You guys, we rented the cutest little cabin in Julian this weekend! It was just perfect for our little family of four. Craig and I recently celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary. While we’ve always planned to take a BIG trip, it’s been a year. We’re not quite there yet, but we’re thinking Italy sometime soon if budget, my health and childcare allows for it. Fingers crossed, but for now, Julian!
If you’ve never been, Julian is a sweet town about an hour and a half outside of central San Diego. Historically known for the apple pie and maybe more recently known for the hard cider. Naturally, we had both.
The last time we were in Julian, I was newly pregnant with Blake. Yeah, some time has passed. If you had asked me then if I could imagine this little ball of energy being such a massive part of our lives I most definitely could not. Blake is growing up and it’s crazy, but he’ll be FOUR soon. How did that happen?
I found DeerWalk Retreat while searching for a house to rent in Julian. I was fairly frustrated trying to find something that was on the smaller side (versus a huge house for a wedding, etc) and relatively modern. Most of the places to stay in Julian are a bit well…dated? Staying in a place filled with lace doilies and creepy dolls is my own personal nightmare. I think it’s Craig’s too.
This was the only home I found that I actually wanted to stay in. Being new to the Airbnb thing, I saved this property to come back to when we were ready. Fast forward a few months and Craig sent me a link to THE SAME PLACE as a home we should book. Realizing we were on the same page and Memorial Day weekend was coming up, we did just that. Our host, Sean was awesome from the start.
When we first arrived, I asked Craig to explore outside with Kayla and Blake for a couple of minutes so I could snap a few photos of the inside. We all know that once you put kids inside, no pristine hotel room or home is ever quite the same. I thought that if our stay went well, I’d want to share it with all of you and be able to show you what it looks like in photos shot by me before our kids ripped through it.
The photos you’ll find on Airbnb and the like are pretty darn accurate for what you’re getting at DeerWalk Retreat. It’s spotless, bright, airy and Joanna Gaines would be proud. The house is a nice mix of modern farmhouse and country cabin that works. There are two bedrooms and a spacious bathroom.
It’s much larger than our guest bathroom that Pinterest went nuts over (thanks Pinterest!) so I was more than happy to let Blake take a super long bath while I actually took the time to dry my hair and put on makeup. At some point Kayla joined us in the bathroom as well to read a story she was writing and there was room for all. Since I know my days of being able to hold Blake like this are numbered, I asked Craig to snap a photo of us in this pristine bathroom post-bath. Yeah, he’s a cuddle bug.
And the kitchen. Oh the kitchen! I definitely wanted to take it home with me. Give me your white subway tile, dark lowers and open shelving right now. The kitchen was perfect for me to do some light cooking in and as a mom I appreciated the full size refrigerator and large trash and recycling cans. Our family also thoroughly enjoyed the modern conveniences like a Nest thermostat, Keurig and Echo.
Kayla and Blake loved playing with Alexa, whom Blake affectionally called “Uh-yex-uh” and tried to issue commands like Alexa was a dog.
Blake also wasted no time finding the stash of kids toys our hosts had left in the kids’ bedroom. There was a nice selection of games in the living room as well. I had brought a few things from home, not expecting all of this to be there and thought it was very sweet surprise. Craig, Kayla and I shared a few games of Scrabble and I was shocked by how good she was and finding places for words. We had hoped for a quiet cabin in the woods and some quality family time and we got it.
Kayla quickly declared this chair in her room to be “the most comfortable ever” and asked to sleep in it. I denied that request, but let her read it in for quite some time. She’s currently making her way through the Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing series, which feels incredibly appropriate as we wind down third grade.
We did quite a bit during our weekend in Julian. I’m putting together a little post of a bunch of kid-friendly things to do in Julian in case you’re thinking of making a trip.
Since it’s common in this industry to receive a comped stay or be paid to promote a property I think it’s important to say that our hosts had no idea that I would write this post. We paid the same as any other family visiting, I simply felt it was such a great place and our hosts were lovely people, so I’m using my small business to share their small business with those who might be interested. If you’re thinking of planning your own trip to Julian, CA you can check out DeerWalk Retreat here.