A Faraway Treehouse reTreat
So my sisters and I had been wanting to go on vacation together for a while now. We should have probably done this while we were still all single (I actually can’t believe we never got round to it!) but finally this year is the year the Teli sisters holidayed (vacationed) together!
It was a vacation within a vacation and we happily handed over all the planning to one sister. I remember receiving a text message about a ‘tree-house holiday’ while I was still submerged in the last few weeks before school was out for the summer in Boston Mass – not even opening the link until almost a month later – the night before we were to set off!
I honestly didn’t care where we were going – I just cared that I didn’t have to organize it!
No husbands. No parents. But bringing the kids with us was a no brainer. They rarely get to see their Khalas (Maternal Aunts) all together, so we thought a dose of concentrated Khalas and nephews and nieces time would be perfect. In fact we just got back a few days ago and I’d love to tell you about it.
On Monday afternoon our party -(minus one sister who was to meet us at the destination), piled into the car and drove two hours north to a small village in West Norfolk (England)
We grew up in the Lincolnshire Wolds so the setting wasn’t going to be too far from familiar for the adults but we were to stay in a tree-house, which certainly was a novelty for both adults and children. A tree-house, a winding river, a campfire, and a nearby sea saltish English town… the marrow of childhood summer right there.
Anyway here are some photos from our stay in West Lexham – Four sisters and Four kiddos (three of mine and one of my sister’s – my one and only galumptious little niece).
The smell of wood, the sound of rustling leaves was the most nostalgic calming combination ever ! The bathroom was surprisingly luxurious – with unique tiled walls around he shower and for some reason the warmest part of he tree-house, so although there was no sauna – it always smelt like one – that hot clean wood smell.
These chairs were straight from the cottage of the Three Bears!
Look at this log stone oven and hob! Tried and failed miserably to cook breakfast on it the first day – cooked on a regular gas hob in the outdoor kitchen for the rest of the holiday!
Cooking outdoors really was so so lovely though. The tree-house is set on private acres and walking from the tree-house to the outdoor kitchen was a fun back and forth for the children “Mama, Zareen khali (the designated cooking Khala) says she forgot the potatoes” and off they would be sent on a potato errand.
My favorite meal of the trip was this banana pancake with salted caramel ice cream for breakfast! The pancake hot and crispy on the outside and just the right ‘gooeyness’ on the inside.
It was lovely to have part of this little river bend all to ourselves.
These two explorers had the best time stirring its murky depths with a wide variety of sticks. The thrill of finding the slimiest algae and squelching in the squishiest mud was un-paralled. I tried not to be over cautious while they played getting as close to the edge as they could- but we made sure an adult was nearby.
Zero internet connectivity in the treehouse, and a weak wireless connection outside if one stood in a certain place … which was brilliant to be honest!
We decided to take everything at the children’s pace, there was NO rushing around to be anywhere at any certain time. Post breakfast water pistol fights and bubbles, one afternoon of playing board games with the Khalas (board-games are not my jam) Pre-dinner games of tag, evenings spent roasting marshmallows in the dying embers of an outdoor fire…
This lot’s laughter could be heard quite a while away – the trees so densely leafy around he tree-house that one could hear them but not see them sitting in the sunshine on the pretty deck outside.
We realized this funny thing that each sister had done! Each one of us had bought something to the table so to speak that was so ‘Her’. One evening the Arty One bust out paints, paint brushes and a little painting project for everyone!
The Foodie had us covered for all our cravings from full English breakfast to Condensed milk drizzled on crumpets (true story). Also don’t know how she did it but before leaving she planned the food shopping with my Six year old and Three year old in tow (along with her own 8 month old) and somehow stayed sane enough to accommodate the kids excited choices for camping food and shop for JUST the exact amount of food we ended up needing for five days and four nights.
The ‘Thoughtful One‘ had bought cake and candles and wrapped up gifts for the children much to their utter delight , because when you’re that age candles and cake are everything.
Here’s one merry little painter … the other one was having a huge meltdown because his egg had touched some water.
Here’s my ahem ‘masterpiece’ if you’d like to see!
Which one is your favorite?
And then there is me. What did I bring? I literally brought bling with me. I was the Blinging One! I had packed a glamours outfit for each sister – Kashmiri Tilla Glam and had instructed that no one forget their makeup! We then spent part of an evening dressing up and I took Beautiful Photos of everyone!( I probably enjoyed that the most out of all of us) Kids were not left out, they had face paints, (packed by the Thoughful One)
There was lots of this…
‘We’re going on a bear hunt … “ If you know that book then you’ll KNOW it just had to be sung here with great gusto.
And lots of this.
And of course lots of evenings after all the littles were put to bed, spent reading our summer reads, eating chocolate (and crumpets drizzled with condensed milk!), drinking tea and reminiscing of the sometimes funny and sometimes sad stories that only siblings can share, you know how it is.
At the end of our own childhood road trips, sitting in the back of the car, when the Teli sisters’ height’s were still aligned in age order order: Big. Middle. Small. (Baby Teli hadn’t been born yet) Papa would ask in universal Dad Speak jollyness ‘Did Girls Enjoyyyy???‘
And from the back seat the answer would come. Whether a weak ‘yeees’ or roaring ‘YEEEEEAAAs’ (we would have never dreamed of saying ‘No’). The tone and lilt of that yeees sung in unison or omitted by a sulky sister said it all.
You can bet the ‘Foodie’ (who was also our designated ‘Driver’), took great pleasure in re-enacting this and the kids had no idea why we burst out in fits of laughter afterwards!
Love you sisters, I am so thankful we were able to go.
Have you gone away as a group? Best friends? Sisters? Mums and Moms? Tell us your favorite stories and destinations in the comments.