You’ve likely noticed from my lack of blogging that re-entry has been a bit bumpy, to say the least! My office stored up lots of work in my absence, all for a Feb 15 site launch. Welcome baaack!! Thankfully, weeks ago, RF encouraged us to plan a Valentine’s/President’s Weekend getaway, so that we would have something to look forward to when we were feeling the anticlimax of being home. So, I managed to put away the keyboard around 1 am on Saturday and didn’t look back.
After a little sleep and a few errands, off we went to Vashon Island for a couple of nights of R&R…in a shipping container!
Technically, I think The Lodges on Vashon are manufactured homes – designed by S+H Works and constructed by Champion Home Builders. However, they sure do look like a collection of shipping container homes, another new housing trend (much like tiny houses) that I’ve been following with great curiosity.
It’s genius, really. The “lodges” are 16 corrugated metal structures positioned around several common areas, all of which are accessed by key code. There was no check in – just an email with our lodge’s dedicated code, which was remotely set to enable at 4 pm on our arrival date and disable at noon on the day of our departure. Similarly, a common pavilion has a shared code so that all guests can enjoy the amenities, including an awesome outdoor fireplace, cozy seating and swing chairs.
Of course, leave it to us to get locked out of these idiot-proof doors. Staff was very responsive and promised to come rescue us within 10 minutes. I took advantage of the wait by lighting the common fireplace and swinging to the tune of raindrops and chirping frogs! Sure enough, within 10 minutes, a friendly woman appeared with her laptop and discovered that our lock had not engaged properly when we went out. She reset it, let us in, and was on her way. No more problems after that.
Back in our lodge, we enjoyed our favorite kind of dinner in front of our own fireplace – the only downside of which was that it was set on a timer, so we had to take turns getting up to reset it every half hour. That timer also ticked. I assume that this was a safety measure and that we wouldn’t have to put our own fireplace on a timer should we decide to buy a little plot of land and drop one of these on it?! I would also make a slight design change to add a sink in the bathroom. For reasons that were acknowledged, though not really explained, lodge design was limited to only one sink; so, the kitchen sink does double-duty for the bath. Awkward and a bit off-putting, but it worked.
Our Meadow King Lodge featured a separate shower room and W/C. When I say shower “room”, I mean it. It was a large tiled room with double doors out to a private patio – likely much nicer in the summer when it’s not so rainy and cold. I was, however, drawn to the funny little “shower window” where you can reach through and turn on/adjust the water. I would incorporate that into a future home.
The bedroom was very spacious, large enough for a comfy king bed. I liked that all of the windows had thick shades; though, we didn’t have to worry about too much light this past weekend!
The living area was split into two sections. The entry was in the main living space where there was a couch, fireplace, and window seat. Cozy, but not at all cramped.
You can see that there was an additional sitting area beyond the main living room. They had it set with a dining/game table, with several games and puzzles available. Had we stayed an extra night, I would have partaken of one or the other. Instead, I was just ready to cozy up on the couch for naps and movies. We didn’t end up spending much time in that area, but I did like the LED tree, and noted that it could easily double as a second bedroom.
The “kitchen” in this unit was more of a wet bar. There was a mini-fridge, perfect for our champagne, plus a microwave and kettle/french press with a selection of teas and coffee that would have come in handy on a longer stay. Though it wasn’t outfitted with full kitchen amenities, there was certainly room enough to add an oven/stove, even a full-size fridge, if you wanted.
You might also note in the photo above that they provided mini-flashlights for finding your way around the lodges at night. The lodges are located right in town, very convenient to the farmer’s market, restaurants and shops, but are set far enough back off the street to give them a remote feel. We didn’t quite need flashlights to navigate at night, but it was a cute touch nonetheless.
We visited an open house while on the island and, even though it backed up to an alpaca farm, we still haven’t found our ultimate island home. As we continue to dream, container style houses are definitely entering the equation. We had a really lovely weekend in our “lodge”. You can no doubt look forward to further exploration of this concept in future posts!