Cozy Cabin

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If you haven’t already heard of Airbnb, let me enlighten you. All around the world people list their extra rooms, apartments, castles, airstreams etc. on Airbnb.com where you can rent them for just a night or up to a few weeks. There are some spectacular options on there. We rented a huge luxurious apartment in Budapest to fit 8 people during Christmas a few years ago, and my husband and I rented a few apartments on our Grecian honeymoon last June. They all had so much more character than a hotel room and were usually better priced for their location. When visiting a new place, I strive to be the least touristy I can. It gives you so much more of an actual feel for a place you know? Plus, you usually get some recommendations from your host that you’d never find on your own.

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We’ve been antsy to explore more of Washington since its so beautiful and full of nature wherever you look. We have a list going of all the locales to check out.  As a mini birthday trip a few weeks ago, we found a Cozy Cabin through Airbnb about 90 minutes from the city.  This cabin was adorable and, once we got the wood stove going, quite warm and comfy. There was no electricity, but a few propane lanterns and candles everywhere gave us enough light. A light dusting of snow started as we drove down the rustic logging road to the cabin.

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For me, of course, the most exciting prospect of this trip was planning a delicious spread for our dinner. I bought a few cheeses, crackers and some quince and fig jams from The Calf and The Kid as a small dessert spread. For dinner I had prepared toppings for 3 types of sandwiches. I had slow roasted cherry tomatoes for a few hours in olive oil, salt, pepper and fennel seeds till they basically tasted like candy. There was not enough of that to go around and there was only two of us which should tell you something about its addictive properties. Adding some fresh basil and mozzarella to the tomatoes gave us our caprese sandwich. Avocado,goat cheese and arugula with black pepper made another. The last was super simple, but tasted lavish. We spread a healthy slab of unsalted butter on a baguette slice, added a few thin radish slices and sprinkled a tiny pinch of Maldon sea salt on top. I tell you, I could have eaten those all night long. Unfortunately my stomach was satiated way before my tongue was. A mixed green salad with some homemade tarragon shallot vinaigrette gave us the illusion that we were eating healthy.

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After dinner we munched on cheese and crackers and sipped wine, cozily snug inside blankets since we had inadvertently let the wood stove go out. Apparently, you have to pay attention to those things and keep feeding them wood or they stop burning. Science.

As Brandon worked to get the fire burning again we brought out our entertainment for the evening, a few Choose Your Own Adventure books. Their titles promised rich gems of hilarity: ” The Lost Jewels of Nabuti”, “Prisoner of The Ant People” and “My Zombie Pen Pal”. However, we kept dying almost immediately no matter our choices which was super lame. We consoled ourselves with more cheese and wine, adding a few chocolate squares to the mix.

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Paul, our amazing host, had stocked the kitchen with potatoes, onions, garlic and eggs so we created a feast for breakfast the next morning. Brandon has great egg technique so I relinquished cooking duties to him. He made some crunchy hash browns, topped with cheese which creamily melted and topped it all with two over easy eggs. There was a funky contraption that turned out to be a coffee grinder, so we made a french press with the beans from the cupboard. The coffee was atrocious, but it set the scene for our lazy rustic morning. We’ll just have to bring our own beans next time.

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After a lazy morning spent eating and chatting, we decided it was time to get back to some sort of civilization. However, that charming snow dusting that had greeted our arrival the night before, had steadily grown and created a winter wonderland that was growing more wintery by the minute. The driveway to leave the cabin complex had a tiny incline which was insurmountable by our poor little Honda Fit, Huck. Poor Huck got stuck almost immediately. Thank God that our host, lived in the complex and saw our car get stuck. He and his neighbors worked selflessly for 2 hours to get us unstuck, pushing us and using their 4 wheel drive truck to basically plow the two mile logging road so we could get out. They were incredibly kind. stuck-in-the-snow-to-post

When it first became apparent that we would not get out for a little while, Paul sent us back into the cabin to get warm. We had obviously gotten hungry again in the meantime, all that sitting in the car and watching them push really took it out of us. We used this opportunity to  finish off our leftover salad and butter radish sandwiches along with the rest of our Prosecco. This helped our attitudes immensely. Isn’t it incredible how medicinal food and drink can be for the mood and the soul?

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At last we were free from the snowy driveway and drove with great trepidation down the logging road to civilization. The trees lining the road groaned under their snowy weights and occasionally dropped them on our roof as we inched along. Finally we reached a real, live paved road and made our way to Bellingham.  There we found a gorgeously maze-like bookstore and  I spent almost all of my birthday money adding to my Agatha Christie collection.

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Thankfully that was basically our first and, most probably, our last snow experience of the winter here in the Pacific Northwest. Sorry to all my Chicago pals for the constant winter hell you’ve been going through. I hope spring comes soon! We’ll definitely stop by this cozy cabin again in the summer time when we can explore the surrounding woods and perhaps have a little bonfire and summer cocktails.

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