Secret Garden ~ Favorite Places from Childhood

Tracey's Tempo

Favorite Secret Getaway.


Everyone knows the more popular vacation destinations; Disney World, Washington DC, a trip to the beach, or even the local theme park. But what about those little known getaways that make up childhood memories and hold a special place in your heart?  For me, that place has always been my aunt’s house.

In the middle of the woods, in southern Indiana, you will find over 20 acres of woodland belonging to my aunt and her life-long friend from college. In the midst of the trees is a clearing where, almost 40 years ago, a small one-room stone cabin was built. They spent more than a year building this cabin, by hand, with the stones from their creek bed and the trees on their land. The cabin then provided shelter for the next decade while they built a much larger home. Again making use of the stone and lumber that their land provided them, they constructed a three-story, two bedroom home almost completely by hand.

Cabin in the woods.

As a child, I was able to spend time from several of my summers here. We rode horses, helped care for them and even cleaned out their stalls. We played in the creek, hiked in the woods, camped and fished at the nearby lake and just had fun learning and exploring. One year, my brother and I even used spare parts from around their barn to build our own go-kart. We would help with the construction on the new house, catch turtles and crawdads, dig for arrowheads and study skulls that we found. They were some of the greatest times from my childhood.

As an adult, I still visit as often as I can and have made sure to bring my own children. It makes me happy to hear them say that it’s their favorite place to go and that, like me, these are two of their favorite people. I guess I never imagined growing up and sharing these things with my kids, but it has become a very important and anticipated tradition.

Maybe it will be her favorite memory one day.
It makes me wonder what other unsung escapes there are out there. What other unknown destinations there are that hold such a special place in someone else’s heart? But it isn’t just the location; it’s the people, the bonding, and the memories that are created there.

What's your favorite place and childhood memory that is better than Disney World?

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Lora is a homeschooling mom, writer, creator of Kids Creative Chaos, and Director of the Play Connection.