Daily Archives: April 10, 2012

North Carolina Getaway: Part I

Last weekend, Mister E and I made the long trek from Connecticut to North Carolina for a weekend getaway trip with my family. It’s really funny how the whole trip came about actually. Originally, at the beginning of March, my mom brought up the idea of doing a mother-daughter weekend together somewhere out West like Colorado or Arizona. While scouring the internet for travel deals, I happened upon a Groupon for Watershed Cabins near Bryson City in North Carolina.

Night shot of front of cabin

(photo source)

My mom had mentioned that her and my dad were considering a trip to North Carolina, so I made sure to let her know about the Groupon deal in passing. One of us casually brought up the idea of how neat it would be for the whole family (my parents, my brother, my brother’s girlfriend, Mister, and myself) to stay in a cabin since it has been AGES since we’ve done a real family trip somewhere. Before I knew it, all of our original mother-daughter travel plans were out the window and I was planning a North Carolina family trip now.

The Groupon deal was for two nights in a cabin at a discounted rate, so our original plan was to buy the Groupon and tack on a third night in a cabin at full price. Unfortunately, by the time we had settled on dates and were ready to commit to buying the Groupon a day later, it had already sold out!

I had started to already go into panic mode when I discovered that Watershed Cabins was running their own special on their website. For any two nights booked from January 2012 through March 2012, you would get the third night free! Pricewise, this special would work out to be just about the same had we been able to buy the Groupon, so it was a done deal for us!

The booking process was a little stressful as there were so many great cabins to choose from, and with the Groupon promotion, cabins were booking up quickly and the reservation office was overwhelmed and had slow response times. It took about a week to get everything confirmed, but we were finally able to reserve Lake Fontana View Cabin for the last weekend in March.

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The cabin was absolutely perfect!! The website described the cabin being in a gated community, so we weren’t quite sure what to expect. It turned out that by “gated community” they really meant a handful of cabins scattered on the side of a mountain with a gate at the bottom. The drive from the main gate to the cabin was a little nerve racking for someone who may not be experienced to severely steep roads and sharp drop-offs. I had Mister E behind the wheel, so I was just able to close my eyes and duck my head in-between my knees.

Privacy was a big concern for my parents since they wanted a location where they would truly feel out in the wilderness without neighbors. While it was possible to see the tops of some of the other cabins on the mountain from the main road, we were completely secluded at our own cabin and were never disturbed by any lights or noise.

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The main floor of the cabin consisted of two bedrooms, a full bath, a kitchen, and a living room and dining area that overlooked the lake and mountains. The kitchen came equipped with an oven, microwave, fridge, dishwasher, washer, dryer, small appliances like a toaster, coffee maker, and blender, dishware, glassware, utensils, cooking tools, and baking items such as pots, pans, cookie sheets, and muffin tins.

The living room was very cozy and inviting with two leather couches, throws, pillows, a gas fireplace, and a large screen TV (complete with satellite). There were also raised ceilings in the living room which made it a great place to sit and enjoy the scenery from the warmth of being inside.

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The two bedrooms on the first floor were very basic with only a bed, dresser, and a corner rack for hanging clothes. While some family members complained of the beds being too soft, I found them to be extremely comfortable and could have easily spent the majority of the trip just snuggled under the covers.

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In the corner of the cabin was a very impressive circular staircase that led to the upstairs loft area. The loft area consisted of the master bedroom (that I did not get a picture of) with a complete bathroom and jacuzzi bathtub. Outside of the master bedroom was the game room which had a stereo and pool table and overlooked the downstairs area.

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Out of the three dogs that were with us, only my little Prince was brave enough to attempt the spiral staircase! He really enjoyed going up to the loft area throughout the day just to keep a lookout on everything from the railing.

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As an aside story – My brother’s dog, Shadow, was way too nervous to set step on the spiral staircase, so I convinced my brother to carry him up instead. I figured that once he got to the loft level, Shadow would have a much easier time coming down the stairs. WRONG. After a half hour of all the family members trying to coax him down with all sorts of treats, he still wouldn’t budge an inch. Finally, it took my mother picking him up by his hind legs and me picking him up by his chest to carry him back down the staircase. I will never force an animal up a staircase ever again.

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But on the topics of dogs, one of the main selling points of Watershed Cabins was that they allowed dogs without any sort of restrictions. Their pet fee was $10 per night, per dog. So for my family, we had three dogs and stayed three nights, so we paid a $90 pet fee. We considered that a bargain compared to most hotel rates of $20-30 per night or what the cost would have been had we decided to board all three dogs.

Ok, back to the cabin. The back deck on the cabin comes furnished with two rocking chairs, a hot tub (!!!), and a gas grill. There are steps that lead off of the deck and straight into the fire pit area which has four adirondack chairs and a picnic table besides it.

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I really can’t say enough good things about Watershed Cabins. The level of comfort, cleanliness, and luxury of our cabin certainly exceeded everyone’s expectations. It was so easy to feel at home there that by the end of the weekend, I was wishing that the cabin really was my home!

I’ll be back tomorrow with the details of all the fun stuff my family did on the trip, but until then, I’m going to stare longingly at these pictures and try to wish myself back to North Carolina!