Thursday, February 28, 2008

February/March Challenge

This challenge was to create a vacation home in one of the three locations for Bon Voyage. I chose Three Lakes and made a mountain cabin for up to 5 sims to live comfortably for a short time.

Link to the house:

I'm Scarlett Mercer, and this is my story.
There had been a lot of changes this past year. My mother, Kaela, passed away after a short struggle with cancer. She was in a lot of pain and we believe she's in a better place now, far from suffering.My father, Dexter, took it hard. He and Mom had been inseparable since they met at their first jobs, nearly 50 years ago. You go through a lot of things together in all that time. Including having and raising me - which couldn't have been any walk in the park - and even my brother's death as an infant. Dad just couldn't manage after Mom died and I insisted he move in with me and my family. He was a broken man and I owed it to Mom to pick up those pieces.
Having one extra mouth to feed wasn't really so bad, but my husband, Mikael, and I fought about it all the time. He said we just couldn't afford to have Dad living with us and I'd have to find a home for him that his insurance would cover. Dad didn't have good insurance and I wasn't going to put him in a nursing home when I could take care of him myself. Dad wasn't feeble or sick. His heart was broken. He just needed some support.
But Mikael wouldn't hear it and we fought all the time.
Eventually, he made an ultimatum and said it was either my Dad or him. I told him that was unfair and if he loved me for ever, he'd have to accept that our relationship had to include my Dad until he was back on his feet. Shortly thereafter, we separated.
Just a few months later, we agreed to divorce. I don't know how things changed so fast between us, but I suppose sometimes its just that way.
The kids took the separation hard. We knew they would. We tried to present a united front and tell them that sometimes people just fall out of love, but we still loved them and would try to make this new life as comfortable as possible. We agreed not to bicker in front of them or be negative in front of them about our failed marriage. We stopped being angry with each other and that's when we knew we'd made the right choice. We were becoming friends again. George was hurt. He wanted to go live with his father, but we didn't feel this was the best time. Mikael needed to get on his feet, then we could discuss it again.
We even kept the family dog, although I'd have rathered Mikael take him. Rudy, our bull mastif was a big oaf of an animal and though he's the "family" dog, he's mor Mikael's than anyones. George agreed to walk him as Rudy pulls my arms off with his strength. Once Mikael is settled, he said he'll take Rudy off my hands. Right now, though, his apartment doesn't allow animals, so I don't know when that'll be.
Our daughter, Jean, is my little diva. She loves jewelry and make up and getting dressed up. She wants to learn to dance and when I went out with some friends to a club - I was hoping to meet a man, I've been lonely - she said "learn some new moves to teach me, Mommy!" She's more of Mommy's girl, so her bond with her father is still okay, although he's living apart from her. Mikael is a good father and he takes the kids all the time. He's working a lot and if he calls to say he's just too tired, I make an excuse saying I wanted to take them for ice cream or whatever. I cover for him because he's making every effort to be a great dad, even though we're divorced. Things are really different and its an adjustment for all of us.
I knew the kids needed constancy, so when it came early fall and the last few weeks before school started, I thought about our time share in Three Lakes. We'd spent a week there every September since I George was in diapers. It would be strange bringing Dad along. I debated asking Mikael to come along, but there was no room for a cot and although we were learning to be friends again, I wouldn't be comfortable sleeping next to him. I decided it was best if he didn't come. Besides, I'd seen too many movies and didn't want the kids thinking it meant we were getting back together. They'd had their hopes dashed enough lately.

Enough of my story for now. Suffice it to say that we spent a great week there like we always do. We took bunches of photos.

Let me know you around the Timeshare (Coziest Cottage II) that I love so much.

The view from the cab. There's a little quaint fence with a wooden gate that leads to a cobblestone path and a set of short double stairs. That porch runs all the way around the inside of the property. Those little trees by the steps, Mikael and I each planted one the first day we came here. They require little maintenance and its amazing they're still alive and not moved as we're not the only owners of this property.
As you enter, the stone walls and wooden paneling are inviting while the tree-print doors are just classy enough to still be rustic. Even the windows are surrounded in wood.
Dad's room, formerly a spare bedroom where we'd leave all our suitcases, or a safe playroom when the kids were tiny, is comfortable with a bed, night stand, lamp, and a recliner for reading or just relaxing.
My room, our room, my room, is small but comfortable. What you see is what there is: a bed, night stands, lamps, and a great bay window that looks onto the front of the property.
At the end of the long hall between my room and the kids' room is a large bathroom with a dresser that we all share.
There is a smaller bathroom off that same hall between the kids' room and what is now Dad's room.
The kids' room is big enough for a little tumbling around - as kids do - and sparsely decorated. We used to let them bring three toys each and they could still take up the whole floor.
The front of the property has a fishing pond. The creek runs right by the edge of this property.
George never catches anything, but he has fun trying.
Just under my window on the porch is a place for Rudy. We always bring along an extra rawhide chew as he inevitably drops one in the pond on each trip.
The serenity of the place takes me away and gets my muse to wanting to paint. I don't do it well, but I still enjoy it.
Dad likes to stay out of the sun and prefers to read in the nook just outside of his room.
Just after you come in, you're in my favorite part of the house, the sitting room. No TV, no MP3, no iSim. Just the family sitting and talking. Sometimes you even get a little cuddle out of the deal.
From the entrance, the first hall contains the mini-kitchen. A full sized fridge is the only thing of full size in that kitchen. There's a hot chocolate maker that wasn't here last time and we appreciate that! But otherwise its just a place to prepare cold cereal or sandwiches or unpack granola bars.
Dad knows Mikael usually cooks, so he stepped up to make us hot dogs one evening. The "quad" as we call it, is the central part of the property and has everything one wants in a cabin. there's a grill, a little prep-table, and a waste can.
There's an element-proof chess table and plenty of stairs to get to and from the porch - when the kids were littler, they'd run up and down those stairs so often we'd discuss where the nearest hospital was in driving distance as we were sure one would bust open a chin eventually.
And the piece de resistance - an old fashioned fire pit. The kids learned fire safety at an early age. They know the penalty for being unsafe around the fire is to have to sit inside while we enjoy the warmth and night air.
They love roasting marshmallows. I just like to warm myself from the evening's chill. Dad wanted to rest his bones and told us a story. It wasn't the scary ghost stories that Mikael used to tell that would have Jean up all night and eventually falling asleep in our bed, but it was a story nonetheless.
Left of house, showing pond and Rudy's area.
Middle of the house, including the pit.
Right of house, with its cute brown roof and big windows.
Aerial view of the pit.
We have it only one week a year. Maybe you'll take it for another week and share your adventures with us!

I'm sure I'll see you around Cassada.

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