Our Mini Vacation in Hocking Hills

You could barely see our cabin from the one lane dirt road you drove up on to get to it. It was the perfect combination of comfort and rustic. Nothing fancy. And yet, it had a full kitchen (complete with coffee maker, crock pot, blender, etc.) and a screened in porch and a very clean hot tub. The beds and pillows were comfortable. The blankets were old, but  clean and soft. The place was not perfect, but perfectly cozy. This was the view from the loft the kids slept in.

This was the view from the screened in porch. I spent a lot of time here, watching the hummingbirds. Watching my breath. Feeling nature tend to me.

We did lots of hiking, but the trails were not terribly strenuous. Riley did well. Below she is bravely conquering her fear of heights, going up a super steep set of stairs on the side of a cliff. It was touch and go. It wasn’t easy for her. She still has depth perception issues and still has anxiety, but she did it. Jingle did it too, and I think she was just about as scared as Riley.

There are so many trails to choose from in Hocking Hills. We only hit three of them, Ash Cave, Old Man’s Cave and Conkle’s Hollow. It’s otherworldly there. Everything is so rich and lush and green. The air is so clean and breathable.

The second day, Todd and I got into a fight. The roads were one-laners, dirt, super curvy, tons of blind hills. He insisted on driving just a little faster than I would have. In situations like that, I think the person who is afraid should have final consideration or say. If I feel terrified, you should slow down. And we got a little lost, which makes him crazy. It’s the end of the freaking world if Todd is lost. Honestly, I don’t know how I live with this guy. If only he weren’t practically perfect 99.9% of the time.

We made up in the hot tub. Not in a “let’s get it on” way…. but in a relaxing, my head on his chest, so relaxed we’re almost asleep way.

I’d forgotten my bathing suit, but after a long hike, while the kids were busy watching TV, I went in naked on top, underwear on the bottom. After all, we were out in the middle of nowhere. Who would see?

I’ll tell you who would see. The dude who comes by to maintain the hot tub, that’s who. Ask me how I know. It kind of hot tub traumatized me.

Oh well, at least the kids had fun in it while we were there.










We had birthday cake for Todd and played cards. The kids drew in their sketch pads, and played with some new little cheap toys we picked up in town. I read. Todd watched a little sports. It was just totally low key.

Vacations don’t have to be big. They don’t have to be Mexico or Alaska or the Caribbean.

This was just three hours away. Just three nights. We made all our meals ourselves. It was so good to unplug from the Internet and the phone and the iPods (yet still get to cuddle up together and watch Dancing With the Stars).  It was so good not to deal with the stress of travel. It was a vacation, but not a production.











I re-enter daily life calmer, and more appreciative, and just filled up with the beauty of the world, feeling so very blessed.

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12 Responses to Our Mini Vacation in Hocking Hills

  1. kario says:

    It looks absolutely perfect – right down to the hot tub maintenance guy surprising you ;-). So pleased you were all able to get away together and spend time reconnecting with nature and each other. I hope the diet is going well and you are all feeling good.


  2. Your pictures are so beautiful and really capture the sense of tranquility and ease. We are looking to drive somewhere north (we live in LA) this summer — the five of us — something simple and not expensive — accessible. I found this post very inspiring and appreciate your words!

  3. Sheri says:

    This really makes me want to go there. Such beautiful pictures! I’m sure the maintenance guy has all kinds of stories, but it’s good you didn’t miss out for lack of a suit.

  4. Amanda says:

    Looks lovely

  5. Joe Todd says:

    Love the Hocking Hills.. Glad you had a good time

  6. Dad and Mums says:

    Looks so peaceful and relaxing!! Pictures are beautiful! Glad you were all able to enjoy the tranquility.
    Lots of love,
    Dad and Mom

  7. holly says:

    You made my night, my week, with this post. And brought on a rare twinge of Ohio homesickness. Oh, Hocking Hills. So many memories. I love these Northwest woods, but I sure do hope I get to take my kids on a hike to Old Man’s Cave one day, too.

  8. Alicia D says:

    holy heck, that last photo is AMAZING!!! these pictures remind me so much of the place we vacation (Eagles Mere Pennsylvania) so it made me nostalgic for it (and eager to get back!)

  9. amber says:

    Well. Now that I know you are that kinda girl, I fully expect to be flashed some boobie when we get together. And maybe some ass. Just think about it…

    I love that last picture! So cool.


  10. rhemashope says:

    Wow! Wow! Beautiful, every bit. So glad you and your family had this precious time together.

  11. Carrie Link says:

    I am BIG on vacations that aren’t productions! I miss our Sisters house for that very reason! Riley is almost as tall as you! And NEHBM of the hot tub trauma! Love that HT isn’t 100% perfect. Really, really love that. And you are right, if you are nervous, he is wrong.

  12. Dee Ready says:

    Dear Michelle, thank you for posting these marvelous photographs of the place where you stayed–three hours from home!–and for sharing with us the joys of this vacation. I so liked your line that it wasn’t a production. You hit the nail on the head about the way I sometimes plan my trips! Peace.

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