This Pirate Weekend mini-vacation idea was planted about a year ago when I ran into THIS AIRBNB listing while looking for work retreat locations.
Clynn laughed when I said, “I’ve wanted to take the boys here for a year!”. Such a simple fun vacation and we definitely could have done it sooner! The boys were really the perfect age for it.
I booked the airbnb on a Friday afternoon and we left Saturday morning! I texted Jay to pack the boys an overnight bag while Clynn and I spontaneously made all the plans for an epic adventure at the studio after he’d gotten off work!
We collided pirates and Christmas just a little. Clynn and I didn’t tell the boys where we were going. They were just told it was an adventure and a surprise.
The morning started with a trip to McDonald’s play land. The plan was, fill their bellies and let them play until they’re tired so they’ll sleep on the drive to the beach! It worked like a charm.
The adventure started when Clynn snuck over to the shoe cubbies and hid a tiny golden bell in each of the boys shoes.
When we said it was time to go they went to their shoes and found the bells. “What’s this bell in my shoe?!” said James.
“It’s a sign! We have to follow the bells to find our adventure. There’s a treasure map in my head, but the bells let us know we’re going the right way!” – Clynn.
While they were playing he also hid a larger gold bell in each of their car seats in the car. They were so excited. “WHO PUT THEM HERE?!” said James.
“I think it was the pirates.” -Clynn
As planned, we got to Ocean Shores about an hour before we could check into the airbnb.
We pulled the Cadillac up onto the beach right infront of the ocean. Clynn went to the trunk and pulled out four foam pirate swords (dollar store for the win!).
“We have to find the x marks the spot on the beach! Let’s go find it!”
Now, we didn’t bury anything ahead of time…nor was there an x anywhere. but we made a cheesy plan just perfect for a 3 & 4 year old while they were sleeping in the car…
As we ran down the beach having a four way sword fight and picking up pebbles and looking for the “x” and drawing our family in the sand, we finally “found” a big fresh “X”.
I pretended to get a text on my phone.
“DING!…I got a text! Let’s read it…Dear James & Lio, we are the good pirates of Ocean Shores. We have to go on an expedition this weekend, but we need someone to protect our pirate lair until we can get back. I chose you because I was watching you play at McDonald’s this morning and when the other boys were spitting in the toys and laughing you said you would never spit in the toys and that’s gross. You’re both so good! We know we can trust you! Just make sure to be out of the Pirate Lair on Sunday at 1:00pm when we will need it back! Sincerely, The Good Pirates of Ocean Shores.”
“WHAAAAT?!!! They were at McDonald’s?!” -James
“I guess so!” -Taco Momma (My kids call me taco momma it’s a whole thing.)
So we ran back to the caddy, loaded up, and chatted about what the pirate lair will look like! Oh boy were they not disappointed. Finding bells along the way and a pile of bells in a little treasure chest on the kitchen table they ran around pointing out every detail.
“Careful! don’t touch any of the pirates weapons or treasure or they might be mad!” -me (Gosh, that made things easy! hahaha)
There was some vintage decor throughout the airbnb that was displayed at a good height to be safe for having young kiddos about.
The final adventure was after we checked out of the Pirate Lair. Clynn found a hiking trail. The boys were fast asleep when we pulled up to the trail. Clynn ran ahead and hid a tin FILLED with big and small gold bells in a tree stump with a big “X” in the middle of the trail about 1/4 a mile up the trail. When the boys woke up, we told them there was one more treasure to find!
This little hike wound up being our longest full family hike yet! After the boys found the giant stash of bells, we continued up the trail a couple miles. On the way back, Clynn and I carried the boys on our backs/shoulders. It was a good workout for us all!
They slept like rocks the entire way home. ♥
Here is the link for The Pirate Lair.
I didn’t get many photos with James because he wasn’t feeling staying still enough the last morning when I took my camera out. He did click a few photos of Clynn and I, though!
All in all, an EPIC family weekend. I should also say in the same housing area as The Pirate Lair, there is also a castle themed A-Frame, a Hawaiin Themed A-Frame….and I think one other one. They are the cutest for a quick family getaway!