Thursday, April 7, 2011
Spring Break Trip 2011
Spring Break 2011 is almost over. We are recuperating from our whirlwind overnight adventure to the Chicago suburbs and our trip to Legoland Discovery Center. I am sure if you have boys (yes, I know some girls too) then you have experienced the euphoria that can overcome them when they start building with legos. Since we haven't done a vacation in a couple of years and we're looking at a few more before we can even think about it again, we thought we could at least take an overnight and have a small family getaway.
The first thing that made this trip possible was my parents offering to not only allow us to borrow their van, but also dog-sit for us so we didn't have to worry about Lily being left behind. The second was a generous offer from a blog friend to get us a hotel room at a family rate since her family member worked for the hotel chain. We were so thrilled at the offer and were lucky to take her up on it. The first snafu happened when we got to the hotel and they had our reservation, but absolutely NO RECORD of it having been paid for. There was no way we were going to tell the boys that we had to turn around and go home and we took the cash that we had brought for food for the trip and paid for the room again. I am still praying that she will be able to get her money back from this disaster :( I feel so guilty about it.
But at least we did finally get settled in our room and the boys were itching to hit the pool. The pool was very small and shallow and we had it to ourselves all three times that we swam which was fun. After about an hour or so everyone seemed to be slowing down and we decided it was time to dry off and find something to eat. We visited the pool twice more over the course of the eighteen hours at the hotel. The second of the three was the most eventful, being that Noah was swimming along the bottom and while trying to do the butterfly, scraped his nose and banged his head on the bottom of the pool. He came up crying and holding his nose and for a short time I feared we were going to visit an ER during this family trip. Luckily a goose egg between his eyes and some nose scrapes were the only damage incurred.
We headed out to the nearby mall, a very large and fun place that I hadn't visited in a long time. We wandered a bit trying to figure out what we were going to do about dinner. We decided that we were going to be able to do one meal at a restaurant and settled on Red Robin in the mall. After dinner, we wandered a little more on the way back. We stopped near the Rainforest Cafe so the kids could see all of the animatronics there and Aaron loved to lay in the pretend "rain" that was coming down. We also stopped at the lego store in the mall so the boys could scope out what souvenirs they might want to get the following day.
We finally settled into our room for the night. I had brought snacks, which included microwave popcorn and sugar free pudding so the boys thought it was pretty cool to be lying in bed eating snacks. Given that the TV had 20 sports channels and basically nothing else, we turned all lights off by 8:30. Unfortunately, we're not used to all of us in one room and between rustling of blankets and Daddy's snoring, it took several hours for anyone to find sleep. So going to bed that night, I was thinking about our trip so far...messed up reservation that now left us with no money, major face smack for Noah, and kids deciding not to fall asleep until after 10:00. This was looking to be a wonderful trip!
Luckily, the morning dawned and we all woke in good moods. I had brought the makings for PB&J sandwiches and bagels and cream cheese along with OJ bottles for breakfast in our room so that we could have food before we headed out to swim one more time, rather than having to spend money on going out for breakfast. This was the start of a better day. Everyone ate great and we spent the longest time at the pool that morning. Noah was a little more pool-shy this time around and spent most of the time poolside or in the hot tub. Aaron the Fish Boy was of course going strong long after I took Noah back up to the room to get ready for our big day.
By the time we checked out, we were ready for lunch. Knowing we needed to stick with low budget, we decided to try to find our favorite chain restaurant, Noodles and Company. After looking it up in the GPS, it said the nearest one was 20 miles away, including two toll roads. But since we had almost two hours before we had to meet our other family members at our main destination for the day, we figured we might as well go with it. Long story short...sometimes GPS guidance isn't the best way to go. When we got there, it was a run down old building that looked like it was boarded up about ten years ago. Not exactly what we thought. So we re-set the GPS to take us aback to exactly where we had come from and find SOMETHING there. We settled at Chipotle, another favorite, even though the boys don't love it much. Once again, we broke out the PB&J and another successful meal was achieved.
FINALLY, we were ready to head to the main vacation destination...Leogoland Discovery Center. This was the whole point of the trip. But now that I wrote about all the other stuff leading up to now, this post is WAY too long. So I will save Legoland for next time. In short though, all of the crazy ins and outs of getting to the apex of our trip were all worth it. We had a very fun time at Legoland. It was awesome that we ended up there with my two sisters and our kids together, who all adore each other. I can't wait to share more about that part of our trip, since it was great. But alas...next time.
Thanks again to Melissa for helping us get this trip together. I really really really hope we can figure it all out so you get your money back :( We really do appreciate all you did to make this happen for us.
Posted by Kristi at 1:16 PM