August 19 13

Last year, after spending four days at Kellerman’s Clevelands House in Muskoka, my children talked about it for days, weeks, months after. No joke.

Over dinner one evening, I asked my kids if they would visit anywhere on earth, where would they chose.

Emily said, “London, obviously. With some poking around in Scotland and Ireland too.” (Good lord she is my child.)

Josh said, “Japan, obviously. I love sushi.”

Isabella said, “Hoboken, New Jersey, obviously. Since Buddy is there. AND CLEVELANDS HOUSE.”

Anywhere in the world, and she chose Clevelands House.


I seriously cannot thank my lovely boss Erica Ehm enough for introducing us to one of her favorite, special places. I am usually not very good at the whole putting your guard down and just doing nothing thing. I know, you are shocked by this. But it’s true.

When I sit at my desk, there’s always something I need to be doing for work—emails answered, slideshows built, articles assigned, m-dashes fixed, editorial calendars to be planned. When I am in my house, there’s always something that needs to be cleaned, washed, put away, folded. Even when we were on our trip to Virginia and DC this summer, I was still working. Sure, I had a lot of time to spend in museums and at county fairs trying to win a goldfish by throwing a ping pong ball into a tiny bowl. But in between all the fun, I was getting up early to publish new articles and staying up late to curate the pages of YMC.

But for the last four days, I did…nothing. I didn’t answer a single email, I didn’t curate a single page, I didn’t publish a single post. I didn’t cook, clean, wash dishes, do any kind of laundry.

I didn’t do the lift, I didn’t carry a watermelon, and I didn’t get put in a corner.

Well, that’s kind of a lie, really. I didn’t do NOTHING.

I watched my son learn to dive for the first time.

I watched Isabella create a giant sandcastle replica of Clevelands House with her friend Jessie.

I watched my daughter Emily waterski around the entire lake for the first time.


I ate chocolate chip cookies that were baked in a toaster.

I made Tassimo coffee that made the lights flicker every time I used it.

I snuggled with my kids.

I took an almost decent family selfie.


I did yoga for the very first time in the most beautiful setting.

I ate Isabella’s 8th birthday cake. And then ate it some more. And then some more.

I sat in the sun and laughed and laughed and laughed with some of my most favorite people.

I hugged my little ones a lot.

I let my kids have free reign of the place.

I watched them grow up just a little bit more before my very eyes.


Last year it was #386


This year it was #282


We may *just* be going back to Labor Day weekend for a new room number and some new memories.

We just can’t stay away.

At least until we can make it to Hoboken…

  1. I went there when I was 8 (um 30+yrs ago!) and still have amazing memories. Fishing for sunfish off the dock, the kids program, food… everything! Would love to take my kids there too. Saving, saving!

    Comment by Lindsey on August 19, 2013
  2. They have an option now to do it ala carte, which was way more affordable of an option for us. We actually brought our toaster oven and tassimo and food for breakfasts and lunches and then ate dinner at the restaurant. We saved TONS of money that way, and we really didn’t need three giant meals a day. 🙂

    Comment by ali on August 19, 2013
  3. Man, Isabella doesn’t look like she loved it so much last year, from that photo!

    I can’t believe how much they’ve grown in a year! Crazy!

    I want to visit this magical place!

    Comment by Kristabella on August 19, 2013
  4. …that’s because she was too busy having fun to sit for my boring, old photo. heh.

    Comment by ali on August 19, 2013
  5. Doing nothing sounds absolutely lovely! I loved all your kids answers, especially the Hoboken one because I’m from NJ and have been to Carlo’s Bakery before it became ultra famous. My aunt’s wedding cake was made by Buddy Sr. – crazy but true!

    Enjoy these last few days of lazy, happy family summer before the hustle and bustle of school. 🙂

    Comment by Nellie on August 19, 2013
  6. WHOA do they all look so much older.

    Comment by alyinponderland on August 19, 2013
  7. Oh, it sounds wonderful. Glad you get to get away and have family time, uninterrupted.

    Comment by Angella on August 20, 2013

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