Four semesters of school down and three more to go! We are so excited to be on the "home stretch" with school. There have been a LOT of changes in our lives in the past year and taking any kind of a vacation has not happened in a year and a half. During the summer we normally go camping but with an infant that just did not happen. So it was time for a three night getaway preferably in a cabin with a washer and dryer, hiking with a dog available, and in the right price range. I am pretty particular about how much we spend a night. My searches always start with places $100 and under and I don't think I've ever gone over $115 and we have stayed at some pretty fun places! The trick is to go off season which normally is the perfect time for us!
After searching an looking at some very promising places we decided on the Kalaloch Cabins on the Washington coast. There was not a washer and dryer (which I wanted to wash the cloth diapers) so I purchased a pack of disposables. Now I know some (most) of you will think I'm crazy for doing cloth but I love my diapers. They are easy, save money in so many different ways, are easy on Little Man's skin, and cute. Disposables on the other hand I find disgusting....they get very squishy....just saying!
Buster got exercise and some medicine to help him relax in the car and we were off on an adventure! Everyone did really well until about twenty minutes before we arrived and Little Man became really fussy! Longest twenty minutes in a car ever!
We got all checked in and headed to our cabin. The cabins are arranged in three rows (with only three cabins in the third row). Our cabin was in the second row and had "peek-a-boo" views per the Lodge but I thought we had an excellent view of the ocean! If you wanted more of a view in the second row request to be in cabins 21 -24 as the entrance to the beach is in front of them so they're no cabins blocking the view. Further down is a large building called Seacrest with multiple units in it. The Lodge itself also has a few rooms available but without kitchens.
Inside was the normal welcome items like paper, pen, and information about the facilities but also included binoculars, matches, maps, and more detailed information on the history of the Lodge and things to do in the National Park. I really enjoy reading about the history of places so was fascinated to learn that the original cabins were made from drift logs, that it was used as a Navy (in I am remembering the correct branch...could have been Coast Guard) base during a World War, and how it became part of the national park.
These cabins have been kept very nice over the years and I noticed that the inside walls were all big logs but when you looked at the outside they had been refinished. I did not feel any drafts inside so they have weather proofed it well. It was very stormy during out stay! Also they were remodeling the Seacrest building and also one of the large rooms in the main Lodge. We did not even pay near to full price of the room but I can see how they can charge $221 during the summer. I was impressed with the facilities.
Cell reception is sketchy and not to be relied upon. There are no phones, tv's, or internet in the rooms so if you must contact the outside word....pay phones are available!
Our cabin had a kitchenette that included a two burner stove, small refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, and lots of dishes, pots and pans, two queen beds with a privacy wall in between, futon, and wood burning stove. They also provide pack-n-plays free of charge. The beds had nice Pendleton blankets on them. Each day you are delivered a pack of wood that includes fire started and kindling. Our cabin really heated up using the wood stove!
Since we did not have an oven I prepped our first night dinner of salmon and baked potatoes at home and cooked the green beans right before we ate. Night number two was chili mac on the stove. With all the leftovers I was able to make big salads for lunch, chili mac again, and had brought baked chicken for chicken salad. Food prep was pretty easy! We also asked for coffee filters and made pots of coffee to go with our rainy and windy weather. I also packed my tiny food processor and ground up sweet potatoes and chili mac for Little Man. He enjoyed it like he enjoys all his food! And to finish it all off the kitchen sink makes a great bathtub after making a mess with all the food.
During the day his pack-n-play would be in the main area and at night I would transfer it to the other section where it was darker. This fun setup met we had to crawl over the second queen bed but it was worth it to not have to turn all the lights off at 6pm. He had a bit of a rough time sleeping but overall did well. I brought him into bed with us one morning when we woke up super early and he leaned back toward the Big Man and said "da da" nice and drawn out like he was ready to get up and play! Pretty cute!
We were also able to spend some time down on the beach each day. The waves were incredible! Huge, powerful, and could easily sneak up on you if you were not paying attention. This is one of the few beaches that allow dogs on it in the National Park. There are signs posted that it is a leash and scoop beach and poop bags were available next to the cliff entrance. Buster had the time of his life chasing sticks and running in the waves. He would play till he died if you didn't tell him to come home and lay down!
During check-in you sign a statement acknowledging the risks of the waves and logs. Every year people are killed when the ocean shoots a massive log out unexpectedly. It is particularly hazardous during high tide. The waves just toss and turn the logs like they are tiny sticks but when the waves recede the logs are huge! Even a small imagination could see the damage these logs could do.
There is a restaurant in the Lodge that is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner or if you are like us take-out dessert. I had the cheesecake twice. It was really that good. The staff was so friendly and one of the cooks (right term...he had a white coat on) was telling me how you can transfer to different park for a time period. He was from Shenandoah National Park and was spending a few months working at Kalaloch. What an amazing opportunity! They loved the company they worked for.
Most of our time was spent inside playing, reading, and listening to Christmas music! What else would you want to do when you have such a happy little man?! What a great last minute vacation!