21 Madison was everything we were looking for...and more! It's generally Mission Impossible finding a family vacation home for 12 which suits our incompatible need for privacy AND togetherness. But here, much to my amazement, it was Mission Accomplished :)
The house is huge, with a big open area containing the living room and dining room (which had a table fitting 12 comfortably; plus, there's a high chair). It was great to be able to all gather together in the evening to play games, watch movies, etc.
But 24/7 togetherness can be too much of a good thing. So, the layout of the rest of the house was perfect. My husband and I took the bedroom off of the kitchen, our younger twin son and daughter-in-law and their two children took the two bedrooms upstairs, while our older twin son and daughter-law and their four children took the two bedrooms (with two beds each) on the other side of the house. And, HUZZAH, each family unit had its own bathroom!
The home was well appointed, with pots and pans, glassware, small appliances (you'll need to bring a hand mixer or blender though), plenty of towels, etc. The goody box left for us was a nice touch. It contained water, granola bars, candy, and appropriately, a toothbrush and toothpaste.
In homes we've previously visited, I've cringed at the "library" offerings---Readers Digest Condensed Books, Harlequin Romances and the like. But here we found a wonderful array of books by authors such as Tom Robbins, Erik Larson and Ali Wentworth. The kidlets enjoyed the puzzles and games they found, both indoors and out. There were swings (including a tree swing) and cornhole (which brought out our vile competitive natures!) and other amusements.
I understand that some people like the beach and the sun (hey, I love Seattle!), so the family was psyched over the beach being less than a minute's walk (I do suggest water shoes as it's a bit pebbly). The free pier is a short journey as well, and the kidlets had a terrific time kindasorta fishing (no permits needed as they were all under 10). Btw, the house is in Virginia, while the beach is in Maryland, so you're crossing state lines!
When the time came to bid our house adieu, the kidlets didn't want to leave. The previous evening, we'd had one of the best cookouts in recent memory, with water balloons (okay, next time the family is getting a crappy house 'cause they bombarded me), science experiments (remember the Mentos and Diet Coke fountains?), lots of food (there's a gas grill) and lots of laughter. Y'know, we didn't want to leave either.
One warning--there are several large windows lacking curtains/blinds so that you can see the water. So, if you and your honey get there a day before the kids (ahem, ahem), make sure you have you have your robes...or at least really nice underwear.