Journey Jotters

Bitten by the travel bug

Yesterday, I posted about the essence of Getaway cabins. For Thanksgiving last year, I booked a Getaway cabin in the Dallas Outpost at LaRue, Texas. This area forms a part of the Piney Woods, known for its thick pine forests. LaRue is about two and a half hours from our home in North Texas.

Fire pit outside our cabin
Fire pit with chairs outside our cabin

Once I completed the booking, we received a confirmation email listing the exact location of the Outpost. A week before our stay, we got a reminder email. On the morning of our stay, I got a text asking us to check in after 3 PM and download a map of the Outpost in case we didn’t have cell service in the area. We were asked to stock up on essentials near our home since local businesses might not be open. And to text or call the team should anything come up during the stay. I thought these were useful reminders.

As we prepared for the trip, around 1130 AM, we got a text stating that the main heater in our cabin was inoperable and the team could not fix it. They had left a space heater instead for our use. We felt that was not an acceptable option given it was fall, and the weather was much cooler. We asked to be moved to a different cabin, but one was not available until the next day. Given we were there only two nights, we did not want the hassle of moving cabins. The team offered us a partial refund on the stay and were highly apologetic, both of which we appreciated. We asked about canceling the trip and were offered a two-night credit for booking at a later date. As we debated whether to take the credit versus full cancellation, we got a message stating that the field team had been able to fix the heater and the cabin was ready for use. After confirming that we would get a full refund if the cabin heater didn’t work, we proceeded with the trip.

As we drove to LaRue, we got a text notification with the name of our cabin, the Outpost address, and the digital code to access the cabin. And a reminder to not arrive for check-in before 3 PM. The trip went smoothly. The entrance to the Outpost was easily accessible from the highway. All around us, the scene was pastoral with gently undulating terrain. As we turned into the Outpost driveway, the road snaked around the rolling hills, taking us past several cabins. Most cabins had a driveway leading up to them. Some had roadside parking provided at a distance of about 75 to 100 feet from the cabin. Cabins were set in such a way to provide adequate privacy from guests driving by. Almost every cabin had a vehicle parked in the driveway. Apparently, the cabins were a hit that weekend.

Our cabin was called Sean after one of the team’s family members. We had a gravel driveway leading to the cabin well shaded from the cabins on either side by hedges and trees. We had a beautiful view facing west towards the glowing sun and sloping hillocks with tall trees.

We used the digital code to unlock the door. The cabin was relatively small on the inside. We knew, of course, that the cabins were small, but it still felt much smaller in person. Across from the door was a mini kitchen with all the items as mentioned in the post yesterday. Above the kitchen area were a few shelves for storing provisions. In addition, there were some books and an AM/FM radio to listen to. To our left was a small dining table with chairs on one side and a bench seat on the other. Beyond that was a queen bed opening onto the large glass window, and lofted above it was another queen bed for the kids. A couple of steps at the end of the bench seat led to the loft. To the right of the door were the shower and the toilet. Behind the door were hooks to hang coats on.

Our tiny kitchen
Mini kitchen in the Getaway cabin

Although small, the cabin was efficient with no wastage of space. The kitchen accessories were neatly stacked on a magnetic bar, while others were placed in small wire baskets. The table held a s’mores kit and a cookie tray with the decorating kit. Next to them stood a cellphone lockbox, some information about the cabins, and a welcome note. There were four towels in the bathroom, a small first aid kit, and toilet paper rolls. The shower held bottles of body wash, shampoo, and conditioner. Outside were the fire pit, the grilling grate, chairs around the fire pit, and a picnic table.

That evening we enjoyed the cookies and chatted outside before playing football. As dusk settled around us, we used the kitchen essentials to whip up a quick dinner before going out to enjoy the firepit. We used the starter kit and a bundle of the logs from the box outside. It was perfect weather to make s’mores and enjoy the night sky. The beds were comfortable, and the cabin stayed warm enough through the evening.

Dining area and entry door to cabin
Dining area and entryway, seen from the bed

The following day, while the kids slept in, Mr. JJ and I took a walk through the Outpost. Although the other cabins were all occupied, hardly anyone was out and about. The day was a cool one with the promise of rain by the afternoon. After a good breakfast, we explored the area in front of our cabin. Tall pine and elm trees seemed to touch the sky while the ground was covered by a carpet of brown leaves, rustling in the light breeze. After another walk through the area, we played some more games outside and made s’mores.

We found the kitchen, although small, was very functional and used nearly every item there for cooking our meals. We had to keep the main cabin door open to dispel the smell of food. We ate all our meals outside at the picnic table. The toilet functioned fine, the shower pressure was good, and the water was hot enough. But we had to space our showers to allow enough time for the water to heat.

My original plan had been to visit Cedar Creek Lake, which is close to the Outpost. But we had to cancel due to the rains that afternoon and evening. That was when the small size of the cabin and the miserable wetness of the day became stifling at times. Although the cell phone reception was better than we anticipated, we stayed away from our phones. We played cards, word games, Pictionary, debated politics and policies, listened to the radio, and cooked. We talked, listened, argued, joked, cuddled, fought, but we did it all together!

View from our cabin
View from our cabin

The following morning was a beautiful one. After an early breakfast, we followed the little trail near our cabin. And then set out to explore more of the Outpost area beyond our neighborhood, enjoying the crisp morning and the lively woodlands around us. There is a longer trail in the Outpost that we could not hike on this trip. Our weekend trip to a Getaway cabin passed rather quickly. Soon it was time to lock up the cabin and leave.

So what did we think of the Getaway cabin getaway? Join us tomorrow for final thoughts.

One thought on “Weekend in a Getaway cabin: Our experience

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