Tree houses are part of the idyllic American childhood experience. I'd live in one now if I could but there aren't that many trees in the desert Southwest. Thanks to my husband's parents, my children have a huge wooden fort and swingset in our backyard, minus the tree. I've watched history repeat itself - the games, the arguments, the stomping into the house. I can't help but smile.
For those of us who never want to grow up there is an answer. Companies like TreeHouse Workshop of Seattle, Washington and others across the country are fulfilling our dreams.
All over the world, people are building functional treehouses for use as offices, studios, dens, guest rooms, and even vacation resorts.
If you don't have the space or money to build your own tree house, don't worry. You can spend your vacation at Out 'n' About Treesort in Southern Oregon. They have an entire facility built around 18 different tree houses. There is an incredibly interesting story on their website about how the county tried to shut them down, saying that the tree houses were unsafe accommodations for guests. I love the owner's ingenuity and the way they got around the restrictions until they could make everything legal - it's truly a story of the determined 'can do' American spirit.
The rates at Out 'n' About are reasonable at $120 to $240 per night. All of the tree houses sleep at least two people. The largest sleeps four or more and has a complete kitchenette and fully equipped bathroom. I can just imagine my kids playing like a family of squirrels on the bridges, zip lines and ladders.
Our sense of wonder doesn't have to die just because we grow up. Keeping it alive keeps out spirit excited about each new day and the fun it promises. Reliving the childhood fascination with tree houses is a great way to feel alive.