Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Vacation, our way

Summertime last year saw many of our friends heading off on exciting (expensive) vacations to exotic locations. Plans for our time off were just to stay in town and find ways to keep everyone entertained, cheaply of course. But I really wanted to "get away" and it had been several years since we had actually been on a vacation, so I formulated a plan. I suggested to my husband that we could go on vacation even with our limited resources - I would come up with a destination (somewhere not too far since both of our vehicles are older) and activities (something for everyone), and still keep costs minimal. After spending a couple of days discussing ideas with friends and co-workers, and researching various possibilities online, I found the answer.

This would be our own version of vacation. To keep lodging cheap, camping seemed like the solution, but my husband had 2 requests - he must have a bed, and he needs air-conditioning. So maybe a cabin then - but the cabins I was finding weren't really very cheap. Then I stumbled on a website for a private campground by Cowan Lake State Park near Wilmington (only about an hour away). Beechwood Acres Camping Resort has "camper cabins" - these are very basic structures with electricity but no bathroom or running water inside, but much cheaper rates than other cabins. Since the camper cabins had the pre-requisites - beds (a full-size and a set of bunk beds) and A/C, and the price was right, we booked our stay and arranged for my parents to dog-sit. Everything worked out so well that we made a return trip this summer.

Since the cabin had electricity inside, there was a fridge with small freezer for the food, and we could take the all-important coffeemaker to start each day. We took a BIG tub full of adult beverages and with the great A/C (it was awesome, we were actually cold sometimes even on the hottest days) we only had to add ice one time.

The cabin is directly across from the heated pool complete with volleyball net, basketball hoop, and a bench for lounging around the edge in the shallow end. They have great tunes playing whenever the pool is open (9am - 10pm), and since it's a private campground we could have our red cup beverages with us while we relaxed in the pool.

We grilled dinner when we got hungry and sat around the campfire every night. There is a playground, basketball hoop, cornhole, a gameroom, and goats - Minnie and Maggie - that you can pet and feed. The lake and beach at the state park are just a very short walk away. We did attempt to fish last year, and even went on a short hike to see the water lotuses this year - beautiful! - but swimming is by far our preferred activity. The campground has tent and RV camping along with the camper cabins (the other cabins sleep 5, 6, and up to 10), and is very well maintained with beautiful flowers everywhere and palms by the pool.

We had perfect weather both years and spent hours relaxing, swimming, reading, playing cards, hanging out and re-connecting as a family.
This vacation may not have been expensive, but it was ... priceless!


WineLover said...

That looks like a great place! love your pictures!

Kelly Syferd said...

Awesome find! We have been taking the boys to Dillon state park every year and have a great time. And like Jim, I need a bed & AC as well (although we didn't need it much this time).