Bryan’s 30th Birthday Weekend

Bryan turned 30 earlier this month, and I wanted to plan a special weekend getaway to celebrate. At first, I was going to make it a surprise, but I knew he wouldn’t go for that, so I eventually included him in the planning process. His only requirement was that he didn’t want anything too over the top or elaborate. I personally want to go to an all-inclusive in the Caribbean for my 30th, but Bryan’s a bit more low-key. Ha!

I threw out a few options, including Vegas and New Orleans, but he wanted to stay close to home for convenience sake. That’s when I got the idea to go up to the Poconos, which is only 2-3 hours away from us.

Although planning the whole thing was pretty stressful, the weekend was a lot of fun. Including Bryan and I, there were 8 of us. It was so great to be surrounded by some of our closest friends. 

Let’s break down the entire weekend, shall we?

Pocono Mountain Rental Review

Pocono Rental Review

Where We Stayed:

When I chose the Poconos for our location, the first place I looked for a rental was on Home Away. It’s just like AirBnB, but I personally find it more user-friendly. I came across a stunning lakefront home in Long Pond, PA, and knew it was perfect. Long Pond is only a 15 minute drive to Camelback Mountain Ski Resort, which I’ll talk about later on in this post. So yeah, photos are one thing, but check out this video tour of the property! 

The thing with the Poconos is that you never really know what you’re going to get. If you’re familiar with mountain rentals, you know that it’s REALLY hard to find an updated, modern home. My sister told me horror stories about places she rented in the past. One place so gross that she wanted to go home almost immediately. 

Lucky for us, the lake house looked exactly like the photos from the Home Away profile. 

Pocono Mountain Rental Review

Pocono Mountain Rental Review

Here’s what you need to know about the property:

  • 3,100 square feet
  • 5 bedrooms {each with a queen sized bed}
  • 3 full bathrooms
  • Central air and heat
  • Linens, toilet paper, bath towels, and paper towels included
  • Wrap-around deck with patio furniture
  • Pets considered
  • Free internet and cable
  • Close to Camelback Ski Resort and Mount Airy Casino

Since the weather was absolutely freezing, we couldn’t take advantage of some of the other amenities the home offers. If you visit during the warmer months, definitely check out the lake house’s outdoor dining area, BBQ grill, and pedal boat. Seriously, if it were summer, I would have loved to have breakfast outside overlooking the lake. 

You can book the home here. The owner, David, was really easy to work with and answered all my questions super quickly. The house is absolutely PERFECT for large groups + you can bring your dog along, and what’s better than that?!

Pocono Rental Review

Pocono Rental Review

What We Did:

On Friday: I drove up to Long Pond before everyone else, so that I’d have time to unpack the car, stock the kitchen, and get everything set up for the weekend. I had Pete with me, and I wanted him to get acclimated to a new environment without being overwhelmed by all of our friends. 

Eventually later that night, our friends arrived to the house and the fun began. We hung out at the house on Friday night, ordered pizza, played board games, drank lots of wine and beer, listened to music, and just relaxed. It was the perfect start to a fun weekend. 

How cute are these personalized beer coozies? I ordered a bunch for the weekend from Etsy, and they were a huge hit! If you’re interested in getting these or any other personalized from the shop, mention Simply Nicole and get 10% off.

pocono rental review

On Saturday: Saturday was our main day in the Poconos. We had a lot planned, but started the day off with breakfast at the rental. It was a great time to bond with our friends, cook a healthy meal, and save some money by not eating out. I wanted to make sure that I had something for everyone. We had the typical breakfast stuff like scrambled eggs, sausage, bagels, coffee and mimosa, but I wanted some healthy options too, so I brought yogurt, Metropolitan Bakery granola {a Philly brand!}, and fruit. 

After breakfast, we played a few board games and got ready for snow tubing at Camelback Mountain. It was so funny to see everyone in their snow gear! I didn’t own snow pants before leaving, and Bryan thought it would definitely be a necessity, so I bought these for $35. 

Unfortunately, when we got to the mountain, we were told that the conveyer belts for the snow tubes were frozen, and they weren’t sure if and when they would be reopening for the day. Obviously we were all a bit bummed, since it was the only real “activity” we had planned for the weekend. It was alright though. We drove back to the house, and some people took naps while the rest of us played more board games. 

Seriously though. Board games were our saving grace. I don’t know what we would have done without them. They were so much fun, and we all really enjoyed it. These were some of our favorites:

Pocono Rental Review

Eventually, it was time for dinner at Boulder View Tavern. The food was decent, but the views were great! The restaurant is right on Lake Harmony near Jack Frost Ski Resort. Our reservation was right around sunset, so the lake was absolutely gorgeous as we were driving in. 

Since we were a large party, we were seated downstairs. If you do go, I would highly recommend that you request to sit upstairs, because you get a better view of the lake + you can get served draft beer. For whatever reason, the restaurant refused to serve us draft beer because they weren’t allowed to bring it down the steps …

Just something to keep in mind. 

Pocono Rental Review

On Sunday: Not much happened on our last day, because all we did was clean up the house and get packed to come home. We woke up early though, to realize that one of our friends had a flat tire! Still not sure how that happened, but it was flat on the ground. There was no saving it.

We had to be out of the rental by noon, so I was a bit anxious that we wouldn’t meet that deadline. I hate being that guest. You know? Thankfully, there was an auto shop open early, and everything got fixed by 11am. 

// That’s it. Our weekend in the Poconos didn’t go exactly to plan, but we had a blast anyway. If you’re interested in visiting the Poconos, I highly recommend that you check out the house that we rented. I can’t say enough good things about it. 

Thank you to David Samad for providing us with your home for the weekend,
and to Metropolian Bakery and Mr. Coozie for sending us your products to try. 
Simply Nicole is a part of several affiliate advertising programs.
This means that if you click and/or make a purchase through certain links in this post,
I may make a commission from that click and/or purchase. All opinions are my own.




  1. Bridgett Blue
    March 24, 2017 / 10:20 am

    Adam and I had such a great time. The house was perfect and you were a great host!

    • March 26, 2017 / 5:47 pm

      YAY. so glad everyone had a great time.

  2. March 24, 2017 / 11:15 am

    This place looks amazing! I’ve been wanting to go with my husband to the Poconos as I’ve been to that area before and it’s so scenic! Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • March 26, 2017 / 5:46 pm

      Definitely check out that house. SO worth it. Just for the privacy alone! If you book, let the owner know that I sent you 🙂

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