When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. That’s how I felt when I had to travel for the first time in over a year to attend a therapy session being held in the Upstate. Wanting to keep my then 10-month-old on his regular sleep and feeding routine, I decided to take him and my mother along. Looking for the silver lining in it all, I rented a tiny home in Travelers Rest with the assumption that it would offer all the amenities that we would need in a compact space without the safety concerns of a large hotel. It was also very fitting for my son’s first adventure, because, after all, one of his nicknames is Tiny!
So, here’s the story of Tiny’s Big Adventure
Our road trip commenced as most usually do, with a litany of snacks and hydration for the long haul. Peanut (my son’s official nickname) was comfortably nestled in his car seat with his teether in hand, serenading us with a song as we plodded along the interstate. A relatively straight shot up I-26 to Greenville, the drive concluded with a short stretch on I-385 toward Travelers Rest. The journey was quite simple actually and only about 3.5 hours. We took the liberty of leisurely making our way up, allowing for potty breaks and backseat feedings en route. Surprised to say, my son did great! As a writer who often covers destinations and travel, I was elated to have my number one sidekick along for the ride and enjoying it to boot! Very much a proud mama moment.
Since it was Friday evening, there was some expected traffic driving through Greenville, but all was quiet once we continued north to Travelers Rest. So close to our tiny home!
Tucked away in a tiny home community off a dirt road, our destination was a quick drive from downtown “TR”. It was already dark, cold, and raining when we arrived and although the reservation was ready, we had to wait out the cleaning crew to sanitize the space for us. As an added precaution (I’ve always been a bit of a germaphobe, even pre-pandemic) I bought my own Lysol and antibacterial wipes to further disinfect.
I unloaded the car in the rain and the dark and we settled into our new tiny home for the night. It was perfect for what we needed, offering all the amenities of a full-sized home in an easy to navigate space, including a well-equipped galley kitchen with a gas range and hood, a dishwasher, shelving for dish and glassware, cabinetry for pots and pans, a deep sink, and full-sized fridge. The bathroom was small but efficient with a toilet, a narrow shower, and a decent-sized sink. Although the lighting could have been better, I couldn’t have asked for much more as it paled in comparison to some of the more rudimentary provisions I’ve had to deal with in my travels over the years. It worked for all intents and purposes.
The two bedrooms were found in the “loft” area of the house: the master was up a flight of narrow stairs ascending from the kitchen and consisted of an inflatable double bed with a two-foot clearing overhead. A cathedral window framed the vaulted ceiling nicely. The pretty boho chic quilt that covered the inflatable mattress was also a nice touch. On the opposite end of the tiny house was the second “bedroom.” Only accessible by ladder, it was sleeping quarters fit for a real MacGyver. Needless to say, neither myself nor my mother used that bedroom, but it was a good example of how to maximize space.
My son’s Pack ‘n Play fit nicely in the “living room” next to the sleeper sofa, where I was to sleep. Perfect for middle of the night feeds and our early morning wake-up call.
As everyone settled in for the night, we slept comfortably to the sounds of the rain outside, breathing in the fresh mountain air. We awoke to birds chirping and rays of sunshine beating on the mini curtains. My mother prepared a hearty breakfast for the long day ahead with the groceries that we had brought along. We propped the food up family-style on the tray jacks provided and enjoyed our breakfast on the sofa. Honestly, the tiny living was perfectly efficient and just what I needed to recharge the batteries before a long day of therapy.
Check out procedures were stricter than usual due to the pandemic, so as instructed, we stripped the beds, gathered used towels, wiped down surfaces, washed and dried all dishes, pots, and pans, removed our trash, and readied the tiny home for the cleaning and sanitization crew. We piled the last of the used towels and bedding by the door and carried our belongings to the car. I couldn’t help but think of what a cozy little retreat our tiny home had made for us, even if it was just for an overnight. That said, I can’t wait to go back with my family for a proper visit next time, and to explore all that Travelers Rest and the greater Greenville area have to offer!