We were supposed to leave Thursday, but today (Wednesday) turned out to be our last official day at the cottage. Our water woes just got worse. About the time the lake in the dining room seemed to have dried up, so, apparently, did all the pipes in the house. We first noticed something was amiss last night but were hoping it would fix itself by morning.
And so now we have no running water in the house.
Which means you have to get creative.
Cue the big stock pot and water reserves from the hot tub! This would fill the toilet’s reservoir tank so that we could still flush our business.
What? You’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do!
Handy baby wipes – thank you, Huggies – (we’ll be buying those things till the kids turn twenty) take care of sticky fingers and luckily there is a water dispenser for drinking.
Meanwhile, though, hubby put an emergency call in to his boss and help arrived in the form of a surfer-dude-meets-Fabio, but with work boots and a tool belt.
We had hoped he could fix the problem so we wouldn’t have to cut short our vacation but it wasn’t to be. The issue turned out to be much more than a leaky valve. There needed to be a replacement ‘this’ and a new ‘that’. This was a huge disappointment given the warm turn in the weather and the wonderful steak dinner hubby had planned for the evening. No matter, my wonderful cook of a husband made up for it with a great dinner two nights later to celebrate my eldest’s 8th birthday (which was actually on Thursday.)
Before we packed up and left the kids had one last dunk in the lake and then my husband took the two eldest for a little canoe ride (they were thrilled!)
The drive home was subdued.
So here’s what I learned, being a cottage vacation rookie:
- Plan. Plan. Plan. Get the lay of the land so you know what activities you can enjoy.
- Find out what sorts of amenities are nearby. Parks? Playgrounds? Restaurants? Even a wide open space where kids can safely kick around a ball, throw a frisbee or play croquet would work.
- Is the property enclosed? Is the cottage kid-proof?
- If you are on the water, are there lifejackets? (If not, BUY SOME! You will not regret it.) And bring bathing suits and towels.
- Ask whether or not y0u should bring your own linens. In our case we were borrowing, not renting, the cottage, so we assumed that linens would be provided. Is there a place to do laundry?
- Most people, if they don’t own the cottage, rent it so it is expected that the premises will be clean and tidy, but, just in case, pack up some all-purpose cleaner spray, rubber gloves, paper towels and garbage bags. And find out where to dispose of your garbage. Just sayin’.
- Pack a cooler (or four) with basics like hot dogs and hamburgers, chips, raw veggies, fruit, juice, water, milk, cereal, cookies, granola bars and snacks in case you don’t make it to a store the first day or two. (Oh, and beer and wine for you big kids later!)
- Have rainy-day activities prepared for the kids such as movies, coloring books and crayons, Play-doh, puzzles and games. If you don’t have some on hand, a quick stop at the dollar store and you’re all set for $10.
- Leave the place cleaner than how you found it.
- Play. Laugh. Sing. Dance. Eat. Drink. Relax.