind-sight, this was silly, but at the time it seemed the most rational choice. When we finally left the cabin, Liam, Maizy, and I got in the car and Joe walked around the cabin looking for what was making the sound. He found nothing, which freaked me out even more. We drove to the lodge to talk to someone there, but it was closed and the owner had left for the night. We were left to fend for ourselves and there was no way I was going to take Liam back into that cabin. So we drove. The nearest town was about 15 minutes away and once we got there it became clear that there were no options for us there either. It was a tiny town with one house with rooms for rent and we were sure they didn't take dogs. The next town was more than 30 miles away and it was after 11.
Eventially, Joe talked me into going back to the cabin, explaining that we had no other choice. It took a lot of convincing, but we went back, got Liam back to sleep and I laid in bed the rest of the night listening on constant guard. The next morning, Joe talked to the owner and was told that they have a friendly raccoon that enjoys the company of the visitors to our cabin. Now, I have no idea why this wasn't mentioned to us before, but I felt a lot better knowing what/who was hanging around in the dark hours of the night.
This being the first night, of our first family vacation, you may think that it was a total disaster. On the contrary, though the first night was stressful and scary, it is now a funny story that we can tell Liam over and over when he is older. That is the funny thing about family vacations (I have learned). They will never be perfect, unless they are imperfect. Without that scary, stress-filled night, we might not have had any real memories to pass on. But after that night, the rest of the vacation passed far too quickly. We found a stuffed raccoon in the gift shop as a souvenir of our time there and took so many pictures that there is no way we will ever forget any of it.
Although at the beginning it didn't seem that spectacular, this trip was the best one that I have ever been on. Liam smiled the entire vacation which is apparent in every picture that we took, this alone makes me sure that our vacation was a huge success. I will never forget the time the four of us had, just us (except for the raccoon), in the quiet and snowy woods.