How to Survive a Week in the Woods with Your Family


Commune with Nature (taken July 2012 – we didn’t change the date because that would be mean work – and we were on vacation!)

Having just returned from a week’s vacation with my family in the mountains of Colorado, I thought I would share some essential survival tips for those of you contemplating such an adventure.

1.  You CAN all stay in the same cabin – even if there are more than two of you!  You don’t even need large quantities of alcohol or drugs!  Upon hearing that our cabin would hold me, my husband, my mother-in-law, my daughter and her two children, my son and his wife, my youngest daughter and her husband (and a partridge in a pear tree!) – my mother-in-law’s sister was aghast and asked how we thought we were going to keep from having battles and possibly bloodshed!  You add that we usually pick a cabin without good cell phone coverage, internet or television and only ONE bathroom — you have now added all the elements needed for World War III!

So – how do you survive this purgatory?  You make sure you let everyone wear themselves out during the day doing the things they love to do (hiking, fishing, biking – whatever!), feed them in the evening, play some family games until people are too tired to argue.  You will be surprised how pleasant people will be to each other without being distracted by Facebook, Twitter or the internet – not to mention television!  We’ve been doing this for years and the children end up getting to know each other better and finding out what is going on in their lives (all my children are over 24 years old!) — all without any swearing, screaming or fist fights!  Miracles truly do happen when all of the modern distractions of our lives are eliminated!

2.  Fudge solves everything!  First things first — I don’t want to cook every night of my vacation — so you need to scope out the local eateries and frequent them at least a few times during your stay.  I’m a HUGE dessert fiend — so I always find the places that make really good fudge, donuts, pie — and of course, pizza!  And don’t forget the S’mores!  You have to make S’mores every night — chocolate, roast marshmallows and graham crackers — best way I know to make someone happy from the inside out!

3.  When all else fails — go for a walk!  Geez – you are in the woods!  Take advantage of it — if you can’t talk to your family — go talk to the trees!

Three simple rules – Eliminate the distractions, Find the Fudge and Take A Walk — makes any vacation with your family something which will be remembered fondly and will have them planning for next year to repeat the experience.


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