Looking for some chill vibes for your trip down to one of our Outposts? We’ve found the perfect playlist for you.
While participating in our Artist Fellowship Program, student and aspiring musician Sam McCoig curated the perfect playlist for your Getaway. Featuring artists like Jack Johnson, Mandolin Orange, and the Avett Brothers, Sam’s playlist is the perfect pick for your Sunday brunch or for your afternoon drive.
Jeri Choi has stayed at Getaway DC a number of times and we love how she’s made a new tradition for her family of four (soon to be five). We asked Jeri to share more about her experience with Getaway, as well as her favorite family-friendly places to stop along the way.
“Are we there yet?! Are we there yet?!”
Only 15 mins into our estimated 2-hour drive and we were already hearing the chants and giggles get louder from our 2 kids in the backseat.
The kids were so excited. We were on our way to the Getaway.
My husband and I try our best to catch up and talk to our kids at dinner each night and then pick up the conversation as part of their bedtime routine. We listen to them talk about their day, read them a book, and pray for them. But that time is never enough—there are always more stories from what happened at school and more jokes they want to share.
Especially during certain seasons of busyness, we find that we can lose ourselves crossing off to-do lists, following a strict schedule, and living by our Google Calendar all while making sure that the kids are fed, clean, and generally doing well.
It was one winter, during a particularly busy time, that my husband suggested we go away for a few days as a family. A getaway to the Getaway, to retreat as a family of four.
Our very first trip actually took us close to 4 hours to get there. We stopped multiple times for bathroom breaks, for coffee, for gas, to change a diaper, and eventually got stuck in traffic because of the rain.
It was horrible. It’s not what I had planned or imagined. I wanted the two days away to be the best—about us, disconnecting from our busy lives and reconnecting as a family. But here we were, in traffic, spending the majority of it in a parked car on the highway.
The last stretch of traffic made our kids really antsy so we decided to take just one more stop before heading to our cabin. We stumbled upon a shopping center with a Target, about 35 minutes from the Getaway.
The kids ran down the aisles, getting out all their wiggles, following us as we looked around for diapers and milk. Moving through the aisles, our kids got a hold of different snacks and toys and continued to ask me if we could buy it. Annoyed from the rain and the cold, I didn’t even hear what they were asking, just responded with, “No. We have to go.”
Our daughter grabbed a box of cereal, tugged on my jacket and asked, “Can we get this for breakfast? I’ve always wanted to try unicorn marshmallows!” I quickly snapped back, “No! I planned to make pancakes so we’re having pancakes for breakfast.”
I saw her put it back on the shelf and she hopped back onto the cart as my husband pushed it. He turned around and smiled at me. I walked towards him and he put his arm around me and said to our kids, “Hey guys, let’s hurry up here so we can go!”
As we were checking out, our son started to cry. He was hungry. We were all hungry and we needed to eat dinner. In the same shopping center was Panera. We made our way over and sat down in the booth. Our daughter at this point was tired and started to wind down, putting her head on the table. Trying to revive her excitement and also to remind myself of why we came, I kept telling her, “Just wait! As soon as we get there, we are going to have so much fun!” She looked up at me and said, “Mama, but this is already fun!” Her face brightened up as she looked at me and continued to tell me stories of what happened at school—right where we left off the other night before bed.
I tried to hold back my tears as I was trying to eat my broccoli cheddar soup. The idea of wanting rest and connecting with my family looked effortless in my perfect schedule. I wanted to cross off my to-do list of our trip to find rest when really that would never give me peace.
Obviously, not following it made me unhappy—living like this would never make me happy. I needed to lay down my selfish and unreasonable expectations for myself, as a mom, as a wife, and for our family. There will always be a to-do list but only one moment in time when our kids are little. I just needed to be present for my daughter, for my family.
I apologized to my daughter for my crabby attitude. And my very keen daughter responded, “It’s ok mom. I forgive you. I get like that when I’m hungry too!” We left Panera with full stomachs and a new sense of excitement. Our last 30 minutes in the car were filled with singing, guessing games, and laughter. We were enjoying each others company and even decided to make one more stop at Sheetz to grab ice-cream for dessert!
We pulled up to our cabin and unloaded our bags. The kids had so much fun holding up flashlights for us to see the path from the car to the door. We were all wet and cold, but our cabin was warm inside and greeted us with a pleasant smell of wood and fresh bedsheets. We washed up, put the kids in their pajamas, and talked some more in bed. Right before falling asleep, our two-year-old son said, “this is the best ever.” And it was. It was the best ever.
