Saturday, December 22, 2012

Life in a (different) little cottage by the sea

When KC graduated from college, she worked a season in the mountains to get her fill of skiing/snowboarding, before beginning her climb up the corporate ladder.

As a waitress in a ski resort, she had to work on Christmas and I was not happy about her being alone and not having her with us.

Thus began a new family tradition.

Every year, since 2003, we have taken a family ski vacation instead of buying lots of presents. 

The planning of our Christmas vacation begins in August so we can find a house that fits our purposes - not too big or too expensive!

Things went along great for several years, but our luck ran out.

Two years ago we rented a house in Santa Fe where Christmas Eve is magical with thousands of luminarias lighting up Canyon Road.

But, we only got in one day of skiing due to lack of snow.

Last Christmas we rented a wonderful house in Tahoe City with a gorgeous lake view and several ski resorts just a short drive away, but alas, there was so little snow that we got in only one very lackluster day of skiing.

In August, we decided that we did not want to risk planning a ski trip again this year.

We set our trusty travel agent (KC) on the trail of a tropical Christmas.

She found us a "little cottage by the sea" in Kauai.

Not this cottage on Hanalei Bay

or this Hanalei Bay house either - definitely not in our price range.

And not this house overlooking Hanalei Bay.

The photo is actually the view from the deck of "The House of Birds" as it is called by the owners.

It is a fun little house with one great room upstairs

and 2 bedrooms downstairs.

Although I live at the beach, I don't live in a 'beach' house so 'beach' themed furniture doesn't fit in.

It is just right for "The House of Birds".

The owners have decorated the house perfectly for its setting and purpose.

 Hawaiian flowers in my favorite palette of red, yellow and green.

I love wicker furniture, but it doesn't fit in my little Tudor cottage.

In this beach house, it is just the ticket.

Tapa cloth is hung as art

and native gourds and shells serve as decoration.

This little cottage by the sea is just what we needed.

No ski equipment, no heavy jackets - just bathing suits and flip flops.

Instead of skiing, it is kayaking, stand up paddling, hiking and swimming.

We love to ski, but as we sat out on the lanai last night eating dinner, JP's toast was,

"Here's to a new family tradition - Christmas in the tropics."

Steve's only suggestion was that next year the kids pay.

I won't hold my breath!

Mele kalikimaka


  1. what a beautiful spot to spend xmas! and congrats on the magazine feature, how exciting!--your home looks beautiful!

    wishing your a merry christmas and happy new year, carol:)

  2. Have a great tropical Christmas with your family - maybe Father Christmas will help psy! Looking forward to hearing more about your cottage by the sea.
    Sarah x

  3. Your cottage looks so peaceful. Thanks for visiting me. Merry Christmas!

  4. It looks like a gorgeous place to spend the holidays - have a wonderful Christmas and New Year xx

  5. What a wonderful new tradition. Looks like a wonderful place. Enjoy.

  6. looks fabulous! i love your family holiday tradition.
    enjoy .. merry christmas!

  7. Ohhhhh how nice that vacation looks. So jealous. We do a family vacation each May. With my little granddaughter being 2 1/2 we rent a gorgeous home outside of Disney in Orlando and do the Mickey and Minnie. Brings back such great memories of when my girls were little. We do the same thing not alot of gifts and we give our two daughters and son in law the trip for a Christmas gift. Have a great new year. Thanks for coming by.