I'm a proud Canadian - I love my country. But if I'm honest, every time we take a trip to the US and discover these amazing small towns, full of historic homes and a rich history, we get a little day-dreamy and start looking up real estate.
Of course we wouldn't actually move there. After all, we have our dream historic home right here! But I am always thankful that so many great places are only a days drive from us: Nantucket, New York, Boston, New England, and even Ohio. Aside from the cottage, most of our favourite places to road trip to are in the States - usually out East. We are very much drawn to the East Coast. (Though we can't wait to head South one year and cross Charleston off our list!)
We stayed in this charming stone house I found on Airbnb. It was more reasonable than staying at an inn or hotel as a family of 6, and was so much more comfortable. It has recently been completely refinished, and done very well! It had all the gorgeous character of a stone house - exposed beams, exposed stones and deep window ledges - but all the comforts of a modern home. It was also spotless.
My parents "cottage" in Amish Country a couple times a year. We decided to find somewhere to stay near them, in the Holmes County area, so we could meet up with them, but also tour around the surrounding countryside.
I think my favourite small town was Winesburg, with it's population of 352 people. Wooster was a pretty city, with a gorgeous college district full of big old homes, and some great little shops. And the countryside, it's just beautiful. Farms are tucked in the valleys, horses, cows and sheep dot the rolling hills, and every now and then you have to slow down for a horse-drawn buggy.
This stone cottage was a tiny inn in the town of Winesburg. It was beyond charming!
Another reason we picked this area was because we were travelling with the kids. It's a lot harder travelling with four kids - one a toddler and one a newborn. We made lots of stops, and did a lot of "dividing and conquering". If Ryan found a brewery he wanted to check out, he would pop in for a tasting and I would sit in the car and feed George while Jude slept, and the boys ran around outside. Or I would drop Ryan and the boys off at a great park in town and take George to quickly pop into the shops I wanted to browse. And then of course one evening my parents took the boys so we could go out for a couple hours which was lovely. We also selected buffet style restaurants which meant the boys could pick what they wanted and didn't have to wait around. (It's also their favourite kind of place to eat, so it was something special for them.) While driving we listened to Harry Potter on audio book, which kept them fairly quiet and entertained. And having a house to ourselves was nicer than a hotel room, especially for them to have space to play.
I will hopefully get around to posting some photos of the rental soon. Honestly, the one morning I just sat in the arm chair, sipping my coffee, furnishing every square inch of the home in my mind.
Not to mention all the homes we found along the way that would be gorgeous. Like this old home with an attached storefront - I mean seriously...