I’d been eyeing this listing since October, but the lack of a private shower kept us from booking. I kept it in my favorites, though, and while working on our scheduling a few weeks back, I saw the host had added a shower. Brian was hesitant but knew how much I wanted to stay, so agreed, and man! Is he ever glad I pushed. He loves this place as much as I do.
THE TREE-HOUSE TOUR
Nestled in a historic Brea California neighborhood, within walking distance to a host of restaurants, you’ll find Dan’s house. There, you make a short walk through his wood shop, filled with the smells of freshly hewn lumber, and get to the backyard where you follow a stone path to a gate. Behind that gate, is the most magical tree, a towering, thick Ficus, with a tiny house perched in the branches.
If you love the Swiss Family Robinson Tree at Disneyland (now the Tarzan tree), you will adore this place. The owner, an exceptionally talented carpenter, originally built this as a fort for his son, and over the next sixteen years added on and refined until it became what it is today.
The craftsmanship of this house in the trees is beyond gorgeous, using simple materials, two-by-fours and plywood stained a peaceful shade of green, all exquisitely executed.
There are stairs going to the main level, a sitting room, with a couch, chair, and a small kitchen with refrigerator, microwave, and coffee maker. Even with all of the windows, which fill the room with soft filtered light, there is still privacy thanks to the density of the tree.
Up two steps is the bedroom, with windows all around truly giving you the sense of being nestled in the trees.
I’m sitting here now, drinking my coffee, window open, the smell of rain blowing in on a gentle breeze. I never want to leave.
Out another door and up a couple of steps is one deck, with a ladder up to the top deck, a spectacular space under the tree’s canopy, with garden lights and so much privacy. It’s the perfect place to unwind after a workday.
One of our favorite features of the tree-house is behind this cabinet door…
THE SECRET ESCAPE HATCH.
A spiral slide. And yes. We used it. A lot. I have the banged-up elbows to prove it.
Of course, Dan wouldn’t build an ordinary shower. He built an experience. To get to the bathroom, you climb down a ladder out the back door, to a small patio with a fire pit and comfy Adirondack chairs.
This patio is also where you’ll find the outhouse, complete with shower, and oh what a shower it is, with a clear corrugated roof giving you a view of the trees overhead and the sun warming you.
Everything about this place is perfect, actually. The only downside for us is no kitchen, since we like to cook and most places we stay on our vagabond journey have one, but a kitchen would take away from the simplicity and comfort of the space.
Waking up in the treehouse, filled with greenery and birdsong, the smell of lumber, the coziness and warmth of the wood… it might be cliche, but it truly is magical. This just might be my favorite vagabond life experience yet.
To truly get a sense of the tree-house, here’s a little Go-Pro tour.
And there it is! Dan’s spectacular Tree-House.
THE VAGABOND LIFE
Eight months have passed since selling our house in Orange County and becoming weekday vagabonds. My only regret is not keeping a regular journal, but honestly, I thought we’d do this for a few weeks and be done with it. Not so.
Anytime we start looking at options to settle down, we back out. The idea of living in the same place week after week has lost its appeal. The hardest part is booking, searching the Airbnb site, trying to find a place that has Monday-Friday available. Things book up fast. Rates fluctuate, especially as we get closer to summer. We have a few hotel options when nothing else is available, one, in particular, we love, which I’ll write about soon.
What makes this work is having our house in Yucca Valley for the weekends, a place to keep our stuff, do laundry, precook food. As I said in my first post about our vagabond life, this really does force you to be efficient with your time and tidy up your life every week.
HOW MUCH LONGER ARE WE GOING TO DO THIS?
This far in, we have to keep going, at least until the one year mark at the end of September so we can have a full year of Living Vagabond. And from here on out, I’m going to keep a better log.
Curious about where we will be next week? Tune in and see… although I highly doubt it will live up to the tree-house.
Until next time…