life, travel

I Have an Honesty Problem

No, it’s not what you think. I’m not a liar. It’s just that I thought honesty meant virtue. I’ve recently realized that I’m too honest, because telling the truth isn’t always flattering or pretty.

We just returned from a vacation to the Black Hills in South Dakota (as evidence by my new header photo in the badlands and the path to nowhere). We stayed in a cabin in the hills, and I learned a lot about myself on this trip. As usual, it had me thinking deep and gave me more blog material.

First, you must understand, I’m a city girl with absolutely no survival skills. I admit I’m spoiled by running water (plumbing) and electricity … those are my two must-haves. So you know I wouldn’t have booked a cabin without those two things. After this trip, I learned that I’m even more spoiled than I realized (either that, or I’ve reverted to old habits of seeing the glass half-empty).

I thought it sounded like an adventure to stay in a remodeled cabin-type home from 1910. The original home had only a kitchen, living room and one bedroom. That’s all. No electricity, no indoor plumbing, and yes, that meant an outhouse. They cooked on a wood-fired stove and used a Franklin stove for heating.

A descendant of that first owner had the place remodeled, added a second bedroom, electricity, and yes, a bathroom with plumbing. Whew.

Inside the cabin, there was a book for guests to write to the owners about their stay there. They were in essence, hand written reviews. Here’s where honesty comes in … everyone in that book said fantastic things about the cabin. I thought about writing in the book, but I’m too honest, and I’d be the only one who didn’t write a five star review. Not because the place wasn’t nice, because it was super clean and gave me the two bare essentials of what I needed. Not because the owners weren’t accommodating, because they were super nice, accommodating people. The reason it wouldn’t be a five star review, is because I’m a city girl who doesn’t like taking a shower like Columbus.

If I’d left a review, I would’ve thanked the owners for their friendliness, for their wonderful help in finding things to do, for their accommodating attitude to get us anything we needed, for the roof over my head, electricity, bathroom and beautiful view of hills and wildlife.

But, I also would’ve written that taking a sit-shower in a deep tub caused me to knock my feet and my knees trying to get out. I splattered water everywhere using the shower head to rinse off (as seen in above video).

I may have also written that as a city girl, I needed to get back to the cabin in the woods before nightfall in order to find my way. It would’ve been nice to have a television for the pitch-dark, empty country nights. With no TV, I felt like I was in a scene from the movie My Cousin Vinny.

I may have also suggested that they rearrange the furniture into a position that was easier to maneuver around. Due to the stone-step ledge (for Franklin stove)  in proximity to a coffee table, sofa and gigantic dining room furniture, I almost knocked my knees and stubbed my toes a dozen times.

I’d then sign my review as such, my name is Lori, and I’m a pampered princess.

P.S. We did enjoy the trip immensely. There are more insights about the trip at Oh Deer, That Time I Accidentally Walked into Someone’s House and Chokecherry and Smoothies.


21 thoughts on “I Have an Honesty Problem”

  1. Great writing and photos! It is how I grew up. Outhouse, no running water nor electricity. We did not know there were other amenities to be had. We had great food, time to read, to think, to hear. It was good practice in case our power grid ever goes down. I could survive and so could you.
    Loved the story and your writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hahaha. What a nice story. Indoor plumbing and electricity are what my mother used to entice me to finish school, go to college and get a job that allowed me to afford them. I can thus understand your point of view. Plumbing and electricity are not conveniences, they are the cornerstones of life. All in all, though, it seems you had a great time.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Z-Lady. Yeah, I definitely wouldn’t have done well in any time before the middle of the 20th century.

      You’re mom did a great job encouraging you.

      And yes, we really did have a good time. Thanks for reading. 🙂


  3. I’m sure I would have had the same reaction, Lori. It sounds like a great cabin. But some of the amenities seem like an acquired taste. Glad you had a good time though, despite that shower. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, my fellow Chicago city girl. Glad you understand. And yes, we did have a good time despite the rustic digs. Thanks for reading, L. 🙂


    1. Seems I’m not alone about that sit shower. It was difficult to maneuver with all of my aches and pains. The bed wasn’t real comfy either, so my sleep wasn’t great. I’d go there again, but I’d have to stay in a more updated cabin.

      Thanks, Lynette. Glad you like the photos.


    1. Ha. So, I’m not the only one, eh, Jill? In order to stay anywhere near the sight seeing areas, we didn’t have too many choices. We really did have a nice time all-in-all, despite the difficulty sleeping and bathing. 😛

      Thanks for sharing that I’m not alone.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great fun Lori, you really conjured up a picture for me of how you found the cabin! I do like a certain level of comfort these days – tried camping and couldn’t cope with that. An indoor bathroom and electricity is definitely a must. But I think I would have loved this place 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Andrea. Camping is definitely not for this pampered princess. I do think you would’ve really like this place. Despite the difficulty sleeping and bathing, we had a lovely time and enjoyed the nature. We saw lots of wildlife . . . deer, buffalo, prairie dogs and more.

      Thanks for reading, Andrea.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I would have struggled like you, Lori! I like my conveniences and amenities when I travel. Otherwise I’ll just stay home. Part of it may be due to pampering, but I think the biggest part is aging. I didn’t mind when I was young, but now I just want recognizable comfort. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Carrie. Now that you mention it, I probably would’ve handled it a little better when I was younger, but I still wouldn’t have slept well. I never do if I’m not in my own bed, anyway. All-in-all though, we had a really nice trip.

      Thanks for sharing a perspective I hadn’t thought of before. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha. So, I’m not the only one, eh, Kate? The town was actually only a 1/2 mile away with cute shops and nice sidewalk cafes. You just don’t have to go far to get into the wilderness there. Not to mention, there were no hotels or condos. The couple of motels we saw looked seedy.

      Sounds nice to have pretty sunsets and deer in your back yard. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Seriously, I think you should cut and paste this and send it to them…it’s not mean spirited, it shows your perspective as a ‘city dweller’ as you say; perhaps it shows expectations were misunderstood, so might help in their marketing of the cabin. I don’t think any offense would be taken and there are many good suggestions they can glean from your ‘review’.

    As for me and my family – your ‘review’ actually sells the place! Book us a weekend, will you?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Laura. You know, when I booked (months ago), there really was no mention of no TV. I only found out because I asked about wi-fi. The picture (on their site) of the bathroom showed a tub, so I asked if there was a shower. They wouldn’t have told me that either. But, their cabins are booked 6 months to a year in advance. They were actually the nicest ones in the area, and I hate to complain, since we had a good time all-in-all. I just wasn’t real comfortable (in their bed either), so I didn’t sleep well. Their other cabins are newer, but still not equipped with those other conveniences. We met some people from Colorado in another of the cabins. They’d been there before and loved it, and I’m sure you would too. Contact me if you’d like to know where. Thanks for reading about this pampered princess. 🙂


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