A Week Retreat to West Jefferson, NC

Last week I was desperate to get away.  Lately I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed with sassy children, overpacked schedules and blogging deadlines.  So when the opportunity to head to the mountains for a weeklong retreat with my best friend and her kids arose, I snatched it up without a second thought.

Fun things to do with kids in West Jefferson, NC #travelwithkids #travel #NCmountains

Normally, we meet in Montreat, NC each summer for a week of reminiscing and playing while Betsy and Jay take their church youth group to a local church conference.  However, this year, they decided to do a mission trip in the mountains of North Carolina.  And since the teenagers and Jay were on location doing construction and house repairs, there was no room for three little girls under five.

Fun things to do with kids in West Jefferson, NC #travelwithkids #travel #NCmountains

So Betsy and I rented a Secluded Hideaway in the hills outside of West Jefferson.  Despite it’s ridiculously  steep unpaved driveway, it was the perfect getaway for us and our six kiddos under 7!  With a big, grassy lot, a HUGE wrap around deck and kid-proof interior, the kids were able to play as kids should….with little supervision and mostly outside!

Fun things to do with kids in West Jefferson, NC #travelwithkids #travel #NCmountains

Fun things to do with kids in West Jefferson, NC #travelwithkids #travel #NCmountains

Although we did have a couple of rain showers throughout the week, the temperatures stayed mild in the low 80’s….perfect for blow up pools and creek stomping at Elk Shoals.

Fun things to do with kids in West Jefferson, NC #travelwithkids #travel #NCmountains

And it was exactly what I needed.  Absolutely no agenda, except for porch sitting and coffee drinking!  I did zero blogging.  I did not check email.  I did my best not to yell at any children {it’s amazing how laid back I can be when I don’t have to get three kids ready for three different activities and we aren’t late for anything!}.  And I let the kids dress themselves.  So they dressed alike.  Or they wore the same dirty outfit numerous times.  I didn’t care.

Fun things to do with kids in West Jefferson, NC #travelwithkids #travel #NCmountains

After the kids went to bed, Betsy and I did crafts and caught up on life.  There may or may not have been wine involved.  And during the day, the babies crawled around the house while the big girls caught critters!  Frogs and lizards and inchworms, oh my!

Fun things to do with kids in West Jefferson, NC #travelwithkids #travel #NCmountains

One day, we packed up all the littles and headed into the town of West Jefferson.  Cutest little Mayberry-ish town you’ve ever seen.  Lots of little fun shops {which would have been WAY more fun without 6 kids in tow….but no complaints!} and at least 3 ice cream shops!

Fun things to do with kids in West Jefferson, NC #travelwithkids #travel #NCmountains

Fun things to do with kids in West Jefferson, NC #travelwithkids #travel #NCmountains

And with all five girls in matching outfits, we were quite the spectacle walking down the street!
Fun things to do with kids in West Jefferson, NC #travelwithkids #travel #NCmountains

Everywhere we went, people told us not to miss The Cheese Factory. And I mean everyone.  And since they don’t make cheese at THE CHEESE FACTORY every day, I actually was getting a little stressed that we were going to miss out on cheese.  Because, we just had to go there.  But when we finally went, it was nothing more than a giant observation window in the cheese factory, so you could observe the four guys in there, pushing stinky curds around.  Needless to say, it didn’t quite live up to the hype.  However, we also toured THE CHEESE FACTORY’s gift shop across the street, and were throughly entertained by the displays of old-fashioned toys, samples of fresh cheese and fudge, the silly cheese shapes, and over-sized animal statues.

Fun things to do with kids in West Jefferson, NC #travelwithkids #travel #NCmountains

Another day, we explored a neighborhood and found the local library and adjoining playground.  They both were super nice and all-age friendly!  The girls even branched out and made some new local friends, and bravely tried a huge slide, rock climbing wall, and monkey bars.
Fun things to do with kids in West Jefferson, NC #travelwithkids #travel #NCmountains

Fun things to do with kids in West Jefferson, NC #travelwithkids #travel #NCmountains

Fun things to do with kids in West Jefferson, NC #travelwithkids #travel #NCmountains

Fun things to do with kids in West Jefferson, NC #travelwithkids #travel #NCmountains

Between the novelty of being able to play non-stop with their “cousins” and the safety net of being in a small town and a secluded home property, the girls were entertained all week.  It was so nice to give them some free reign in their exploration.  They were happy and I was finally able to relax a bit.  Now, how do I bottle this contentment up and bring it home?!?!

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  1. […] we go to Montreat during the summer.  Or at least hide out in the mountains for a week.  But this year, the whole crazy train is coming to my house, and I couldn’t be […]