Since then, our family has gone two more times. We book our trips when we know we’ll have a busier season coming up for us. It’s become our new tradition. On the way to our cabin, we’ll all take turns sharing knock-knock jokes that we’ve been saving up, talk about school and work, share our hopes and dreams. We stop by that same Target from our first trip where our kids will each pick out a snack of their choice along with a box of cereal to eat for breakfast the next day. Then we make our way over to Panera to grab a bite to eat while talking about what we want to do during our stay.
Here are a few places we’ve stumbled upon either by accident, because of a bathroom break, or because one of our kids yelled, “Can we go there?!” We hope you and your family enjoy them as much as we do during your Getaway. We can’t wait to go back again but this time with our new baby!
Culpeper Colonnade (15295 Montanus Dr, Culpeper, VA 22701) The shopping center we always stop by on the way. About 35 mins from the Getaway; has stores from Target, Dicks Sporting Goods to Panera, and Chik-fil-a.
Yoder’s Country Market(2105 S Seminole Trl. Madison, VA 22727) It’s a market, deli, petting zoo, and also has a playground! For lunch, we drive 12 mins from our cabin to Yoder’s Country Market. The deli has great food and we’ll take some time to shop around for some snacks. The kids love the free petting zoo behind the market and when they’re done watching the goats and peacocks, they’ll make their way over to the playground. We’ll also grab Trickling Springs ice cream to enjoy on the rocking chairs in front of the market.
Moo-Thru (11402 James Madison Hwy. Remington, VA 22734) Our family loves ice cream! We try to stop by Moo-Thru either on the way to the Getaway or on the way home from our trip because of the distance- about 45 minutes from the Outposts. If the weather is nice, the kids will run around outside or we will take a break under the pavilion to eat a packed meal and enjoy our ice cream.
Sheetz (7020 Seminole Trl. Ruckersville, VA 22968) I know its just a gas station and convenience store but its open 24 hours! It’s inevitable that you’ll forget to bring something, especially if you have children. We’ve made so many runs to Sheetz for all sorts of things, even in the middle of the night, just 15 minutes drive from the Outposts.
Shenandoah National Park, Skyline Drive (Swift Run Gap Entrance Station at Rt. 33) The kids love to explore around our cabin and take pictures of interesting finds. We also run into other people staying at the Getaway walking their dogs and the kids love greeting them. But if we need to get out, we drive 15 minutes to enjoy the beautiful view at Shenandoah National Park.
S’mores and campfire (at the cabin) One thing we look forward to is the campfire to make s’mores! Getaway is so kind and gifts you a s’mores kit, however, make sure to pack extra graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows because if you’re anything like our family, we can always eat more s’mores!
There’s a lot to love about minimalist pros Roe and E, of @brownkids on Instagram.
Their approachable take on minimalism, sustainability, and pro-tips have spawned a community of those eager to partake in their no frills, gratitude-full lifestyle. As they prepare for their February Getaway, we asked Roe and E to curate the perfect playlist for their getting away.
Enjoy Roe and E’s Getaway playlist, featuring artists like Tom Misch, Jordan Rakei, and Mac Ayres. Listen from home, or to and from a Getaway of your own.
Ask Getaway friend, bartendress, and The Spritz Co.’s founder, Maggie Mae Dale, about her favorite campfire memory and she’ll tell you about her days at summer camp as a teenager, when she prepped food over an open fire and roughed it with her cohort. “Laughing with my friends and catching fireflies on that trip is something I’ll never forget.”
Raised in Minnesota and based in Williamsburg, Maggie now crafts spectacular cocktails. When she’s not bartending, you can find her unwinding with “records, rye whiskey, and being a little witchy.”
Armed with her mantra, “Spritz all day, party all night,” Maggie has designed three cocktails to warm up your getaway this holiday season.
Campfire Cocktails: Fireside Negroni
For this version of the negroni, vermouth is swapped for bergamot and cinnamon tea, bittersweet aperol, and gin. Yields three cups of tea. Maggie’s special note: My wish is that you enjoy your own taste of “aperitea-vi” as you getaway!
What you’ll need:
4 cinnamon sticks ½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice 2 bergamont tea bags (lady grey tea) ¼ cup turbinado sugar (raw cane sugar) 1 orange peel (with as little pith as possible) 4 cups of water 1 oz. aperol 1 oz. gin Cinnamon sticks and orange wedge for garnish
To brew the tea, fill stove pot with cinnamon sticks, sugar, orange peel, orange juice, and water and bring to a boil.
Once water is at boiling temperature, add two bags of earl grey tea and let steep for five minutes on a low simmer. Double strain tea into teapot or serving container.
