A cabin in the woods

My semi-monthly real life update with details of our recent, beautiful little British Columbia getaway + how to stay composed while cooking live crabs (not) in embarrassing video format, because I know you're dying to see me screeching in sweatpants with pineapple hair (also not).
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Jennifer Pallian
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My semi-monthly real life update with details of our recent, beautiful little British Columbia getaway + how to stay composed while cooking live crabs (not) in embarrassing video format, because I know you're dying to see me screeching in sweatpants with pineapple hair (also not).
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Hiya friends.  I've got the summertime itchy feet.  I get this intense desire to leave the city every year, to stretch my legs, listen to quiet, and breathe some fresh air. I just want to hide out for a bit. Stay in a cabin and live like I don't have wifi. 

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So we did that last weekend.  

We stayed in a lovely Airbnb rental in Sechelt on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, a short ferry ride from the city.  It was exactly perfect, from the amply forested setting, to the squashy beds with marshallow-y comforters, to the espresso machine. (And it does have wifi, I just ignored it). 

I'm sharing photos. Partly because I want you to go visit, too, and partly because I honestly don't know where else to store my memories.  

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At this little cabin in the woods called the Scuba Shack (but not just for divers), a little hot tub was nestled in the trees on a lower deck.  

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Look up. That's the view from the jacuzzi: a big foresty hug. I think I'm going to make it my screensaver. I take a deep breath every time I see it. 

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We went for long walks up and down enormous hills, double stroller in tow, picking things from the road's edge to decorate our dinner table.

My sister says I look like a crazy person diving into ditches to gather an armful of weeds, but look at that bouquet. I've never seen anything in a flower shop that makes me happier. Theo loves picking them with me. 

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We splurged on local Dungeness crabs for dinner, and oh my god they were incredible.  I bought them from the market in Vancouver and cooked them before we left. I've only ever cooked lobster from live before. I do not like just how many pinchy things crabs have vs. the two (tied-up) claws on lobsters.  There was a lot of screaming getting them into the pot. Which my sister documented in video (thanks, Katie).  It was never going to leave the confines of her phone, except I think I owe it to you to share. 

So hi guys, this is me in my sweat pants, screaming like a maniac with my massive hair poorly contained in a knot on the tippy top of my head (the only spot it doesn't pull - it seriously weighs like 5 pounds), crabs flying, swatting away dogs in my messy kitchen with kids shouting in the background.  

It turns out that years of experience can't stop me from making the same attractive face every time I cook a crustacean.

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I love the moss beards worn by trees in this beautiful temperate rainforest climate. 

And we stumbled on cherries near our property. Which made me want to quit the city and buy an orchard. 

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We were a 3-minute walk from a beautiful little almost-private beach with a million crabs running around the sand on the rainy days, perfect sand-castling sand and the most beautiful still turquoise water for swimming on sunny days. 

On the first evening, a seal popped up to say hello. 

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The property has a little gazebo with a propane fire pit (perfect because BC often has fire bans in the summer), within earshot of the kids' bedroom.  So we were able to enjoy a nice glass (ok fine, bottle) of wine fireside after the muchkins crashed. 

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As you can probably tell, we spent most of our time in the cabin itself. But we also went for a short, stroller-friendly hike in the beautiful Heritage Hidden Groves, and had a picnic at Porpoise Bay Provincial Park, which was a stunning sandy beach with glass-still water and a large grassy park equipped with kayak rentals, picnic tables and playground. Before heading home in the ferry, we went for gelato at Mike's Gelato in Gibsons, then went for a beautiful walk on the waterfront path it faces.

If you're looking for a beautiful escape a short distance from Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast is for you. 

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Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. -- Melody Beattie

I read that quote in the front page of a book recently, and I can't remember which one. But I thought I'd share it and leave you with that lovely thought.  Have a beautiful week, my friends.