a weekend in the catskills!

see MORE


the weekend before last, our family spent a fun few days with friends upstate in the beautiful catskill mountains!  we had never been before, and always hear such great things about the area year round (can’t imagine how gorgeous it must be in the summer!)

homeaway, a vacation rental marketplace, had reached out to us to help celebrate their 10 year anniversary this month, and as we began going through their property listings around the country, we became really excited to try our their service!

after a bit of searching, we decided on a weekend in woodstock, new york, and found this vacation property. the home is on 8 acres of land (space! freedom!) and was big enough to fit our family of five plus friends.  there was also the most darling little treehouse in the back of the property. josh made sure to shovel our way out back so we could access it, because we have two toddler-explorers on our hands. how could we pass that up just because of snow!?

this way of vacationing, choosing a home over a hotel, is new for us.  it depends on what your trip is like and where you’re going, but we really enjoyed changing things up and having more space to cook and eat big meals together and mingle, with enough space for the kids to play and feel at home, and being right in the little town of woodstock.

we spent a day out on the ski slopes with the little ones and had one of the best diner meals ever at phoenicia diner together afterwards. we also ventured into woodstock to explore a bit (this toy store was so charming!), but it was also nice to be tucked inside cooking and eating and hanging out for the majority of our time since it snowed pretty much nonstop all weekend.

one of my favorite parts of our time was gathering around the wood burning fire place in the living room in the evenings with our friends. after the littles would go down for the night, it was relaxing to gather as just the adults to chat and eat (and maybe catch up on the bachelor!) together.  it was a welcomed break from our city living pace.

a few photos from our weekend below, as well as a quick video i made of the weekend, too!


^^^the only way to cut onions. ^^^


^^^LOL if we ever think we’re going to get a morning to sleep in ever again.^^^


^^^half the group during a lunch stop for pizza in woodstock!^^^


^^^that gorgeous treehouse in the back of the home we rented! can you even believe it? it had french doors on the back side and everything. like, i wouldn’t mind moving in.^^^


^^^our little skiers! we spent a day on the slopes at belleayre and eleanor and samson did fantastic! it was just their second time skiing, but i think i’m going to need to get out there one of these days and learn how to stand up on my own pair of skis or something, because i have a feeling this might become a major “davis family thing,” this skiing thing, and i certainly don’t want to be left out.^^^


^^^the diner i mentioned above! i’m really not kidding when i say it was just so good. i had stuffed french toast with a cream cheese filling and a homemade orange zest syrup with fresh berries and whipped cream.  i’m not sure any other french toast will ever compare.^^^


^^^lots of “red light, green light,” “simon says” and “duck duck goose!” games in the evenings before bed. ^^^


^^^on sunday, we had breakfast burritos before church and came home to make tacos after!^^^


^^^these friends of ours are such good people.  both families that came up for the weekend live outside the city (calling connecticut and philly home) so it’s always special when we get a lot of time together.^^^


^^^we needed a picture with this festive cute front door. obviously.^^^


^^^and this. gathering around a fireplace inside or out, can’t be beat.^^^

this post is in partnership with homeaway.  thank you so much for having us!

  1. ryan

    The Phoenicia Diner is wonderful! We went up to the Catskills to stay at my husband’s friends hotel, The Graham & Co. It was lovely. I’d highly recommend it.

  2. Whitney

    That house is gorgeous! Looks like a lovely time away.

  3. AndrezZa

    SO NICE!!! I LOVE YOU <3

  4. Melissa

    Looks like you guys had a great time! I LOVE staying in a house over a hotel room. It reminds me of many years vacationing in the Outer Banks, NC with family – our giant group of 20+ people would stay in a huge house and rotate cooking lunches and dinners and hold massive game nights. It’s nice having a huge space where everyone can gather or separate, and not having to figure out where you’re going to go eat out for every single meal.

    I’ve been looking for a new place we can get away for a weekend, we’ll have to try the Catskills! Only 2-3 hours from us :)


  5. Tammy

    You trip almost makes winter fun again. What a lovely spot…the food looks incredible. You are right about one thing though, Taza – it must be 10x more beautiful in the summer! :D


  6. Looks like so much fun. Don’t worry, sleeping in will happen for you again one day. I have 4 kids ranging from 3-10 and they get up in the morning and get themselves breakfast and play quietly until we wake up. It is so nice. There is hope:) You have an adorable family.

  7. Natali

    You guys are too cute!! Looks and sounds like you’ve had an amazing time!
    Beautiful photo diary and may I say that all of the food looks way too delicious.


  8. what a fun weekend! i love renting an apartment or home when i travel. it’s such an authentic way to experience a place — and save money on meals :)

  9. Haha! Love the ski goggles – this is such a beautiful vacation! So happy you all got to spend some time togehter xo

    Warm Regards,

  10. Nanette

    That tree house is a chid’s dream! So lovely. xo

  11. Noelle

    That looks like a fabulous getaway! You are making great family memories! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Hey Rita

    So dreamy! And the house where you stayed in is stunning – looks like out of a magazine.


  13. Katharina

    Your post about your weekend with friends in that beautiful house is wonderful!
    In September, after having spent a few days in a rented apartment in NYC, I traveled with my boyfriend and his dad to the Berkshires (MA), where we rented a lovely house in Sheffield via Airbnb. We did the same for Cape Cod and loved the atmosphere, the space and the flexibility that comes with staying in private accommodations. The owners we met were amazing people who recommended great restaurants, places to see and shared their stories about their homes as well as the area. Check out the Airbnb-website for travel inspiration!
    Greetings from Germany!