Add one part (1 oz.) aperol, one (1 oz.) gin, and four (4 oz.) parts orange tean in a cup. Stir. Toss in a slice of orange and cinnamon stick for garnish.
Sip by a cozy fire.
Campfire Cocktails: Midnight Hot Cocoa
As a young camper, Maggie and her friends would sneak off to a hidden beach at night, build a campfire, and make “Midnight Cocoa” with melted chocolate and marshmallows. This recipe includes cayenne for a rich and spicy twist on the classic. Yields two servings. Non-alcoholic.
What you’ll need:
2 ½ cups macadamia milk 1 tsp. ground cinnamon 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 6 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate ¼ tsp. ground cayenne pepper Toasted marshmallow and Maldon salt for a garnish
Bring macadamia milk and cinnamon to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, whisking occasionally and ensuring milk doesn’t boil (around 10 minutes).
In a double broiler, melt semi-sweet chocolate bars on low heat to avoid burning. To save time, substitute cocoa powder for melted chocolate.
Whisk in chocolate, vanilla, and cayenne. Cook on low heat, whisking frequently, until mixture is smooth and creamy and chocolate is melted (about five minutes).
Campfire Cocktails: Sweater Weather
This is a take on an old-fashioned, but orange bitters are replaced with citrus- and cola-notes of Averna Amaro and Brovo Amaro. Clove, cardamon, and cinnamon finish the drink off for a hint sweetness.
What you’ll need:
2 oz. Small batch Bourbon 0.75 Averna Amaro 0.5 Brovo Amaro No. 1 Orange peel and clove
Add ingredients to a mixing or pint glass. Add ice. Stir for 20-30 seconds and strain over fresh ice.
Garnish with orange peel and clove.
Wear your favorite sweater and enjoy!
You can follow Maggie and her mixology adventures at The Spritz Co. Make and drink these delicious beverages by the campfire as they were intended when you book your Getaway here.
Our company is about increasing the amount of balance in people’s lives, so whether I like it or not, I have to go on vacation to set a good example.
During my time off in June, I tried to truly disconnect. I hiked, I biked, I kayaked, I slept, I read Do Not Say We Have Nothing. I broke our “No email or Slack on vacation rule” just once to send the team a picture of me, with a beer, in the forest.
I tried to truly disconnect.
It sounds idyllic. And it was, but the full truth is that even as the leader of a company about balance, I worry about taking time off. When I do take time off, I worry about fully disconnecting. What if the team needs me? What if our investors and partners think I am not committed? Will everyone work hard and make good decisions while I am gone?
The reality, of course, is that everything was fine. In fact, the team got more than usual done in my absence, including launching brand-new cabins at our DC Outpost. As importantly, I came back in a better mood, with new ideas, and a renewed commitment to our mission.
Reflecting on your feedback
As always, core to our mission is prioritizing the experience of Getaway above everything. To constantly improve, we listen to our guests and read 346 feedback emails this month. Here’s one that made me smile: “There was a moment right before sunset when my partner and I decided to take a walk: it almost felt like we were in an alternative universe.”
There was a moment right before sunset when my partner and I decided to take a walk: it almost felt like we were in an alternative universe.
When working on vacation or not taking a vacation at all seems to be the norm, to spend a day with nothing planned at all can feel a bit strange. But it’s a good reminder that an alternate universe where people take real breaks exists, and that it can become the norm rather than the exception.
Summer is now in full swing. What are you doing to make sure yours doesn’t get swallowed by the pings of push notifications and stresses of the city?
Jon, CEO + Founder
ITEMS OF NOTE WORTH TAKING THE TIME FOR
Rethinking Your Out-of-Office Email— A lovely piece that proposes a solution to the working vacation issue: delete all of your emails while out on holiday and don’t look back.
The digital era has made it easier than ever to multitask. Perhaps you’re reading this article at work right now, with another tab open planning your next escape, Slack notifications popping up, and your free hand absentmindedly scrolling through Instagram.
Splitting our attention between technology, work, and social media leads unproductive days, perhaps causing us to overwork and not even take breaks: last year alone, 52% of Americans left unused vacation on the table. But here is some hope: Americans, at least, are getting better at taking vacation.
While the 2018 State of American Vacation does show that Americans used nearly a half-day more of vacation than the previous year, it’s still important that these vacation days are true days off.
Unfortunately, this ambivalence towards vacation often causes those who want to take their deserved time off feel guilty for doing so. This results in the ‘great spillover effect’, or mixing work and leisure, creating a culture of people who then (ironically) work during a vacation.