Easter at Ruuska Resort

Despite the tone of my recent posts, it’s not all doom and gloom around here. In fact, it’s not really gloomy at all. I’m just feeling a bit “off.” But things are definitely looking up.

There’s nothing like a change of scenery and fun times with friends to lift the spirit. Besides, I am not typically a wallower, as in one who enjoys reveling in one’s own misery. I just figured I should share a little reality every now and then.

RR_MapHubby, Mike, and I did something a little different over Easter weekend. A road trip with the girls. A long road trip to the beach of all places, to visit our friends Heather and Timo (pronounced like tee-mo), who live in Carolina Beach, North Carolina.

I met Heather back in 2008. We both worked for the same company at the time. She is also a remote employee (works from her home), so we didn’t spend much time together in person. But we did communicate a lot by phone and e-mail.

We have actually managed to stay in touch over the years. Co-workers come and go, but I have forged bonds with some that will last a lifetime. Heather is one of those.

I have been saying I was going to visit Heather for a very long time. She, Timo, and their furbaby, Roxie, came to visit us in Warrenton back in October. So I figured it was about time we make the trek down to visit them. And I am so glad we did. We had a fabulous time.

Ruuska Resort
Ruuska Resort

Heather and Timo don’t live right on the beach, but they are surrounded by water. If you click on the map, you’ll see what I mean. And their house is absolutely gorgeous. It looks like something out of a magazine, which is why I decided to call it the Ruuska Resort. It’s lovely, really. Heather definitely has a knack for decorating, and “the Swede” who is in charge of upkeep does a bang-up job.

Definite Dog Lovers
Definite Dog Lovers

Roxie, the resident furbaby, is a cross between a German Shepherd, Foxhound, and maybe some other stuff. She’s super-smart, very sweet, and was quite pleased to have some canine company. We didn’t see much of their cat, Rosie, while we were there, but I did at least get to meet her.

Spring arrives much earlier in that part of North Carolina. It was nice to see all of the azaleas and lots of other pretty plants in full bloom. Their azaleas have huge flowers, which are more like rhododendrons than azaleas, if you ask me.

The yard at Ruuska Resort
The yard at Ruuska Resort



Isn’t that flower gorgeous? It looks like a Stargazer Lily. It was almost as big as my hand!

Welcome Sign
Welcome Sign

We all felt very welcome. Dogs included!

Timo was born in Sweden, but grew up in Finland, which is why they have a Swedish welcome sign.

Happy K
Happy K


Ruuska (like roo-ska) is their last name.

Heather made that sign. She’s crafty, too, when she puts her mind to it (and has time for it!).

Nook on the back deck.

Don’t you just LOVE this little porch nook on their back deck? It’s quite cozy, which is a good thing, since I locked myself out there at 5:00 a.m. on Saturday morning. Lucky for me, it was warm. AND I had a full cup of coffee. I just curled up on the little settee and listened to the birds cavorting through the trees.

The girls were happy, too, as they got to watch the birds and squirrels. The house is elevated due to its proximity to the water.

Great perch for squirrel-watching.
Great perch for squirrel-watching.






Roxie and Belle
Roxie and Belle

Heather and I had been sitting on that little settee. As soon as Heather got up — like seconds later — Roxie joined me. As soon as I got up, Belle joined Roxie, and immediately pretended to be sound asleep.

Belle didn’t mind too much when I took my seat back.

Freshly showered ToadMama.
Freshly showered ToadMama and baby Belle.

Heather prepared a lovely breakfast for us on Saturday. The furkids were all happy to share the leftover piece of bacon.


After breakfast, we went for a driving tour of the area. It was overcast and rainy, so I didn’t take any pictures. We eventually ended up in Old Town Wilmington, which is where we stopped for a delicious lunch at a place called The Basics.

There was a piece of artwork on the wall above our table, which made Timo ask if we’d been assigned to sit in that spot because he was with us.

Blast from the Past!

The weekend went WAY too fast, of course. Sunday morning came far too quickly.

My girls made themselves right at home.

My early-bird girls and I relaxed while everyone else slept in, then we went for a long walk. It was really lovely.

One of their beautiful Sago Palms.


A neighbor’s Live Oak.


Cool plant (I forgot its name).

I told Heather we needed to make sure to get a group photo before we left. After the car was packed, we all headed outside. We knew our girls wouldn’t leave the car while we chatted and I set up the shot.

Roxie wasn’t happy to see us getting ready to leave.


We all thought Roxie was probably thinking “don’t leave!”

Nice group photo, right?

(L-R) Mike, Me, Heather, and Timo
(L-R) Mike, Me, Heather, and Timo

We all had a good chuckle afterward when we saw this…

Apparently, Roxie had been thinking, “Make room for me!”

The girls were all perfectly happy to wait in the car as we said our goodbyes.

“Okay, we’re set. Shut the door and let’s go!”


Roxie, pretending to ignore us telling her to get out of the car.


How can you not smile at that?

Heather thinks K and Roxie look like cousins in that photo (above). I think they look like drunk girlfriends.

Roxie REALLY didn’t want her friends to leave.

It really was a lovely visit, even if it did go by way too fast.

One thing is for sure, I have been blessed in this life with a lot of really awesome friends.

More adventures are on the horizon. Could it involve family, friends, a road trip, airplane rides, surprise visitor(s) , a voyage to another country, a boat ride? Or maybe all of the above? One never knows. I do know, however, that exciting times are definitely ahead.

4 Replies to “Easter at Ruuska Resort”

  1. Nothing brightens one’s outlook like a) travel, and b) friends! Looks like a lovely place and a great fun visit! And the nook is adorable!

    PS: We have those big flowering azaleas in our front yard, same color too. And we also have the same type, but hot pink. I love azaleas, and rhododendron, etc. And the cool plant is fringeflower or loropetalum. We have a lot of those here too.

  2. I know about an upcoming family adventure…that also includes airplane rides, but…surprise visitor(s)?? Who? Who is/are the surprise visitor(s)?

  3. How great that the fur babies got along as well as the adults. I am glad you could have a weekend away to recharge.

    The azalea and rhodie blooms always make me think of orchid blooms. I don’t know why, but they do.

  4. Looks like a pretty nice place to spend a weekend. And if you’re going to get locked out, that nook looks like a great place to welcome the morning.

    Does this place flood during storms?

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