I have slacked for the past couple of days with blogging, but our family is on our annual vacation. Traveling took a bit of a precedence. We have 11 adults, 2 toddlers, 3 vehicles, and 1 U-haul. For one week out of the year, we seek a place to call home, together, under one roof. Yes! ALL of us!
God has really blessed us! I have had many people ask me about our vacation, so I am going to post some details for the inquiring minds that want to know.
We started this venture in 2010, when we still lived in Missouri. Our pastor came and asked me what I thought about our church taking a group of couples and attending the One Marriage Conference at Free Chapel in Gainesville, Georgia. I was instantly excited, as Free Chapel was “home” to me.
I am from the Atlanta area and had attended Free Chapel in the past. Any time the opportunity arose to go back, I was all in. Our oldest daughter was already married, so her and her husband attended along with us. That year, we made a personal decision to attend the next annual event, turning it into a habit.
After our second year, our other children expressed, extreme interest in accompanying us. While pleading their case, they declared, “one day we will need to know how to be married too!” Oh how true this is!
In 2012, with all of the kids in tow, I researched some VRBO options. I found a quant house that would accommodate our large family. We added a couple of extra days to the trip, to enjoy being home. The house even had an indoor hot tub, so all of the kids were ecstatic.
For the next two years, we made elected to make a replay to the same home. In 2013, the hot tub was out of service. The owner wasn’t aware of the problem, but made a monetary service for the inconvenience. It was appreciated but didn’t deter the disappointment. It also didn’t discourage us from coming back.
In 2014, two of our children elected to get married and Brad and I had made a plan for a trip to Costa Rica. This would be my first out of country trip, my first commercial air plane ride, and my first trip to the Pacific Ocean. With the cost of the trip, Brad said I had to choose one or the other.
Ok, lets take a pause for a moment……. what would you choose? A trip out of the country or ……….? While I very much enjoyed the trip to Costa Rica and quite possibly, it could have been the trip of a lifetime, however, I will NEVER not choose our annual trip again. I elaborate on that later.
Our growing family required me to explore other housing options. We had utilized VRBO enough to know that it was immensely cost efficient. For the next two years, I found a spacious residence where everyone could have their own room.
The home was lovely, but there were some intense stipulations with the owner. So much so, that none of us were impressed. We compromised and rented the second year (and considered this year), due to the capacity of the home.
I had some delays in securing our lodging and the home was booked for part of our dates. I was forced to seek other alternatives. I had visited VRBO multiple times, to no avail. There wasn’t anything in our price range for our dates.
We had friends that had rented from AirBnB, but I had never had any experience with them. I resolved that it certainly couldn’t hurt. I had certain criteria vital to our needs.
The Bible tells us that God always knows what we need, even before we ask. (Matthew 6:8) Not only that, but HE knows what we will enjoy, even more than we do. So as I venture on my search, there it was, on my screen….. this incredible gem! A place large enough for everyone to have their own room, except Dalton and Dakota. But even when we had rented the house for them to have their own room, they still shared.
This charming domicile, has a king sized bed in five of the six bedrooms and 3 twin beds in the generously, spaced loft. With 4 stories, to boast, there is more square feet than we have had the privilege of knowing, up until now. We have been here for less than 48 hours and have pretty much concluded to be repeat customers for many years to come.