  14. vicky

    how awesome! i love these beautiful pictures. i’ve recently (over the last year) heard of airbnb and was wondering if this was similar or if you’ve heard of that, too? i know when we do our big traveling soon, we’d like to stay in a home vs hotel. glad to come across this.

    i want that tree house ;) looks like a fun time Davis family!

  15. Trish O

    I was also going to say hang-on, sleeping in happens again. My boys are 13 and 10. Around age 11/12, my experience is the once early riser will sleep all day. ALL DAY! The new chore is trying to get him up in time for the family fun. The 10 year old is still up rather early but takes care of himself. Ok, that is the good news about the middle school years. LOL.

    Looks like a fun vacation.

  16. Kelsey

    What a wonderful little place to spend time together as a family and with your loved ones! It looks like you all had a lovely weekend getaway :)

  17. Kathryn

    This looks like such a fun weekend with friends and the kids! The house looks lovely too. Homeaway is new to me but I usually rent flats or houses when I travel. I find it has a nicer feel to it and can often end up being less expensive. Plus, I love cooking and have dietary restrictions, so it’s nice to be able to have a kitchen and prepare you own meals.

    I can’t get over your little skiers! That is just too darling – and they’re probably better than me! haha.

    So glad you had a lovely weekend, Naomi!

    x Kathryn

  18. Sydney

    Having recently just had a baby as well and as a first time mommy I haven’t had enough time to comment on all of your sweet posts recently. You look so happy and congrats on your new little. He is an absolute dream and so so so adorable. You guys look like you are really settling in to your new family of 5! You go Momma! XOXO Sydney

  19. emily

    ah that house looks amazing. so much snow. soooo much snow!

  20. bridget

    looks like fun! and this may be a minor point — but that bed frame is really so beautiful. stuff of my dreams.

  21. Emma

    What an amazing video!! One you’ll treasure for years to come I’m sure.

    Love the ski goggles trick – I sob every time I chop onions so I might need to try that out some time :)

  22. That treehouse! I want to live in it Ewok style.

  23. Fiona

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I love the look of this diner. This location looks perfect.

  24. Anne

    Gosh it looks gorgeous there! I love the video, so fun to see a bit more! Do the little go to a ski class or does Josh just take them to learn on his own? I can’t wait for our littles to be old enough to go ski!

  25. Charity

    That video killed me with cuteness!

  26. mm

    well captured. Love the video. amazing edits. what a beautiful place. thanks for including us. xo

  27. emily

    i appreciate home away so much!
    i rented a cabin through them in chattanooga, tn and it was a dream. i find myself browsing and dreaming and am so thankful for renters willing to let people come and go as they please. for me, it’s been so much better than hotels! they’re something really cozy and wonderful about being in a home (away from home :). great post, thanks for sharing your gift of a life, naomi.

  28. kate nenopoulos

    Great post- sooo cute! Can’t handle the cuteness of this blog. Tip for your husband and cutting onions- put an unlit match in between your lips while you chop the onions. It’s a tip I got from the movie, The Help, but it really works! – Kate

  29. V

    Wow, what a gorgeous home! Looks like a nice mini vacation.
    Next trip to the US my husband and I will have to check out homeaway as well as AirBNB. To rent that type of holiday home seems quite affordable. Very different to the prices you would get for renting something like that in Aus.

  30. Shannon

    wow! love it. best part is MM’s hubby is juggling and your kids are jumping up and down like crazy.

  31. Oh my gosh! That place looks amazing! It looks like the kids all enjoyed themselves – and that treehouse?! Can I just move in haha?!
    Have a great week!
    xo April
    April | April Everyday

  32. i’m definitely trying that next time i cut onions!

  33. Zanna

    We just got back from a ski trip too!! And yes, you should certainly learn–some of my happiest memories are of ski vacations with my family when I was a kid! Make the Davis Family a Skiier family!

    We also love using vacation rentals intead of hotel rooms. Its so much more intimate and fun…and perfect for big family/friend get togethers where you want to cook and cuddle and hang out all together (hard in a hotel lobby). I usually use Airbnb but might have to check out homeaway…are they only in the USA?


  34. Colleen

    My hometown!!! I grew up in Phoenicia and Woodstock and I go up almost every weekend from the city! I learned to ski at Belleayre Mountain and my father is head of security there and many friends are ski instructors. I’m so happy to hear you had a great time! Please please please go back in the summertime and tube the esopus (it’s the best time ever) and go zip lining at hunter mountain (the views are unreal)!

  35. My family has a cabin in the Catskills Mountains. We love to visit Woodstock when we go. Such a great little town. I know right where the Phoenicia Diner is. Looks like such a wonderful time was had by all. The front door is absolutely wonderful!!!! : )

    ~ Wendy

  36. aLANNA

    I have a picture of my husband cutting onions with ski goggles too, lol!!

  37. Hakapura

    Hi! lovely post and video. I love the song in the video. Could you tell me who the artist is? Thank you

  38. hanna

    Your family is so cute! –Hanna Lei

  39. Brittany

    love the video and photos!! could you please tell what you use to make/edit your videos? thank you very much!!

  40. Ashley

    That video is the sweetest!! I love watching you interact with your littles. We just had our first child 2 weeks after you had Conrad and i am so excited for all of the amazing adventures to come. You are such an inspirational mama!!

  41. Pearl

    Who is the artist singing the song in the video? I’ve tried to look it up but am having no luck! Great video & pics!!

    • TAZA

      it’s catcher in the rye by neighbours!

  42. Graham

    Where can I buy the music from the video? I know it’s catcher & the rye by neighbours but I can’t find it on Spofity or iTunes?

    Graham (from Scotland)

  43. That video is so so sweet Taza! And I do think you should try and get on those skies one day, I tried it for the first time a couple of months ago and it was so so much fun!