California, Maryland

I’m not sure if I’ve ever posted about the Cottage before, which is very surprising considering it has been a huge part of my life.

The history of The Cottage:

My dad’s parents wanted a place to get away from D.C. on weekends and during the summer, so they purchased a piece of waterfront land in California, Maryland. (Right next to Hollywood, Maryland – believe it or not). The Freemyer family officially became one of five families on our gravel road (these five original families all still own property here).

The Cottage

And they built a cottage for their family of three. When I say they built, I mean they actually designed and physically constructed the house themselves. That’s how you did things, they never thought to hire an architect or a contractor because that would be expensive, so they built the house themselves.

Being a family of three, they didn’t need much room, so The Cottage is one open living/dining/bedroom that opens to the kitchen (my grandpa might be responsible for “open concept”), a separate bathroom, and a closet. That is it. The whole house. However it worked perfectly for three. My Dad said he spent almost every summer at The Cottage growing up.

Fast forward a couple decades and it’s my Dad bringing his family to the Cottage. When I was super young we didn’t go to The Cottage – my mother was rightfully scared toddler Kurt would leap off the pier. However starting around age 8, we went to The Cottage a lot.

Throwback Cottage
Throwback Joey, Kurt, me, Jimmer

The Cottage became the place I learned to fish, boat, crab, water-ski, wake-board, camp, kayak, and so much more. It became a place I brought my friends to enjoy swimming, boating and a weekend away. It became my family’s retreat. Although a small one – the summer of 2014 brought my parents, me, Jimmy, Kurt & Kate (and two dogs) staying in a one room/one bathroom cottage.

I&J Cottage

J wakeboarding

K boating

Fast forward another couple decades and the property next to The Cottage is for sale. This is a 3 bedroom house built in 1916 with a renovated bathroom, an actual kitchen, an attic, a big flat grassy yard, and a pool. The original owners’ grandkids (my parents age) were selling the house on the point. This lined up perfectly to when my Dad was planning on retiring. It seemed like God was saying something. So my parents took a leap of faith and bought the house next to The Cottage and decided to make it their permanent home (and call this place “The Hotel California”).

Since the purchase, Kurt, Jimmy, my Dad and I have been making frequent trips to work on the place: scrape cracked plaster, fence the yard, paint, clean, fix some steps, etc. Last weekend we all moved my parents to their new place!

There is still a lot of work to do: the house doesn’t have insulation (brrr!), the basement is the actual dirt ground, the ceiling needs a support beam, the sitting room needs to be converted to a master bathroom, the kitchen could use some updating, there are future plans for a garage, etc. But it’s a place all six of us (and three dogs) can go and enjoy together.

Kai Hotel California

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