Family Vacation: Can you say Wallenpaupack?

Family Vacation

Last January, my husband Mitch sent out Airbnb options to our family for the summer Family Vacation. Six adults and three children under six together for one week in July. Talk about too many cooks in the kitchen! Every house Mitch suggested was greeted with six differing opinions. Out of frustration, we picked a house on Lake Wallenpaupack for our Family Vacation that at least one of us (Mitch)  agreed to and moved on.  


By the way, it took me months to remember the name of where we were going….and then more time to pronounce it – It helped that an old episode of The Office ” BOOZE CRUISE” was located at Lake Wallenpaupack  – here is the pronunciation as demonstrated.

Mitch and I, plus our daughter and son-in-law, son and daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren, eagerly anticipated our week of togetherness.  Ok, one adult progeny, who will go unnamed, was not as eager about all that togetherness. But HE was onboard if golf and waterslides were part of the package.

Carly re-read new house reviews a month before our departure, which spoke about a mildew smell in the basement of the rental home.  She decided to keep this from me, as I would have traveled down the rabbit hole of mold- doom-disease-disaster.

We’re Here

Mitch and I were the first to arrive at the house. We entered, and I instantly traveled to memories of a 1972 wood-paneled dark home.  I immediately texted my dad a photo of the TV profile and said, “Here is a clue to the decade the house is furnished.”

Old School TV

His usual wise reply was, “As long as it is clean and has more than 2 channels.”  Yes, it was clean, but about those channels…

Alex and Joyce arrived and took an upstairs bedroom. Carly and Steve pulled in a few moments later and said they would take the basement with two bedrooms and a private bath.  The smell was there, but they thought they could handle it.

Several hours later, Carly admitted the smell was atrocious, and she was not sure how they could stay down there. At one point, Steve moved the end table to discover that it covered an open sump hole.

This started the game of musical beds and rooms.  Without all the hoopla and details, we finally figured out a plan. Including one grandson sleeping on a couch in our bedroom.

We wrote to Airbnb and were offered a full refund by the owner, but after our family meeting, we decided that NOBODY wanted to repack and drive home. So, the basement door was closed, and we pretended it wasn’t there.  Until I had to do the laundry.

Does anyone have a Mask?

Of course, masks were part of my packing and came in handy. Instead of deflecting Covid, it lessened the basement odor and allowed me to run in and out with laundry.

Family Vacation

Once the house was settled, we started exploring.

Our youngest granddaughter Noa was nicknamed PocoNoa for this trip. She’s still at the age where it’s OK for cute nicknames. 

The community had a beautiful pool, sandy beaches, walking trails, and deer that felt like dogs. Literally, the deer were just feet away every day. The babies were as curious about us as we were about them.

So, If you are in Wallenpaupack…

Claws and Paws

A privately owned Zoo – An amazing adventure for all ages. It is not wheelchair friendly.

26 Species of Fish on the Lake

Soarin Eagle Rail Tours


Family Vacation

Beautiful Hike- Shuman Point

Carly and I bravely took Noa (almost 3 ) and Brady (6) on a hike. It was close to three miles and was a rocky, hilly path. It also took close to three hours to complete the beautiful hike. But it was a success because there were no “uppy” from Noa and no meltdowns from any of us!

So, Back to that House

The house turned out to be just fine. How do I know it was a good vacation? Carly said to me, I would come back here! I guess it was a success!


Readers of my blog and memoir, Raising Jess A Story of Hope, know that Mitch and I raised three children.  Jessica, our eldest, requires total assistance with all daily life skills due to a chromosomal deletion.  It saddens me that our family vacation is minus one family member.  Traveling with Jessica would require a lot of equipment, medicines, adaptations, accessibility, and herculean strength for a solid week. There is a measure of guilt that we cannot include Jessica in our travels. And although we embrace and appreciate the opportunity to spend time with our other children and grandchildren, we recognize that we miss one key family member on our travels.


How Would you Cope if Told Your Child has Severe Multiple Disabilities? 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘱𝘰𝘥𝘤𝘢𝘴𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘪𝘧 𝘺𝘰𝘶’𝘳𝘦 looking to hear an upbeat story about A Family changed forever through Hope and Perspective.

5 thoughts on “Family Vacation: Can you say Wallenpaupack?

  1. 70 years ago as a camper at camp Blue Ridge our senior group trip was to Lake Wallenpaupack for a three day canoe trip. Sleeping bags camp fires etc etc. one of my fondest memories. Nothing like your experience must have been but one of the highlights of my camping experience. Loved hearing about it. Lucille Greene💖

  2. What a great family vacation, Vickie! It’s inspiring that you can still coral the family together for a summer vacation. Such great memories. Love the deer, zoo, fishing and scenery!

    I hear ya on not including Jess but sometimes, you need to do what you have to do for the bigger picture. I know you do more than plenty for her other times. 🙂

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