Getaway – Piney Woods

This weekend we took a break from Airstream updates and home renovations to go on a quick weekend getaway with the kids!

For my birthday last week, Jordan surprised me and the kids with two nights at Getaway – Piney Woods, a tiny house retreat about two hours outside of town.

On Friday afternoon we drove from Fort Worth to Tyler, and while we were in town we stopped at the Caldwell Zoo. Despite the dreary weather the kids still had a good time!

The Caldwell zoo is one of our favorites (and as vets, we visit the zoo in just about every city we travel to!) because of the quality of its enclosures and enrichment for the animals. We also appreciate that this zoo has done a great job during the COVID-19 pandemic of limiting entrance and ensuring a flow of traffic that keeps people moving through in a timely fashion.

We checked into our cabin around 4pm, and got the kids settled in. We were provided with all the basics you need, including towels, bedding, cooking equipment, and even little s’mores kits!

On our way out of town we stopped to pick up some groceries for the weekend so that we’d have food to eat. We’ll do another post on car-camping or “glamping” food, but for this trip we brought tons of kids snacks, hotdogs and salad for the first night, and a frozen orange chicken meal for the second night. The tiny house was already stocked with coffee, so we knew we’d be okay on the caffeine front.

We didn’t have a big agenda for the weekend, mostly just spending time together as a family. The first night we settled in, cooked hotdogs for Parker (I think he ate about 4!) and read books with Charlie. She and I are currently about halfway through the first Harry Potter, we’ve been reading about a chapter a night.

Saturday morning we were up bright and early thanks to our early bird, Charlie.

After a quick oatmeal breakfast and coffee, we headed out for a brisk hike with the kids. Charlie rode in the Ergo carrier, and although we brought the Osprey carrier for Parker he seemed happy to walk. We wandered around the property’s hiking trails for about 1.5 hours, which is the first real hiking we’ve done with Parker on foot. He was pretty tired when we got back to the house, so we had some quiet time before lunch and then put the kids down for their naps.

Jordan and I got a campfire going while the kids were napping, and enjoyed spending a few hours childfree.

When the kids woke up we let Parker run around some more, and then he helped Jordan collect firewood to make s’mores. Charlie was entranced by the fire.

Parker loved the gooey marshmallows and chocolate, and I think he enjoyed deconstructing his s’more more than eating it! It has been getting dark pretty early these days, so by 5pm it was already time to head inside.

We ate dinner and Jordan and I played several rounds of Gin and Speed while the kids wound down for the night.

We headed out at first light Sunday morning to get back to the real world and continue work on the house! It was a brief but much-needed refresher for our family, and we had a great time. We’re looking forward to our next tiny adventure!

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