I don't know about you, but when I think 'vacation rental' I picture either a quaint cabin near snow-capped Yosemite or the quintessential beach house with 'seaside art' on the walls and sand for a front yard.
I can tell you very decisively: this was not that idyllic home I just described. No ma'am, this was some dude's extra townhouse: a stone's throw from a massive intersection and under a flight path for the 6th busiest airport in America, with a serious ant problem and a broken couch. But hey, it had a roof, beds, a kitchen, a laundry room, and a couple of toilets. And it was only six weeks.
Our kids did their school on TV trays that we took along as we knew we would need a few more 'surfaces'. Three people ate their meals on folding chairs we had also brought along. I baked Ryan his favorite pie on his birthday in a 9x9 glass dish as there was no pie plate. S slept in a sleeping bag in a corner. The other kids "learned" how to share a bed. I shopped 2 or 3 times a week for groceries as the frig was very near a dorm size frig. This was such an adventure.
I empathize very deeply now with families who live in apartments or town homes. Not only is it difficult to be in small quarters with energetic children, but it is hard to keep them quiet! It is exhausting! Seriously, it feels (and is, at many times) quite futile. We demonstrated elephant feet vs kitty feet time and time again. I think the only thing we accomplished is that now (six months later) our kids will call each other out for walking with elephant feet.
This strange time of our lives resulted in many great consequences. Primarily born out of our need to escape from our vacation rental!
We discovered many great places to hike. We hiked to waterfalls at South Mountain State Park. But Crowder's mountain became a family favorite. We did that hike twice during out eight week stay. The fall colors were beautiful and we truly enjoyed being comfortable outside, in November! (Something we could not have said in WI)
It is strenuous, and the last climb is quite fun, but it is worth it in the end. Yes, that is our littlest, scaling the mountain all by herself!
We also discovered some of the Greenways that the city of Charlotte has created for recreation. Oh, how we were missing our bikes (99% of our belongings were being stored by the relocation company).
Overall, it was a long eight weeks but we are grateful for the chance we had to acquaint ourselves with some of the excellent outdoor activities in our new city.
Oh, how glad we were to sleep in our own beds and all fit together comfortably in a dining room or living room once again! Onto our new home!